Paula Jo Denney Jacques
July 19, 1954 – June 26, 2020
Paula Jo Denney Jacques passed away on June 26, 2020 while in the embrace of her husband and two sons. She was born on July 19, 1954 at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. She grew up as an army brat living in many states and Germany. Those living experiences helped develop her naturally shy personality into a social master of communication. She was a smart and savvy listener who could read people with ease making for a unique blend of friends.
Paula is survived by her loving husband Chris, two sons Gillian (Sarah) and Bryson (Nicole) and 6 grandchildren, Lucia, Baylor, Wyatt, Amalia, Ewan and Cormac, sister Linda (Steve) Morgan, brothers Craig (Janet) Denney and Bruce Denney, mother and father in law Allan and Jeannine Jacques and three sister in laws Ellene Peters, Sharon Jacques and Elizabeth Cassleman, nephews Neal (Laura) Morgan, Patrick Cassleman, Paul (Rachel) Cassleman, Sean (Carly) Cassleman, David (Morgan) Cassleman and Louis Cassleman.
Paula is preceded in death by her father and hero Robert Eugene Denney who referred to her as Peanut because she was so small and mother Frances Ann Denney (nee Taylor), grandparents Jesse and Martha Denney (nee Fox) and Jarve and Katherine Marie Taylor (nee Brugemann), aunts Ocy Pauline Denney Richeson, Rita Joan Denney (Paula’s namesakes) and Pearl Denney and uncles Edsel and Everett Denney.
Paula met her husband of over 43 years at Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned a B.S. degree in marketing. Paula raised two sons who turned into fine men of whom she was very proud. She was a very loving mother and used her skills as a communicator to develop them into the men they are today. Although Paula’s husband Chris was the love of her life, her father was equally important. He instilled in her the concept of unconditional love for family and her desire to serve others as a volunteer. She fit Mother Teresa’s model of “A life not lived for others is not a life”. Paula lived a wonderful life! Her free spirit was alive in every step of her life.
Paula was a consummate volunteer. She volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for over twenty-five years helping build houses and working as an interviewer of potential homeowners. She and Chris sponsored one new homeowner helping the owner and her children through a range of challenges during the building process and into the years following completion. Paula was very active as a volunteer at Frederik Meijer Gardens putting in thousands of hours working in the Gift Shop and at the front desk. She worked as an employee for a number of years at the Gardens with a variety of responsibilities including the Christmas Tree and Butterfly annual exhibitions. Her creative talents for design and color were put to good use. Beyond Habitat and Meijer Gardens, she volunteered Wednesdays at God’s Kitchen preparing and serving food to those in need. She volunteered with Hospice where her listening talents were greatly appreciated by those for whom she was caring. Early in her volunteer career she was able to satisfy her love for art by volunteering as a docent with the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Besides volunteering, Paula had several businesses that allowed to express her flair for art, color and design. She was a talented upholsterer making some unique furniture pieces for local artists. Her jewelry business, A Little Bit Sassy, produced colorful, whimsical beaded bracelets and necklaces.
Paula will be greatly missed by many people. She’ll be missed by her playing card friends and by family and friends who experienced all of the new recipes she tried over many years when entertaining. She loved to entertain. Those meals were always delicious treats. Finally, her signature “baby” blankets for newborns will be missed as will all her volunteering.
To honor Paula, we ask not to donate to a particular charity but rather to donate your time as a volunteer with your favorite organization. That would be a true reflection of Paula and would cause her to smile down upon you.
A formal celebration of Paula’s life will occur at a later date.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Paula Jo Denney Jacques
July 2, 2020
Dear Chris -- I am so sorry to see this. I am so sorry you have lost Paula and my grief is shared with you and your whole family . . . please know that I am praying for comfort for all of you.
July 1, 2020
Dear Chris, Gil, and Bryson
Words cannot express how saddened I was to learn of Paula’s passing away. She was quite a lady in so many ways! I was so glad to be a neighbor and friend of hers! We have treasured the baby blanket she made for our Natalie when she was born! It means even more now. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Please accept from the entire Champagne family our most sincere heartfelt sympathy at this time! May Paula rest in God’s peace.
Sincerely, Tracey & Floyd Champagne
July 1, 2020
I just received notification of Paula's untimely passing. The living have lost a very special human. My heart and sincere condolences go out to Chris, the boys, family and all the friends who were lucky enough to have had the pleasure of knowing Paula. Take solace in her life and your wonderful memories. God Bless
July 1, 2020
Paula was loved deeply by all of her friends and greatly appreciated for her many skills. She will be missed every day. My heart goes out to her husband, children and the rest of her family. Many prayers. Many wishes of healing hearts. Much love!!!! ❤❤❤❤
Steve & Kim Brems
June 28, 2020
Dear Chris & family,
We are so sorry and deeply saddened to hear of Paula's passing. We will remember all of our fun Euchre parties and the joy and laughter of those special times. Paula was kind, witty and generous with her time and talent, volunteering at Meijer Garden and Habitat for Humanity. We know that she loved her family and grandchildren as she often spoke of them. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Kim & Steve Brems