Paula graduated from John Adams High School in South Bend, Indiana in 1971. In 1975 she married the love of her life, James E. Thompson, of New Carlisle, Indiana. In the 1980's she owned and ran a thrift store called The Crackerbox in South Bend. After her work at The Crackerbox, Paula worked for St. Joseph County libraries for many years. Through her work at The Crackerbox and the library, Paula made many life-long, dear friends. In 2007, Paula and James moved to Jacksonville, Florida. In Jacksonville, she had booths at an antique mall where she had many followers; she was one of the most beloved dealers at the antique mall.
Paula had many loves and interests in life. She loved her husband, her three children, her four grandchildren, and her brother immensely and unconditionally. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and sister who gave generously of herself. She always had time for her loved ones, and she always showed up for them. Paula was also an avid thrift shopper. She loved finding "treasures" in thrift stores and garage sales, often refurbishing her finds and reselling them at a very good price. She loved giving people good deals on the unique and beautiful treasures she found. Paula also loved books, and her home was always filled with beautiful and unique books on art, travel, photography, and various other topics. She loved photography and had taken photography classes at the University of North Florida. Paula was very creative and whimsical and had an artistical soul. Her home was filled with bright colors and beautiful art. Her home was a very comforting and inspiring place to be. Paula also loved her dogs and supported Florida's Golden Retriever rescue center, where she had adopted her beloved Golden Retriever, Annie. She loved being in nature and loved going on camping trips and adventures with her husband to the Florida Keys, Amelia Island, Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, and other beautiful places in the Southeast.
Paula is survived by her beloved husband, James E. Thompson; her three children: James E. Thompson, Jr. (Kim Thompson), Katrina Kemble from Chicago, Illinois, and Renee Fulkerson (Michael Fulkerson); her four grandchildren: Parker Thompson, Emily Thompson, Weston Fulkerson, and Elizabeth Fulkerson; her brother James Batalis from South Bend, Indiana; her many nieces and nephews; and her adorable Goldendoodle, Maddie.
A memorial service for Paula will be held Friday, December 22, 2023 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Hardage-Giddens Chapel Hills Funeral Home, 850 St Johns Bluff Road North, Jacksonville, FL 32225.