Katy Funeral Home


Paula Kay Nilsson

July 13, 1960March 28, 2021
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Paula Kay Gillis was born July 13, 1960 in Harlingen TX. to William Stevenson Gillis and Agnes Loretta Lightfoot Gillis. Paula graduated Harlingen High in 1978 then accepted her first job at The Valley Morning Star, then San Benito News and on to Portland News. In Portland, she started working for Nutri System which brought her to Houston as an area manager. Paula later dedicated over 20 years to work at Fast Signs. She had strong Christian values and attended West Houston Christian Center while serving in the nursey and on the hospitality team for many years. She had recently became a part of the Fulshear area Lion’s Club.

Paula was preceded in death by her parents, Steve Gillis Sr. and Loretta Lightfoot Gillis, her in-laws William Nilsson and Maryann Nilsson and her brother, Steve Gillis Jr. She leaves behind her husband of 31 years Leslie Nilsson, daughter Christina Gillis, grandson Evan Gillis-Kalsi, brother, Pastor Rick Gillis and sisters, Jeni Brumley, Lisa Gillis, Patti Scott, Cissie Gillis, Loretta Cote and a host of other nieces, nephews, friends and family.

Paula was fun loving, enjoying travel, gardening, playing with and holding babies, as well as giving of her time to others. Most of all she was an amazing mother, kind to all, loving and had a sweet soul who took great joy in being with her loved ones and friends and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She was an absolute gem who has left us too soon and will never be forgotten.

The family would like to give a special thanks to Pastors Jack Pidgeon Sr., Mary Jean Pidgeon, Jack Jr., Michelle Pidgeon and friend Justin Van Leeuwen who all gave her strength and comfort in her final days. Services held Sat. April 10th at 1pm at Katy Funeral Home | 23350 Kingsland Blvd. | Katy TX. 77494 (281-395-7070)

Please feel free to send flowers, plants to the service or make a donation to a charity of your choosing in honor of Paula.


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, April 10, 2021



Paula Kay Nilsson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Teri McMurray

April 8, 2021

Paula and I met in the early 80’,s, both working at the Valley Morning Star! We quickly became friends! We played hard, worked hard, and always had each other’s back! My husband and I moved to the Houston area soon after, but somehow Paula and I always stayed connected.. One of those people you don’t gotta see everyday to just pick up where you left off!! Paula was my FRIEND, a real one, and I miss her!!! But I know she is flying with the angels now! Have a great ride girl, will see you someday! I love you!❤️
Gillis Girls, I love you all, and hope you have some comfort in knowing how much she was loved, and that she knew it! My sincere condolences to you all!

Indi and Sunita Kalsi

April 8, 2021

Paula you are missed each and everyday for you were someone special who meant more than words can say. You meant so much to All of us. Your smile alone warmed hearts.
The hurt will ease in time. I know you are happy now with Almighty God and no longer in any pain. We all miss you, our hearts still ache with sadness. We hold you close within our hearts and there you will remain.

wadeah spite

April 8, 2021

The angels looked down from heaven one night.
They searched for miles afar,
And deep within the distance
They could see a shining star.

They knew that very instant
That the star was theirs to gain,
So they took you up to heaven,
Forever to remain.

Look down on us from heaven.
Keep us free from hurt and pain.
You'll always be within my heart
Until we meet again.

Love you always BFF

Crystal Gregory

April 8, 2021

Paula touches the hearts of the people she meets. Her distinct laugh, sharp wit and very loving connection are the things I remember most about her. A couple of years ago, my son Gunner and I went to visit all the Gillis clan in TX. Paula picked us up at the airport with a sign in her car window that read, Gunner Gregory's Ride. That was the best welcome ever! It blessed my heart and totally surprised and delighted Gunner. Her thoughtfulness was a very part of her nature and made her so wonderful to be around! That sign still hangs in his room, and we have plans for putting it in his first vehicle.
We miss you Aunt Paula. It's hurts my heart to think of not hearing your voice or your infectious laugh again. You left a legacy of great memories and good reminders about loving another the way Jesus loves us.

Leslie Bauer

April 7, 2021

Paula was one of the first people I met when moving into Tamarron. She was so welcoming and kind. We hit it off great, and we had many fun (and some crazy) times playing Bunko. I'll never forget her warmth and openness. We moved away from the neighborhood last year, I was heartsick to learn of her cancer. She is free of that now. I will miss her and will hold onto fond memories of her kind spirit.

Connie Smitley

April 7, 2021

I'm so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Paula was such a sweet and loving person. I've known her since she was 7 years old. She was like family. The Gillis sisters always say I'm their adopted sister and I'm family, I feel the same about them. Paula will be greatly missed. I'm thankful for all the memories. Prayers for the family. 💕

Jill Hudson-Kerr

April 6, 2021

I am deeply saddened to hear of Paula's passing. I met her at the Fulshear-Simonton Lions club. Paula's friendly personality and lovely smile was such a blessing to our club. She was always willing to help with a project and I particularly enjoyed working alongside her on the production line of our world famous funnel cakes; no one dusted those cakes with powdered sugar like Paula. She will be dearly missed

Christina Gillis

April 3, 2021

Mommy dearest,
I’m holding up better than I thought I would so far, I want you to be proud of me. It’s so hard! Nobody can comfort me the way you do. You have always been the best example of what to do or how to handle things. Your strength your independence your kindness and the way you are as a mother to me. I’m hoping the only thing harder than your passing is seeing you not quiet yourself. Nothing will compare to you in my eyes. I know I’m going through the same things anyone has who lost a mother has but, you told me we could go out like Thelma and Louise. Together!!! So I’m left holding on I guess to share your memory when Evan needs you, and to reassure him you will always be with us. Thank the Lord I have your sisters to help me thought this.
Love you Momma

Susan Bernard (Weston)

April 2, 2021

I am SO sad to hear of Paulas passing and extend my deepest condolences and prayers for all of her family. Paula and I were friends in high school and she was so sweet and genuine. I pray that her memory will live on in the stories we cherish and share with others........Fly high sweet girl !!!! 💝

Patti Scott

April 1, 2021

Love you too much PK.


Mom and Paula - 1960


Lisa and Paula - 1960


L-R Jeni, Mom, Patti, Lisa. Bottom row-Cissie and Paula


Paula's First Communion


Paula and Cissie circa 1980 - good times!


Family photo circa 1980