Obituary: Bliss, Paulette E.
BLISS, Paulette E. A loving, devoted wife, mother, nana, sister, auntie and friend, was escorted to heaven by the angels on October 17, 2013. Born to Paul and Marjorie Lucas on December 17, 1948 in Orfino, Idaho, Paulette was especially close to her Grandma and Grandpa Lucas. She loved a farm life and the ‘old way’ of doing things, and she would later share stories with her grandchildren of learning how to churn butter. Exemplifying leadership at an early age, at just 19 years old Paulette was chosen as a candidate representative for the legislature in 1967, and she graduated Valedictorian from Pierce High School the same year. Paulette then attended Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington. She met the Lamb family during this time and considered them a “second family” in every way. They encouraged Paulette to pursue higher education and to dream all things are possible. After college she worked as the Financial Officer for Longview Travel, where her love of travel and adventure began. In 1972, Paulette returned to Lewiston, Idaho and took a position at Betty’s World Travel. After learning the ropes of the travel business, she eventually launched her own travel agency, Easy Travel. She excelled in serving commercial clients, including the Potlatch Corporation. In 1973, she would meet the love of her life, R. David Bliss. As the story goes, she was looking to insure her 1965 Volkswagen Bug. David, an insurance agent with Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, sold her an automobile policy. They enjoyed telling the story of her first call to him inquiring about a windshield wiper claim. They married in 1974 and their love would span four decades. Paulette later sold the travel business to stay at home with her children. However, when she saw a need for childcare for other families, she started Humpty Dumpty Daycare. Her love of family shone through in this venture, as she had her mother working by her side. In 1985, the Bliss family relocated to Twin Lakes, Idaho when David took a District Manager position with Farmers. Stories are told of snow so deep that winter, the Bliss children would dig tunnels the length of the yard and sled off the roof of their home. Paulette focused her energy into her two young sons, truly the joys of her life. She also loved relaxing at the family recreation home in Hope, Idaho - a property surrounded by cotton trees overlooking the water. She relished time there, reading and watching her children play. It was her Heaven on Earth. Somehow she was always able to balance many roles in her loved ones’ lives. She spent considerable time, effort and love assisting her mother during her battle with Alzheimer’s. She became involved in a local support group for Alzheimer’s patients and families. She was also exceptionally devoted to her nieces and nephews. Throughout her life’s journey, Paulette always walked with God. At Calvary Lutheran Church in Post Falls, Idaho she taught vacation bible school and ultimately spearheaded the development of the preschool at the church. In 1989, the Bliss family moved to Spokane, Washington where Paulette joined the District Office of Farmers Insurance to work along side her husband. Paulette and Dave used a team approach to build their business and raise their children. Paulette organized behind the scenes and helped train agents, while Dave managed the sales. Ultimately, their partnership resulted in an award-winning District. The couple was recognized with several honors including Life Championship, President’s Counsel and they were invited to Topper Club for 21 consecutive years. Along with helping Dave with the agency, Paulette continued to be actively involved in her children’s pursuits, assisting them to reach their true potential and cheering them on along the way. She was the mom championing their causes from raising cows to athletic endeavors. From the first game through college days, she spent many seasons watching her sons participate in various sporting activities, especially wrestling. But more than just a spectator, Paulette was instrumental in bringing the Olympic Wrestling Team to Spokane for the Olympic trials. She secured Farmers Insurance as the corporate sponsor of the event and ensured a successful experience for the elite athletes. In 1998, Paulette and Dave made their final move to the Seattle area to be closer to their children. In 2004, Paulette and her sister-in-law Martie (the pair fondly referred to themselves as “bonus sisters”) started a business, Whimsy Works, where they created custom garden benches. They sold over 90 benches around the Northwest and the company was featured in Country Woman magazine in 2004. Paulette’s love of antiques and collectibles continued. This led to Creative Bliss, a store front that was devoted to “re-claim, restore, re-love” forgotten treasures from long ago. With all her many talents and ventures, Paulette’s true passion was always her family and creating a loving, warm home for all who entered. As a pair, Dave and Paulette loved to host a gathering to celebrate any occasion. Many will fondly remember her love for the holidays; her family will treasure the countless traditions she honored and created for them to forever embrace. Family and friends alike will recall large holiday parties in the Bliss home. In 2007, she found her true calling when she became a Nana. The birth of her grandchildren gave her the greatest joy and fulfillment in the remaining years of her life. Her life’s work was devoted to her children and grandchildren and she left them a legacy of love and respect. Paulette and her husband enjoyed many wonderful trips throughout their life together, including simple romantic weekend getaways. She loved fishing for Marlin in Mexico, touring the tulip fields in La Conner, walking the beach at Cannon Beach. She especially loved Italy after enjoying two long trips abroad in 2004 and 2008. A majority of these trips included their children and grandchildren. As most know, Paulette also loved a good debate. She was always current on world events and politics. She loved to read and could discuss any topic with great ease and confidence. She loved to cook, enjoyed fine dining and took pleasure in passing on family recipes to nieces and nephews. She loved to sew and ensured each grandchild had a blanket made especially by Nana. Her family will always remember her love of music and that singing and dancing made her heart smile. She is survived by her husband, R. David Bliss of 39 years, son Matthew Bliss and spouse Heather, son Nicholas Bliss and spouse Lisa. Her beloved grandchildren: Patrick, Natasha, Christopher and Norah. The children she adopted in her heart and considered her own: M. Ryan Zappone and spouse Kristy, M. Shawn Clark and spouse Kristen. Her sister Diane (Larry), brother Sam (Martie) and brother Lanny (Gwen). Her much-loved nieces and nephews that held a special place in her heart, their spouses and children and numerous other family and friends. She is preceded in death by her father, mother, step-father, Roy Beck, and brother, Randy Beck. Her family shares in the thankfulness Paulette had for her team of doctors and their amazing staff, especially Dr. Sibel Blau - for the care, concern and expertise they provided during the end of her journey on earth, and most importantly, they express their sincere gratitude to her ‘bonus sister’ Martie, and her loving niece Holli, for the hours and nights they cared for their beloved Paulette. A Memorial Celebration will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by the Narrows, 6730 North 17th Street, Tacoma, WA, on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. followed by a celebratory reception.