Elwire Paul was born June 14th, 1932, region of Bessarabia, Romania, in the town of Liepzig. Her parents were Emanual & Christine Neumann, and she had a younger sister Ella. German colonies in this area were established in 1842 where the villagers were primarily farmers, who were enticed from their native Germany with promise of land ownership, interest free credit, exemption from taxes for 10 years, autonomy, freedom of religion, and exemption from military service. Each family was given 160 acres of known rich soil in the agreement.
She grew up living on the farm land, to where her father worked the fertile soil, and raised Persian Lamb’s along with horses. Preceding the war, one of the Romanian General’s obtained military horses through her father since he was known for quality breeding in the land, and where the General kept one of them for his personal use. Her father was an entrepreneur who started a foundry that was very successful, and enjoyed the fruits of their hard work where they lived very comfortably. The family remained there until the Russians agreed with the Germany in 1939 to divide up the land, and where the Besserabia region would change to Russian control. Elwire, her family, and the whole village picked up and moved back to Germany. They were not allowed to leave with any money, jewelry or valued possessions, only to leave with a suitcase of clothes. Their journey continued from Germany to Poland as they traveled as refugees during the war and invasions. At the end of World WW 2, the family fled back to Germany, and in those years she earned her College Business Degree. She put her skills to work when her family immigrated to the United States, working for a Shell Oil office as an Executive Assistant. Soon after arriving in the U.S., she traveled from Michigan to Canada to visit a girlfriend, and to where she met her future husband George Paul. Detroit, Michigan was their home after getting married in 1958 (divorced in 1997). They came to Santa Barbara in 1963 with their two sons Gerhard & Robert Paul, and eventually in 1965, they settled in Goleta, CA, with their young family.
Her social personality and enthusiasm led her to participate in local Adult Education Classes, to which she enjoyed the many opportunities to coordinate her hands with an artistic eye and creative thinking. She had an appreciation of art, which was pursued as an outlet in many forms. She herself created items such as woven baskets, crochet blankets, floral arrangements, photography, and decorated cakes. At one point she had a large manual foot peddle Weaving Loom where she strung the warp thread and produced her woven wall hangings that she was very proud of. Her artistic expression included written words in poems, and to which we marveled at her beautiful scripted hand writing. Elwire was an accomplished cook and baker, and loved serving up her delicious food to her family. Baked goodies were in abundance, and brought smiles to all of us appreciating her “gourmet” talents. Her grand kids (and big kids) recall the tasty cookies…with her specialty of Apfel Kuchen (Apple Cake) that was a favorite treat.
She loved her four grandchildren who brought much joy to her. “Oma” was always quick to read a book to this crew in their younger years, and she spent a lot of time getting on their ground level and playing with them. Funny moments with these young ones gave Elwire great storytelling details that she recalled in conversations, accented in humor and excitement. She would share to all who would be in earshot, and you always ended up chuckling after hearing her thoughtful observations. Photography was also a passion to capture treasured images of her grandchildren Brandon, Ryan, Joshua, and Renee, and we enjoy those snapshots preserved in time… to this day.
She valued America and was proud to learn English to become an official citizen, and fully appreciated this incredible country to pursue any goal, and where she reaped the rewards of hard work and accomplishment. With arriving for a third time again to another location with only a suitcase in hand starting all over, the perseverance to learn the English language and build from nothing was an example lived out here with arriving in the United States. As an immigrant she felt very fortunate to be living in this country, as opposed to some of her relatives getting caught behind the oppressive “Iron Curtain” in East Germany. Her compassion of this family tragedy led her to send many international care packages all through the years.
Elwire valued continual learning, always eager to educate herself through much reading and participating in a variety of classes. She was fascinated by interesting biographies of people, cultures, and places. Her library of collected books gave her a desire to travel and learn of regional customs. Interest in life stories lead her to be a very inquisitive person, who was also very generous to people surrounding her. We admired her intellect savvy teamed with self discipline for delayed gratification that layed the ground work for fruits of financial success in her marriage union. We honor her influence of teaching financial responsibility with purposed action behind it, pursuing your interests with passion, taking pride in hard work ethic, and having compassion for people in need. She did her best to touch people with her kindness, and we will remember the positive times of love and caring she shared in her lifetime.
Pastor Dan Hodgson of Vineyard Church resided over a beautiful family graveside service where she was placed alongside her parents in Goleta Cemetery. White roses along with one of her favorite reads of inspirational quotes and Bible scriptures were laid to rest with her, as she ended her time here on earth Saturday, January 23rd of this year 2021. Elwire is survived by; son Gerhard Paul and wife Eva of Goleta, son Robert Paul & wife Kim of Goleta, and their 4 adult children Brandon, Ryan, Joshua, and Renee. Also survived by her nieces Faye, Erica and nephew Ricky. Preceded in death was her parents Emanuel & Christine Neumann, and sister Ella Reimer. We want to thank all of her friends and extended family who gave their best of support over the years. May she rest in peace, and have a renewed mind and body, as she is in a better place with her Heavenly Father.