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Obituary (WA): Mrs. Paula (Ernest C. Luders '58)

Posted on 09/30/2018

Paula Marie Anderson Luders passed away unexpectedly on Monday, August 20, 2018, five days before her 82nd birthday. She was born in Chicago on August 25, 1936 to Donald Richard Anderson and Clare Emily Frances Roider Anderson.

Paula was the middle child of three sisters, between her older sister Nancy and her younger sister Susan. When she was five years old, the family moved to Seattle, where she grew up. Her father passed away when she was just 16. Because her mother had to go to work to support the family, she took over the care of her younger sister Susan. She graduated from Highline High School in Burien in 1955.

That same year she met her future husband- a Navy midshipman named Ernest Luders- at the Seafair Torchlight Parade, an annual Seattle tradition. In 1957, she took a job as a receptionist at the State Department in Washington D.C. to be near him. They wed on June 21, 1958, soon after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. She immediately took on the responsibilities of a Navy wife, moving every three years when he received new orders and enduring many months without her husband while he was deployed. Over the next seven years, she gave birth to four sons: Mark, Matthew, John, and Joseph.

In the 1970s, with her sons becoming more independent, she embarked on a new career as a real estate agent. With her warm smile and engaging personality, she won the trust of her clients and quickly became a successful businesswoman. In the greater Seattle area, Paula was a top seller at Century 21 and later with Windermere Real Estate.

She became a grandmother for the first time in 1989 with the birth of her son John's first child, Alyssa, and again in 1992 with the birth of his second child, John Michael. These would be followed by Joseph's daughters Ivy and Rose in 2006 and 2011. She became a great-grandmother in 2010 with the birth of Alyssa's daughter Raina and again in 2016 with her second daughter Francesca.

Paula was kind, thoughtful, generous, protective, and emotionally expressive. She gave freely to dozens of charities, was fiercely protective of her children, and had an exuberance for life. She cherished those she loved and any object that reminded her of them or time spent with them. She was an inveterate collector-of rocks, seashells, pinecones, dolls, frogs, duck decoys, and teddy bears, to name a few.

Paula is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ernest C. Luders (Cmdr., United States Navy ret.); sons Mark, Matthew, John, and Joseph Luders; daughters-in-law Lori Luders, Michiko Luders, and Johanna Warshaw; granddaughters Alyssa Ross, Ivy Luders, and Rose Luders; great-granddaughters Raina Ross and Francesca Ross; sisters Nancy Wires and Susan Gill; brother-in-law Jack Wires, and nieces and nephews Bonny Enoka, Sandra Wires, Carolyn Ruckstuhl, Jennifer Hauswurz, Lance Wires, Brendan Wires, Mary Janda, Richard Gill, and Megan De Lay.

A memorial service for Paula was held at Evergreen-Washelli Funeral Home in Seattle on August 26, 2018. She was laid to rest in Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle, overlooking Lake Washington.

If you would like to make a donation in her name to one of her many charities, three of her favorites were The Nature Conservancy, Native American Children's Fund, and Catholic Relief Services.

Published in The Seattle Times on Sept. 30, 2018