Obituary: Paula DeMichele, 1949-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Paula DeMichele, 1949-2022

Passionate advocate for affordable housing loved music, gardening, reading, writing and cats


Published June 10, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated June 10, 2022 at 1:34 p.m.

Paula DeMichele - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Paula DeMichele
Paula DeMichele, age 73, passed away on June 2, 2022.

Born in the midwest, Paula was proud of her Finnish and Italian heritage.

She studied English and theology, earning multiple degrees. Her employers included Habitat for Humanity, the Catholic Church and the Visiting Nurses Association. She lived in Texas, Md., and Washington D.C., before moving to Vermont in 2006.

While a resident of Essex, she attended meetings and was remembered by a recent selectboard member as “a fierce and passionate advocate for affordable housing.”

After moving to South Burlington in 2019, Paula contributed to meetings of its Affordable Housing Committee. Members recall:

“Paula had some challenging firsthand experiences with housing affordability. She was out there supporting herself emotionally and financially, but rather than be passive and resign herself to her fate, she stood up to advocate for herself and others who faced similar challenges.”

“She was a valuable addition to the committee as the first consumer of affordable housing among us who brought a very different perspective.”

“Paula worked hard at understanding the complexities of why our system is so broken, and she was always warm and kind. She was giving of her time and talent. We will miss her and appreciate her for her kindness and dedication to affordable housing to help others and to make our community more humane.”

She loved music, especially singing in choirs, and had an extensive music collection.

Paula was an avid gardener, reader, book collector and writer of poetry, short stories, plays and letters to the editor. She also loved cats.

Paula was a critical thinker with a strong faith in God. Her pastor at a local Methodist Church said, “She brought so much to our small groups and Bible studies.”

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