Paula Anne McDonald



Memorial Contributions

The Lustgarten Foundation

Pancreatic Cancer Research

415 Crossways Park Dr. Suite D

Woodbury, NY 11797


Paula Wietke McDonald, age 70 of Belmont, passed away unexpectedly Monday, April 26, 2021 after a brief and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ted and Kay Wietke; brother, Chris Wietke; and father-in-law, Bob McDonald. Paula is survived by her husband of 39 years, Jeff; sons, Sean and Kevin; brother, Tee Wietke; sister, Kim (Paul) Galdes; mother-in-law, Pat McDonald; sisters-in-law, Laura (Dale) Elliott, Kathy (Dan) Vollink, Shelly (Larry) Smoes; brother-in-law, Mike McDonald; nieces and nephews, Emily (Sara) Dailey, Maggie (Scott) Barker, Erica (Michael) Gianta, Claire Goldes, Autumn Dailey, Chris Vollink, Corey Vollink, Christopher (Megan) Galdes, and Ryan (Aubrie) Smoes. Paula was born Dec. 2, 1950 in Owosso, MI. She grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from FHHS in 1969. Paula then attended Northern Michigan University where she acquired a bachelor’s degree in 1973. She then received a M.A. in education from MSU in 1980. Paula taught elementary education grades K-4 for 30 years. She retired in 2005 but returned at the request of the principal to mentor Chinese Immersion teachers. She also worked as Title I reading aide until her 2nd retirement in June of 2020. Paula enjoyed travel, reading, and gathering with friends and family. Visitation will be Friday, April 30, 2021 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Funeral service will be 11:00 AM Saturday, May 1, 2021 at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, 1025 3 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505 with visitation one hour prior. Father Molly Bosscher officiating. Masks and social distancing will be required at both locations. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research, 415 Crossways Park Dr. Suite D, Woodbury, NY 11797 or

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11 Responses

  1. Love you, Aunt Paula. Nothing will replace that heartwarming smile. -Squirt

  2. Jeff and family,
    I am so sorry to hear about Paula. Our hearts hurt for you. Please know that we’re thinking of you and sending prayers during this difficult time.
    Sue Harrison
    CSHS colleague

  3. Praying for peace and comfort for JJeff ,Sean,and Kevin.. Paula was a beautiful and loving woman,,she will be missed by many it is my privilege and honor to have called her family. RIP BEAUTIFUL PAILA.

  4. Paula was my teacher as a child and dear friend as an adult. I will miss her more than I can express. She was such an amazing person who touched so many with her loving and comforting way. All my love to her family during this very difficult time.

  5. Prayers to your family. Paula taught my youngest daughter , she was always so kind and sweet. We started a project together at MeadowBrook knitting hats and donating them. We got to be friends as well as co-workers and I loved her kindness and warm heart. She will be missed so much

  6. Sean, Jeff and Kevin,
    Paula was an amazing woman. She was so understanding, forgiving and caring. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to meet her and I will miss her dearly.

  7. Paula was a long time friend of mine. We met at Burton Junior High School. Before we started high school, her family moved to Forest Hills High School. In my junior year, I moved to the same school. At lunch I was sitting alone at the end of a long table, and who was sitting in a group at the other end – my friend Paula. She took me in and once again we continued our friendship. It lasted for years thereafter. She was a wonderful giving person. I was happy to call her my friend. Rest In Peace Paula.

  8. i’m so sorry for your loss. May the God of all Comfort be with you and your family as you grieve after the unexpected death of your wife.

    Wanda Long
    CSHS colleague

  9. I was so very sad and sorry to hear of Paula’s passing. She was a great person and a dear friend. I will miss her loving spirit and her beautiful sweet soul. I will cherish my great memories of our time together. You have my deepest heartfelt sympathy.

  10. Paula, I will miss you. You became a great friend to me. You were such a wonderful mom to my grandson Sean. I could not have picked better parents. You were kind, a gentle spirit, a heart full of love, and fun!’ Your holiday dinners were amazing and your food…..fantastic! And you always had a gift for everyone. Thanks for forgiving me for backing into your basketball hoop. You were a forgiving soul. I will miss you. Sean and Kevin and Jeff will miss you. I promise to look in on them from time to time. I know heaven is a better place not that you are there. I will always love you

  11. Paula was one of my first friends when I moved to the Forest Hills area our senior year. We had so much fun riding to school together in my VW and pulled some shenanigans during that time. I also enjoyed spending time at her home with her beautiful welcoming parents. I was so hoping we would be together soon for our luncheons. I will miss that smile and joy Paula also shared. Prayers for comfort for your family.

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