Paula Rose Wasko, 60, of Fort Wayne, IN, formerly of Georgetown, passed away at 2:29pm, Sunday, November 8, 2020, at Parkview Regional Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was born on December 14, 1959, in Danville, IL, the daughter of Joseph and Dolores (Hughes) Wasko.
Paula will be dearly missed by her mother, Dolores and her husband, Kent Smith; her sister, Cynthia Sue and her husband, Greg Learnard; her nephews, Morgan Gregory and his wife, Kaylee Learnard, Joel Benjamin and his wife, Hayley Learnard, & Ross Bentley Learnard; her great niece & nephew, Faye Cynthia Learnard & Banks Joseph Learnard. She was preceded in death by her father, Joe; her grandparents; her cousin, Bart Hughes; her great niece, Monroe Grace Learnard.
Being the first grandchild on both sides of her family, Paula was named after both grandmothers, Pauline Hughes and Rosie Wasko. Paula grew up on Mitchell Drive in Georgetown, IL., which was a cul-de-sac full of kids her age and was the focal point of many childhood memories. Paula attended school in Georgetown and graduated from Georgetown High School in 1978. She was a proud member of the some of the very first all-women’s athletic teams at Georgetown High School and played the trumpet in the high school band and often played Taps at local military funerals. After graduating High School, she attended DePauw University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science while being an active member of the women’s basketball team, powder puff football and Delta Gamma Sorority.
Upon graduation from DePauw, Paula returned home to work in the family business with her father who owned a chain of Ben Franklin Stores in Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana. It was here where she discovered her passion of helping people and later left the family business to start her own business of assisting handicapped individuals in the process of remodeling their homes to allow them to live independently.
Paula had a deep love for her family, rarely missing any get together that included family from near and far. Anyone that has been around her knows that she always lit up the room with her infectious smile and personality. She made anyone and everyone feel comfortable and welcome. Paula’s pride and joy were her three nephews and she enthusiastically followed their athletic endeavors throughout their high school and college careers. When Paula was not working or visiting family, she was partaking in her great love for the outdoors. She traveled the country attending Women in the Outdoors events, hunting and shooting trips. Through this love for the outdoors she made friendships that she truly treasured. Paula was never afraid to share a special story about her family or one of her most recent adventures. She lived her life to the fullest.
A Private celebration of Paula’s life will be held Friday, November 13, 2020, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Georgetown, Illinois 200 E. West St. Georgetown, Illinois 61846. A public celebration of life will be held next summer for all who wish to attend with date and time to be determined. She will be laid to rest in Georgetown Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Women’s Care Clinic of Danville in memory of Monroe Grace from Aunt Paula (1509 N Bowman Ave, Danville, IL 61832) or to the Georgetown Historical Society in Paula’s name (PO Box 14, Georgetown, IL 61846). Please join her family in sharing memories, photos, & videos through her Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.
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