Paula Ann Misley Laughlin of Quakertown, PA died on Monday, January 8th.
She was born March of 1954 to Madeline Halady and Ernest Misley in Yonkers, NY where she spent her early childhood until the age of 6 when her family moved to Yorktown Heights, NY. She loved the family home on Gomer Street nestled within a four acre plot behind Sparkle Lake. Animals were one of her main joys in life and there were always plenty of fauna on the property, both domestic (cats, dogs, and a duck), and wild (deer, foxes, snakes, and more). As a child, she loved riding horses, painting, ice skating, and playing the violin and piano.
She graduated from Lakeland High School in 1972 and then attended Briarcliffe College, graduating with degrees in Biology and Chemistry at the top of her class. Paula then furthered her education at John Jay College of Criminal Justice to obtain a Masters in Forensic Science. In 1979, she moved to Newtown, PA to work for the Bucks County Crime Lab. She met Rich Laughlin in 1981 and they married in 1983, whereby she adopted his son Scott. In order to spend summers with her new son, Paula went on to receive her teaching certificate with a M.Ed. from Temple University and pursued a career in education, teaching high school courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Forensic Science for over 25 years, primarily at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, PA.
On October 6th of 1994, Rich and Paula adopted their 4 1/2 month old daughter Madeline (Jee-Hye) from South Korea, and ever since, that date has been known as “Airplane Day” within the family, eagerly celebrated each year. Upon learning of her daughter’s deafness months later, Paula became a fierce advocate for Jee-Hye by fully embracing the deaf culture and American Sign Language.
For the last 27 years of her life, Paula and the family resided on two separate residences within Haycock Township, PA. The current property allowed for the fulfillment of Paula’s lifelong dream of owning a horse, which came in the form of her beloved Indy. In addition to the love for her many pets over the years, Paula was a voracious reader and lover of books with a particular passion for mysteries, history and archaeology. Other interests included hiking, music, crafts, vacations to Maine and volunteering for the Haycock Historical Society.
Paula was universally liked and loved by everyone she came in repeated contact with. The depth and breadth of her intelligence and insight was immense, and her kindly, genuine, informative, and compassionate nature was well known to all who knew her; never failing to give practical advice on all manners of living. She also exhibited an unending passion in raising her two children. She will be greatly missed by all of her family and friends, all of whom will never forget her, nor stop missing her presence; and no one was kinder to animal life. Quite simply, hers was a life devoted to others.
Paula is survived by her husband Rich, a retired accountant now pursuing his love of bluegrass guitar playing; her son Scott who lives in Brooklyn, NY and works at Guggenheim Partners while also continuing his passion on the drums (which she always inspired him to do); and her daughter Jee-Hye, who studies at RIT in Rochester, NY with a focus on Creative Writing and possibly a degree in Journalism within the School of Individualized Study, as she pursues her dream of becoming a writer.
A memorial service was held at 1 p.m., Saturday, January 13th at the Doylestown Friends Meetinghouse, 95 East Oakland Avenue, Doylestown.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to one of the following foundations admired by Paula: The ASPCA, The National Audubon Society or any local no-kill animal shelters.