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What they say about Paula | HOMETOWN HERO

Jim and Paula Pugh, the South Whidbey Record
Jim and Paula Pugh, the South Whidbey Record's Hometown Hero, enjoy the sweeping view of Saratoga Passage from their living room. They have lived just outside Langley city limits for more than 20 years.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Read what other people, friends, family and co-workers say about this month's Hometown Hero, Paula Pugh.

What they say about Paula:

“Paula is one of those people who always goes that extra bit. She often will bake something special, or add a little touch to the house when we play music. Yes, we’re still playing together … guess it’s been around 40 years. She does this even on days when she is tired or very busy. She seems to take it in stride; perhaps it’s very good organizational skills, or a knack for caring for others, or both!”

– Linda Morris, Island Strings co-founder

“Paula was the first person to invite my husband and me to dinner when we had just moved to the island in 1973. During the 40 years since then, she and Jim have welcomed more island newcomers into their home than one can count! She’s a wonderful hostess who makes dinner parties appear effortless and welcomes all with open arms from children to dignitaries. Paula is a people magnet with multiple talents, one of which is teaching. Hundreds of islanders have benefited from her exuberant, positive, embracing teaching style whether the subject is violin playing, Lamaze childbirth, women’s wellness or love and acceptance. Another one of her talents is her brainstorming ability, thus the nickname: ‘Idea queen.’ Have a problem? She can probably solve it!”

– Kathy Fox, piano instructor, B&B owner

“Paula and Jim Pugh have been our neighbors for about 40 years now. When she and Linda Good and Linda Morris founded Island Strings there was no room for them to have students at the school, so Jim made a portable, cute, little cottage classroom. As their little girls and my little girl and boy grew up together, my daughter Heather said to them, ‘One day you will play your violins for my wedding.’ And sure enough, when Heather was married to Willy in our back yard, Paula and her two girls played beautiful string music for the wedding, accompanied by our chickens. Loudon and I feel very blessed that we have Paula and Jim for our friends and neighbors.”

– Diane and Loudon Fraser, neighbors

“You may remember the lyrics of the ’70s folksong, ‘It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and then, all those around are warmed up by its glowing.’ That describes Paula Pugh — she is the spark, and the warmth created is that of community. Her affable, affirming way of encouraging folks plan together for their mutual goals takes the drab out of organizing. Paula’s complementary skills of teaching, organizing and community building have enriched the lives of our family and of the entire community.”

– Donna Humphreys, volunteer

“Paula is an amazing woman, multi-talented, always doing and learning new things, continually challenges herself, is a loving, deeply caring and supportive friend to many people, a wonderful hostess, truly hospitable in so many ways. She is an author, teacher, small group leader, singer, violinist, horsewoman, sailor (with her ever supportive partner, Jim) and very active within the Langley UMC. I believe Paula is a true Renaissance woman!”

– BJ Elliot, volunteer

“Paula is an inspiration to all who have the good fortune to come into her presence. She impacts sage wisdom with compassion and humor. She is an enlightened soul who sees the goodness in everything and everyone she encounters. I consider myself exceptionally lucky to have Paula as a mentor, teacher, and friend.

– Jeanette Eveland, community giver

“Mom delivers ‘Sparkles’ and is whimsical, you can find her dancing around the room with her grandchildren. She lives with chronic pain, yet she is unconditionally, unreasonably, positive and cheerful. She sees a gap or need and jumps into action without hesitation. She gave her all to being our mother, giving us every opportunity. They embody the true Christian values of unconditional acceptance.”

– Katie Pugh, 37, daughter

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