Paula Joan Grahs, 64, of Cedar Rapids, died Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Services will
be private for the family with burial at St. Joseph Cemetery, Cedar Rapids. Arrangements are with Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids.
Survivors include her siblings, Jerry (Amy) Grahs of North Liberty and Cheryl (Dan) Lown of North English; brother-in-law, Bruce Lacy of Cedar Rapids; nieces and nephews, Tyler (Sarah) Lown, Korie (Matt) Mangiaracina, Aaron Lacy, Ethan Lacy, Sarah Lacy, Jacob (Hannah) Lacy, Meghan Grahs, William Grahs, and Mae Grahs; great-nephew, Cade; and great-niece, Norah.
Paula was born July 27, 1956, in Alexandria, Va., the daughter of Vincent Jerome and Joan Parsons (Greenleaf) Grahs. She graduated from Dubuque Senior High School in 1974, Finley Nursing School in 1977, and the University of Dubuque with her BSN in 1985. Paula was a nurse at Finley Hospital from 1977 to 1988, followed by stops in Decorah and Iowa City. Most of her career was at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Hospital as an operating room nurse before retiring from the purchasing department in 2018.
Paula served in the U.S. Naval Reserve for more than 20 years, retiring in 2008 as lieutenant commander. She received the LCDR Beatrice M. Ratner Award for Outstanding Junior Naval Reserve Nurse Corps Officer of the Year in 1997.
She will be remembered for her gifts with fiber arts. Paula called herself a "process knitter," and won many state fair ribbons for her beautiful pieces. She always had her knitting bag by her side and enjoyed spinning her own yarn and dyeing wool. Paula also loved animals and will be missed her dog, Sassy; and cats, Bear and Daisy. She loved spending time with her family, especially her nieces and nephews. They will remember many hikes and trips to national parks around the country.
Paula was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Christine Lacy.
Memorials may be directed to Last Hope Animal Rescue or SAINT Rescue & Adoption Center.
Please share your support and memories with Paula's family on her tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.