Paula Zotalis, 61Paula Marie Zotalis died peacefully in her home on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 26, surrounded by her husband and four children. Paula had been diagnosed with islet cell carcinoma, a rare form of pancreatic cancer, in spring of 2008.
Paula Marie Zotalis died peacefully in her home on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 26, surrounded by her husband and four children. Paula had been diagnosed with islet cell carcinoma, a rare form of pancreatic cancer, in spring of 2008.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour in Faribault, Minn., with The Right Reverend Russell Jacobus, Bishop of Fond du Lac, officiating. Committal will be held at the Maple Lawn Cemetery in Faribault. There will be no visitation prior to the funeral.
Arrangements are being completed by the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory of Faribault.
Paula was born on Dec. 16, 1951, in Vallejo, Calif., to Leigh and Mary Nelson. She was a graduate of Hastings, Minn., High School in 1970. Paula graduated from Mankato State University in 1989 and received a Master of Education degree from St. Thomas University in 1998. Paula taught elementary school students for 23 years. Paula had a true passion for her students and the teaching profession.
Paula is survived by her husband, The Very Reverend James Zotalis of Faribault; father, Leigh Nelson of Welch, Minn., and his wife, Diane; her children, Anna Ahrens (Chuck) of Tacoma, Wash., Peter (Jamie) Zotalis of Welch, Rachel (Josh) Stavnes of Golden, Colo., and Nicola (Jason) Viana of Burnsville, Minn. Paula was the oldest of four children and is survived by her siblings, Jonathan (Kathy) Nelson of Petaluma, Calif., Liz (Juan) Pasch of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Martha (Bill) Burrer of Chandler, Ariz. Paula was a devoted grandmother ("Nana") to her six grandchildren, Tyler, Carter, Camryn, Alexis, Bailey, and Eli. She was also the aunt to several nieces and nephews.
Paula was preceded in death by her mother, Mary.
Paula will be remembered for her love of life, her love for her family, her passion for teaching, and her Christian ministry work with her husband. She traveled the world with her husband and family; highlights of travel included Greece, Jerusalem, Italy, Paris, and Austria. Paula enjoyed skiing with her family, mostly at the family-owned ski area Welch Village. Last fall, Paula joined her father, son, and granddaughter as four generations of the Nelson family took the first run of the 2011/12 season.
Paula loved shopping for and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She also enjoyed nature walks, bike rides, Twins baseball, and attending musicals and concerts. Paula's love for music played an important role in her life and ministry. She played piano, guitar, and sang. "Music is good for the soul," she said. Paula was a member of Book Club, choir and bell choir, the Community Cathedral Cafe, and Monday club.
Paula loved life, and she loved the Lord. She said, "I am a blessed woman. God is good, all the time."
Memorials can be sent to:
The Paula Zotalis Scholarship for 5th Grade Students at Roosevelt Elementary in Faribault, MN. Please make checks payable to: "Paula Zotalis Scholarship at The Cathedral," PO Box 816, Faribault, MN 55021.
For guest book and further information, please visit www.ParkerKohlFuneralHome.com.