Obituary of Paula Davis Mayer
Paula “Nonnie” Davis Mayer passed away suddenly of a non-Covid related ailment on December 17, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia at the age of 81. Paula is survived by her four children: Pam (husband Curtis Eaton), John, Lisa, and Stacy (husband William Carter), as well as her 5 grandchildren: Emily, Christopher, Logan, Madeline, and Henry, brother Steve, and sisters Penny and Jane. She was preceded in death by her parents Paul and Mary, and her husband Dr. John Henry Mayer III. Her children remember her as a loving and generous mother who encouraged them to not slam the screen doors while their father was home.
Paula was born on January 16, 1939 in Liberal Kansas. She graduated from Southwest High School in 1956, and attended William Woods College and the University of Kansas. Eventually, the family moved to North Palm Beach, Florida where Paula worked as a medical transcriber, veterinary office assistant, and sailed with the Royal Turkey Yacht Club on the weekends that she was not at a swim meet cheering her kids on. Paula had an extraordinary talent for creating stained glass and started her own online boutique, and a studio in Ellicott City, Maryland which sold and showcased her many glass designs. While she made everything from hair barrettes to large window panels, her favorite pieces were custom designs made for her beloved family members and friends. Earlier interests included candle making, stretch & sew, needlepoint, smocking, French cooking, dog showing, Mexican tile, and oenology, with a particular nose for boxed varietals.
Diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in March of 2017, she made the decision to become a patient mentor in July of the same year. Putting her diagnosis into perspective, she once said “Well, I maintain my sense of humor and positive attitude, and I work with my doctors to do everything I can to slow the progression of this disease. I also have a creative outlet: making stained glass. I love the process of grinding, sanding, foiling, and soldering. I must pick the glass, so the colors go together. Sometimes a piece does not fit where I want it to go and I must pop it out, grind it down a bit, and make it work. In many ways, my life has been that way, too. I pick the colors, the texture of the glass, the transparency or opacity, and how it all combines to create the final masterpiece. There are times when I have had to adjust and adapt to make areas of my life fit together. Often, I cannot see the beauty of the pattern right away. Stained glass really does not come to life until the light shines through it. It takes that perspective to appreciate it. Being diagnosed with IPF was like being handed an oddly shaped piece of glass that really did not fit into my life. But rather than ignoring it or dwelling on the severity of my diagnosis, I’ve taken action to do whatever I can to smooth it’s sharp edges and find a place for it within my life’s mosaic.”
Paula was a deeply loved member of Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown, Washington DC. A service to celebrate Nonnie’s life will be scheduled in the post virus future, details to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/PFFTribute/PaulaMayer and the Humane Society at chesapeakehumane.org. The family would like to thank Virginia Hospital Center Physician’s Group, Privia Medical Group, and the Nirschl Orthopedic Center for their care and dedication.
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