Paula Wittekind

January 24, 1950November 8, 2012

Paula Wittekind, 62, of Cocoa, Florida died November 8, 2012 after a long battle with Parkinson disease and later cancer. Born Paula Rager on January 24, 1950 in Sewickley Hospital, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of the late Doris Ruth Russell of Glenwillard, Pennsylvania and Harold Arthur Rager of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Paula was a speech pathologist and then changed to special education. She lived and taught in Hawaii for ten years. Stricken with Parkinson disease in her 30’s, she was diagnosed at age 42 and retired in 2001 from Brevard School Systems. While at home Paula became an online Parkinson disease advocate and author. Surviving are daughter Michelle Wittekind of St. Cloud, Florida; daughter Jessica Wittekind of Orlando, Florida; grandson Nathan Virata and grandson Troy Isaacson of St. Cloud, Florida; brother Loree Rager of Keller, Texas; sister Marilee Rager of Beaver, Pennsylvania; brother Randy Rager of Seattle, Washington; stepmother Sharlene Rager of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; Stepsister Prudy Pelino of Hopewell, Pennsylvania; Stepsister Pam Donavan of Hopewell, Pennsylvania; Stepsister Nancy Kisow of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Service will be held at Florida Memorial Funeral Home on November 17, 2012 at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made, if desired, to Parkinsons Creative Collective, Inc. with attention to Pam Kell at 6 Portland Rd., Little Rock, AR, 72212 or online contributions may be made at


  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 17, 2012

Paula Wittekind

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


December 3, 2012

T met Paula online in 2003, she was one of an amazing and inspiration group of PD advocates. I never dreamed that I would ever meet her, but I did when she came to Glasgow in 2010, and she was everything I expected her to be and more. A lovely, funny, warm and feisty lady with a lot of love shining through. My thoughts are with her family and all her many friend. Lindy

Vicky Perry

December 2, 2012

May the good Lord Bless you and keep you,
I pray you have found the peace you deserve.

As a fellownsuffer of YOPD I would alsy like to offer empathy to Paula's lovely family.

A frequent poster on Neuro-Talk,
Vicky Lynn

Owen A. Ross, PhD

November 29, 2012

I met Paula at a Udall Center meeting a number of years ago and was inspired by her spirit and attitude. She was a leading example of advocacy for Parkinson's disease research. RIP.

AJ & Greg Wasson

November 27, 2012

Paula was among the first group of people with Parkinson's disease we met in person, twelve years ago. She ever since has been a close friend and comrade. Paula played an integral part in the establishment of Parkinson's disease patient empowerment, inspiring on a personal level and making waves on national and international fronts. She was also a helluva lot of fun! It is hard to imagine continuing on this journey without her. We are grateful that she has been and will continue to be part of our lives. And while we recognize our profound loss at her passing, we also respect and celebrate her "way out" and her faith in her own future. Paula, you go, girl!

laura dean

November 24, 2012

Paula was a voice for many. Her dedication towards being an advocate for those with Parkinson's was inspirational and admirable. She was a treasure.


Denise Cozma

November 22, 2012

May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.

November 22, 2012

We "met" on Braintalk and your character shone through. You were tenacious as a Parkinson's advocate and helpful to anyone on the Braintalk community. You know I don't think I can remember a bad word from Paula concerning anyone on Braintalk, she always offered helpful, bright and insightful opinions.

Paula, you are an example to us all.

Neil (aka Aftermathman).

Gayle Kirby

November 22, 2012

Paula was such a comfort to my husband as he battled Parkinsons. Even though we never met her, she was always there for him in both the BrainTalk and NueroTalk forums. Her sage advice & compassion were so uplifting. Kevin lost is battle in 2008 but I continue to read the forums just to see how old friends are doing. I am so sad to for the loss of Paula - she was very special!

Debi Brooks

November 22, 2012

Paula's brand of activism led the way for so many patients who want to live a productive and engaged life with Parkinson's disease. The thoughts and admiration of the Michael J. Fox Foundation team are with you all as you pay tribute to Paula.

Cheri / Chemar

November 22, 2012

It was my pleasure to get to know Paula at the online patient support forum, NeuroTalk. Her love for God and other people shone through so clearly. I can only imagine the joy she is now experiencing in the presence of the Lord! Blessings to all her family and friends.