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Paula Christina Stittsworth, 87, of Mason City, passed away on August 6, 2020 surrounded by family.
Due to Covid-19 concerns the family has decided to wait to celebrate Paula’s life until such time as we can safely gather together. Those wishing to send a card of condolence may send them to Jay Stittsworth, 1130 Manor Dr., Mason City, Iowa 50401.
Paula was born on her grandmother’s farm near Klemme, Iowa on November 10, 1932. She grew up attending Ell Township Country School #4 near the family farm. After graduation from Klemme High School in 1949 she worked at Gerardi’s Restaurant in Klemme to earn money for college. Paula completed her two year degree in Elementary Education at what was then called the Iowa State Teacher’s College in 1953 (University of Northern Iowa). Paula taught public school in Greene, Iowa before moving to Forest City, Iowa to become a Kindergarten teacher. She continued her education and earned her BA in Elementary Education and Art in 1964 at the State College of Iowa (UNI). It was while teaching in Forest City that Paula met the love of her life, Wallace (Wally) Stittsworth. They were united in marriage on June 6, 1959 at Peace Reformed Church of Garner. They shared nearly fifty years together until Wally’s death in 2009. Paula and Wally shared their love of the outdoors and their spirit of service with their four children, Jon, Sheri, Lisa, and Jay.
Paula grew up in faith and lived out her calling to serve others through membership at Peace Reformed Church (Garner), First United Methodist Church (Mason City) and during the summer months in fellowship with Walker Community Church in Minnesota. From an early age Paula cultivated a love of sewing, design, and crafting. She shared her talents through many service missions like crafting children’s school bags for the United Methodist Committee on Relief mission and sewing handicrafts for annual church bazaar fundraisers. As long-time supporters of the “County Cousins” mission project Paula and her husband Wally collected and delivered clothing, garden seeds, school supplies, and toys to rural Mississippi for more than three decades. The couple logged more than 3,600 hours of service as volunteers with the Florida State Park Service over a period of eighteen years.
Paula worked for many years as a real estate agent in Mason City. She was a member of the P.E.O. service organization for more than fifty years. Besides work and volunteer service she enjoyed many hobbies. She loved tending her vegetables, plants, and flower gardens. Paula enjoyed fellowship with her weekly card-playing group. Paula was an avid bowler who competed for several years in local women’s bowling leagues. She enjoyed waterskiing, downhill and cross-country skiing, and camping. Paula and Wally shared their love of the outdoors at their cabin on Leech Lake in Minnesota where she delighted in finding blueberry patches. She leaves many to mourn her loss.
Paula is survived by her four children: Jon of Mason City; Sheri (Fernando) Huerta of Dumfries, Virginia; Lisa (Brent) Rothgeb of Edina, Minnesota; and Jay of Mason City; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sister Emily (George) Mikesh of Belmond; brothers Fred Goll and Herman Goll of Klemme; brother-in-law Willis (Arla) Stittsworth; uncle Kermit (Marlene) Sandersfeld and many nieces and nephews. Paula was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Naomi Goll, and by her husband, Wally.
Donations may be made to the causes that meant most to Paula: education and service through faith. Two funds are established in the memory of Paula and Wally: The Stittsworth Scholarship Fund and the Stittsworth Fund. The “Stittsworth Scholarship Fund” will help pay for college expenses for students at First United Methodist Church. Donations may be sent to the “Stittsworth Scholarship Fund” c/o First United Methodist Church, 119 South Georgia Avenue, Mason City, IA 50401. The “Stittsworth Fund” will support church projects at Paula and Wally’s beloved summer church in Walker, Minnesota. Donations may be sent to the “Stittsworth Fund” c/o Walker Community United Church of Christ, P.O. Box 267, Walker, MN 56484.
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