May 7, 1953 - May 31, 2021 Paula M. Smith, of Pasadena, CA, 68, passed away on Memorial Day after a long struggle with heart disease and related complications.Born in Hartford, CT, Paula grew up in La Canada-Flintridge after her family moved there in 1963. She obtained a B.S. in nursing from Boston University, then settled in Pasadena and began her nursing career at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at UCLA.She was promoted into nursing management positions at Children's, including Assistant Administrator of Patient Care Services. She later held senior executive management positions at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, St. John's Medical Center, Phoenix Children's Hospital, and then Kaiser Permanente, as Chief Nursing Executive for Patient Care Services at Los Angeles Medical Center and then as regional Vice President for Clinical Operations, Continuing Care and Outside Medical for the Southern California region. She retired in 2017. Paula was committed to her work. Kind and unfailingly thoughtful, she was a respected leader and manager, a generous colleague, and a loyal mentor. Among other accomplishments, she oversaw LAMC's move to an electronic medical record system, and was integral in the development of the new Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Hospital. Paula was an ardent sports fan, and with her former husband attended 8 Olympic games, several Superbowls, the Kentucky Derby, and countless southern California professional team baseball, basketball, hockey and football games, in addition to the Rose Bowl and dozens of college football games. She enjoyed attending concerts of the LA Philharmonic downtown and at the Hollywood Bowl, and theater at The Music Center and Pasadena Playhouse.Paula loved seeing the world. Her travels took her to Europe, Argentina, China, and Australia among many other places in the U.S. and abroad. She also loved the ocean, and favorite vacation spots for recharging from her demanding professional duties included Santa Barbara, Newport Coast and, especially, the Big Island of Hawaii. Paula was predeceased by her parents, Roderick B. and Virginia H. Smith, and her brothers Roderick B. Smith, Jr. and Christopher H. Smith. She is survived by her sister Barbara H. Smith and brother-in-law Peter Mullin of Milton, Massachusetts, her former husband Dr. Robert Loitz of La Canada-Flintridge, her nephew Roderick B. Smith II of Novelty, Ohio, her niece Finley Smith and sister-in-law Julienne Smith of Charleston, South Carolina, and nephew Brian Mullin of London, UK.Paula will be remembered by family and friends for being a consummate professional dedicated to the highest standards, for her infectious laughter, and for her generous spirit. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a gift to the UCLA School of Nursing in Paula's memory. Make checks to UCLA Foundation and mail to: The UCLA Foundation, PO Box 7145, Pasadena, CA 91109-9903. Please note "School of Nursing Innovation Fund in Memory of Paula M. Smith."
A memorial Mass and celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 1:30 pm at St. Bede the Venerable Church, 215 Foothill Boulevard, La Canada-Flintridge, CA 91011.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Los Angeles Times from Jun. 12 to Jun. 13, 2021.