Joanne Carol Paul

Joanne Carol Paul died at home in Newport News on July 4, 2023, after a period of illness.

Joanne was born on September 28, 1944, in North Tonawanda, New York, to Rosalia Namynanik Dicky and Michael Dicky. After her father was killed near Caen, France fighting in World War II, Joanne was raised by her mother and two grandmothers. After her mother remarried, four brothers and sisters came along. The two youngest, Donna and Mark, Joanne raised and called her own children.

Joanne attended Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. On the weekend after President Kennedy was killed, she and Jay Paul fell quickly and deeply in love. They married after graduation, and throughout all their years together, they celebrated anniversaries of that first date, their pinning, their engagement, and their marriage. They moved to Michigan, where Joanne taught Language Arts and Earth Science in Grand Ledge, and then to DeKalb, Illinois, where she gave birth to their daughter Catherine. The family then moved to Newport News in 1978, where Donna joined them for a year, and where Jay still resides.

Joanne spent many years focused on raising Catherine and devising engaging craft projects for her and her friends. Joanne’s proudest projects were the mind games that sent a gang of rambunctious birthday party girls to sleep early. Joanne earned a Master’s degree in Reading from Old Dominion University and stayed on as an academic advisor and Director of Preview, the summer orientation program. When Joanne grew tired of commuting, she became an academic advisor at Christopher Newport University. Her love for students was unsurpassed, and her advice set more than one person on the path to graduation and success.

Throughout her life, she was passionate for cooking food from numerous cultures and for making clothes and gifts for loved ones. She and Jay traveled widely, including to Maine, California, Texas, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Italy, and Nova Scotia. Catherine and her husband, Sean, joined some of these adventures. For many years, Jay and Joanne regularly visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina, sometimes with Catherine and Sean, where they combed beaches, watched birds, and ate many bowls of Hatteras Clam Chowder.

In her later years, Joanne found delight in her great-nephews and great-nieces, whose cheeks she caressed with a delicate and loving touch.

Joanne is survived by her husband Jay Snyder Paul; her daughter and son-in-law, Catherine Paul and Sean Scuras; her sister and brother-in-law Donna and Hugh Brownlee; her brother and sister- in-law, Mark and Carolyn Hasfurter; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Charles and Carolyn Paul; her nephews and nieces, Eric Brownlee (wife Maddi Zingraff, children Ivan and Annabeth), Andrew Brownlee (wife Katie Dixon Brownlee, son Hugh Thomas), Gretchen Hasfurter Knab (husband Aaron Knab, sons Ethan and Cameron), Ingrid Hasfurter, Colter Hasfurter, Rebecca Paul Sela (husband Amitai Sela, son Jonah), and Karen Paul Giblin (husband David Giblin, daughters Lindsay and Eliza).

The family is grateful for the care of aides and nurses from Bon Secours Hospice and Bayada Home Health, including Brittany, Fatima, Erica, Bea, Denise, Hope, Kim, Margie, Sister Elizabeth, Mia, Matilda, Helena, Melissa, and Darin.

A visitation will be held at Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, on Saturday, July 8, 2023, from              10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Instead of flowers, the family requests donations in Joanne’s memory to the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program at the North Carolina Aquarium. Donations made by check may be noted as “in memory of Joanne Paul” and sent to Jim Mulvey, Director of Development, NC Aquarium Society, 3125 Poplarwood Court, Suite 160, Raleigh, NC 27604. Donations may also be made online at this link: https://ncaquariumsociety.com/donate/ Donors may type “In Memory of Joanne Paul” in the “Other Types of Donations” box in the middle of the page.



  1. Paula Domine

    Memories eroding. Pages in a tatered book now brittle and frayed.
    I only knew Joanne when the story was fresh and new. I see her attending small gatherings… college friends gathered and content with where, and with whom life had found them.
    This is where I’ve held Joanne for 60 years and this is where she will now continue to live for me.

    • Jay paul

      Paula, the years we shared were rich and vibrant, in large part due to your magical presence. I will never forget watching Bobby Kennedy’s funeral train at your place. Michigan opened new worlds to us, and you were one of the queens.

  2. Esta Jarrett

    This is beautiful and rich, like Mrs. Paul. She was and will continue to be deeply loved. Wishing you all the grounding and lasting joy of stories. Love you all.

  3. Pat and Dick Dittman

    She was such a wonder!, a remarkable and inventive cook, so much fun to be with and a dear, dear friend.

    • Linda Parsons

      Dear Jay, Lanny and I send our sincere sympathy for your loss. So wonderful that you shared so many loving years together.. Blessings to you and your family. Love, Linda and Lanny Parsons

  4. Lois Winter

    Such sad news. I have wonderful memories of the 70’s when all the new faculty members got together. I hope to send some healing remembering the young CNU. It doesn’t seem that long ago. Condolences.

  5. Patty Tiffany

    I remember how she treasured your gifts on special occasions, and as I recall, your love poems to her. I am so sorry for your loss but happy that you had many wonderful years together…

  6. Jerry and Carol Safko

    Our sincere condolences to you, Catherine and Sean. I will remember Joann’s bright smile and contagious laugh. She was a wonderful colleague and friend.

  7. Cindy Kreicar

    I could tell how much you loved her in every post. I send positive energy your way to help you cherish the memories and to ease the pain. Love to you and your loved ones.

  8. Linda Johnson

    Jay and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Joanne was one of the brightest stars during my time and CNU. Her kindness and generosity made our jobs so much better!

    • Martin Buoncristiani

      I am sad to hear of Joanne’s death. I remember many happy times across a dinner table and especially her love for language. Jay, Catherine and Donna, my deepest condolences.

  9. Jean Filetti

    I will be forever grateful to you and Joanne for welcoming me to the English Department and CNU community. My prayers are with you and your family.

  10. Drue Wallach

    So very sorry for your loss. A good marriage is a blessing sent from God. May all your wonderful and endearing memories give you comfort and sustain you.

  11. Judy Mercier

    I was greatly saddened to read about Joanne’s passing. I so fondly remember the parties you and she hosted, with Joann’s wonderful hospitality and incredible culinary skills. Peter and I send our sincerest condolences to you, Catherine, and your family. Rest in peace, Joanne.

  12. Dr. Anthony R. Santoro

    Jay, my daughter, Melissa, joins me in sending you our deep sorrow at learning of dear Joanne’s death. She and you were among the very first people to welcome Carol, Missy, and I to Christopher Newport. Know that we are keeping you and your family in both our thoughts and prayers. Tony Santoro

  13. Joe Healey

    Jay — I just heard of Joanne’s passing. Condolences to you and Catherine and Sean — you all were such a special part of my experience at CNU. She was a special lady.

  14. T. Sweet

    Heartfelt sympathy, Jay and family. One of my favorite memories is sharing the table at CNU’s 50th Gala Celebration. Joanne had me chuckling all night. What a lively evening of ship themed puns. A good night to remember at this time of your bereavement.

  15. Charles Wilson

    Jay, I am sorry to hear of Joanne’s passing. The two of you welcomed me with open arms when I arrived at, then, CNC in 1988. I remember your warm hospitality, both on campus and in your home. My thoughts are with you

  16. Margaret Currywilliams

    I just learned of Joanne’s passing! I worked with her at Old Dominion. She was one of my favorite colleagues. Her dry wit was always welcome in those days when we worked hard for students.

    Praying for your family! May you have peace and comfort! 🙏🏽😍

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