Paula Marie Riemenschneider
Paula Marie Riemenschneider
  • May 5, 1936 - March 4, 2017
  • Mesa, Arizona

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Paula Marie Fletcher Riemenschneider

Mrs. Paula Marie Fletcher Riemenschneider, age 80, passed peacefully into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus on March 4, 2017.

Paula was born to Rev. and Mrs. Paul Fletcher on May 5, 1936, in Houston, Texas. She was married to her high school sweetheart JW (Jake) Riemenschneider on February 12, 1955 and they celebrated 62 wonderful years together.

She deeply loved and was loved by her son, Jeffrey Wayne Riemenschneider and his precious wife, Cindy; her daughter, Julie Jay Riemenschneider and her devoted husband, Christopher John Legg. She was also blessed and loved by four wonderful grandsons: Jacob Wayne Riemenschneider and his darling wife Kelsey, Connor John, Justin Lee and Jordan Wesley Legg.

Being a P.K. (Preachers Kid), Paula moved often with her parents attending different schools. Her last residence with her parents was at Woodsboro, Texas, where her father was Pastor of the First Baptist Church. It was here Paula began her 10th grade of high school and also where she met her future husband, JW. Paula nicknamed JW, Jake, a name that has stuck with him to this day. She played basketball on the varsity team for both Bellville and Woodsboro high schools. Paula loved music and played the tenor saxophone in the high school band and was later named "band sweetheart" her senior year.

After graduating from high school and while Jake was in the Army, they married with her father performing the ceremony. After a year and a half in the Army, stationed outside of Norfork, Va., they returned to Texas and each earned a degree from the University of Corpus Christi. Jake then attended seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Paula worked as personal secretary to Dr. Leon McBeth, Professor of Church History. Paula assisted Dr. McBeth on the research and typing of the manuscript for the history of First Baptist Church, Dallas, as well as several books authored by Dr. McBeth.

It was during their college and seminary years that they started their family. Jeffrey Wayne was born January 30, 1959, during the last year attending University of Corpus Christi and Julie Jay was born February 11, 1968, while they were pastoring Carroll Road Baptist Church. In 1970, Paula and family went to East Africa to serve as missionaries with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Following language study in Kenya, she worked with her husband at the Baptist Hospital in Mbeya, Tanzania. In addition to homeschooling Jeff, she managed to assist as a surgical nurse at the hospital. Paula participated on numerous clinics out in the bush of Africa. She treated the villagers along with the medical team.

After serving three years in Tanzania and a one-year furlough, she returned to Africa, to become the first Baptist missionary to live and begin a work in Kericho, Kenya. In addition to teaching Julie, Paula worked with African women in their church in Kericho; she and Jake also went on many trips into the villages to start new churches. On one occasion after observing a baptismal service in a muddy puddle, she wrote an article that was later published in the Texas Baptist Standard.

After returning to the States, Paula worked as a personal secretary to Mrs. Ann Miller, director of W.M.U. for First Baptist Church, Dallas when Dr. W.A. Criswell was pastor. She worked at FBC Dallas while Jake completed a one-year internship in Clinical Pastoral Education at Baylor University Medical Center. Paula moved to Waco, Texas, when Jake began working as a Staff Chaplain at Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.

Paula worked as a personal secretary to D. Michel Toby, pastor of First Baptist, Woodway, until she learned that Julie was going to Baylor instead of the University of Texas. She then went to work at Baylor University and completed 15 years of service to Baylor. She assisted a number of department heads and served as administrative assistant to Provost - Dr. John Belew. Her last position was administrative assistant to Dr. James Vardaman in International Education.

After retiring from Baylor, she and Jake moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas, to be close to their first-born grandson, Jacob, and his parents. She enjoyed watching him play football and singing in the high school choir.

Following seven years in Arkansas, she and Jake moved to Mesa, Arizona, to be near their daughter and husband, Chris, and her other three wonderful grandsons: Connor, Justin and Jordan. She enjoyed being near the boys and having them over for the night and eating what they called Nonny's roast. Paula loved all sports and especially loved to cheer for her grandsons, the Baylor Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.

She enjoyed living life to the fullest and did so as long as she could. On February 29, 2016, it became necessary for Paula to become a resident at Brookdale Alzheimer and Dementia care home where she lived until she was called home and is now restored to her perfect mind again.

Paula loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing. She liked to travel, go on international cruises, and see God's creation driving in the motor home. She loved the Lord most of all and was a very devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother. She will be greatly missed by her family and those who knew her.

Funeral services will be held on March 11, 2017, at Wilkerson Hatch Bailey funeral home in Waco, Texas, at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you donate to your favorite charity or the Alzheimer Association.

Arrangements under the direction of Mariposa Gardens Memorial Park and Funeral Care, Mesa, AZ.