Maria T Paul

January 8, 1947June 25, 2020

Maria Paul, of Temple Terrace, Florida passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at the Melech Hospice House. She was born on January 8, 1947 in Hanau, Germany, to Max and Zoja Tellis, and immigrated to the United States with her family on June 8, 1949.

Maria had a rich international experience and spoke five languages. She studied Foreign Languages at the University of New Hampshire where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in 1968, She lived in Istanbul, Turkey for ten years and taught German to Turkish students at Robert College.

She received her Master of Education degree at Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1985, where she met her husband, Jim Paul. They were married in Temple Terrace, Florida March 4, 1989.

Maria held positions in the international student office at the University of North Carolina and the Duke University Law School Alumni Office. She worked closely with the Chair of the Department of Secondary Education at USF and coordinated the Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology (SLA/IT) doctoral program. She later moved to the Dean’s office as Faculty Assistant to the Dean where she continued to work as part of this interdisciplinary second language academic community with students from around the world until she retired in 2010.

Like her mother and sister, she was an artist. She enjoyed healthy cooking and Taoist Tai Chi. Maria had a generous spirit and her life was filled with grace and gestures of kindness that added value to all of the communities of which she was a part. Everyone who knew her appreciated her dignity and genuine goodness. She was deeply devoted to her family and remains a treasured presence in the hearts and lives of her family and large community of friends. She made us grateful for every day.

Maria was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Susanne Quinn. She is survived by her loving husband of 31 years, Jim Paul; son, Scott Paul; daughter, Margaret Gail Lawrence and husband Michael; three grandchildren, James Lawrence, Zachariah Paul, and Joseph Lawrence; nephew, Adam Quinn and his children, Oona and Indus Quinn; and her beloved dog, Sandy.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to be sent to Metropolitan Ministries or Save the Children. A celebration of life will be scheduled in the future.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Maria T Paul

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Lou & RoseAnne Bowers

July 3, 2020

Jim, You have been and continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. We are saddened by the loss of Maria. She was a truly lovely person; May she rest in peace. Both Maria and You have been wonderful neighbors for many years. We will miss her. Her obituary was a beautiful tribute to her. May you find comfort in remembering the many happy times you shared together. May God Bless You, and May Peace Be With You.
Love & Friendship,
Lou & RoseAnne

Patty McHatton

July 3, 2020

Dearest Jim,
I am so saddened by the loss of Maria. I will always remember the way you looked at her whenever she entered a room. The love you both shared was apparent and warmed my heart. You complemented each other beautifully. She will be missed. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Bill & Ivonne Blank

July 2, 2020

Jim & Family

We were so saddened to learn of Maria's passing; we know losing her leaves a huge vacuum in your lives. We have great memories of her energy, positive outlook and love for being around others. Maria had a great energy that anyone near her could feel. She was one of the most capable, team oriented people I've ever worked with and she made a difference in the lives of so many women and their families. The world is just a little bit better for having Maria in it. Our sincerest condolences. Bill and Ivonne Blank

Hannah Ayettey Anie

July 1, 2020

My dear Maria,
Little did I know when we first met in front of the kitchen at the Temple Terrace presbyterian church, in readiness to join the fellowship committee, that you, together with Jim were going to play a significant role in my life, one I will never forget! You joyfully and lovingly welcomed me into your home at a critical time during my last two months as a visiting scholar at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. Immediately by Gods divine and amazing grace a beautiful bond and family had been established!
Maria, you were such a lovely, adorable woman with a beautiful spirit! We enjoyed every bit of the time we spent together. Together with Jim, you made me feel and enjoy the warmth of your home! Sandy your cherished dog added to the wonderful love we shared, topping it all up beautifully! What lovely bible study sessions we had, movie time, Americas got talent shows and musical sessions with Jim, even Sandy enjoyed!
My return to Ghana did not in anyway forestall this deep friendship. We continued to stay in touch.
My dear Maria, I will forever cherish our friendship and love deeply. The last few weeks were exceptionally special for us though very painful! I miss you very much. You have left a deep void in my heart, which is evident to all family and friends here in Ghana. I love you dearly. You will always have a special place in my heart!
"Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure"
May the Lord protect and comfort your dear and loving husband Jim, your children, nephew and grandchildren.
I pray that the Lord keeps you safely in His bosom till we meet again. Rest in peace my dear!!!
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain, Philippians 1:21
Your dear friend and sister Hannah.

Annette Renny

July 1, 2020

Wonderful woman full of life she and Jim were my clients and we remained friends. She will be missed. Annette


July 1, 2020

Dear Dr. Paul,

Maria was a quite and gentle soul! It was a pleasure to be in her midst either in church or in social gatherings. She reminded me so much of her mother. She will be sorely missed.

Deirdre Cobb-Roberts

July 1, 2020

Dear Jim and Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Maria was a beautiful person both inside and out.

Brenda L. Walker

July 1, 2020

Jim, I am so saddened by the loss of Maria. I will always remember her beautiful smile, gracefulness, and class. Be comforted by your precious memories and know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. She is resting in perfect peace.

Zorka Karanxha

July 1, 2020

Dear Jim and family:
I am so sorry for your loss! Maria was a beautiful person and always kind!

Dana Zeidler

July 1, 2020

Maria was a kind and gentle soul. When she worked for the (then) Department of Secondary Education, she solved problems and dealt with an array of personalities in a caring and disciplined manner. One could not help to smile every time you walked into her office, and left with a bigger grin on your face. So sorry for your loss but know that her memory lives on in her words and deeds.