Paula Sterling was born January 17, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY. She spent her early years with her grandmother, Marie Jackson Barbados, West Indies. While still in her youth, she returned to Brooklyn ,to be with her mother, Willa Mae McFadden. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the Cooper Park Houses was home. There she developed many lasting friendships, including one with her best, Ms. Ophelia Simmons. She remained in her life until her untimely demise in 2013, and will rest near her, in Pinelawn Memorial Park. Paula attended Grover Cleveland High School in Brooklyn. She was one of the first five students of color to integrate the school. She would often tell the story of how she was transferred out of a history class because she was "too advanced"; she bravely corrected a teacher during a lecture, when he made inaccurate and racist statements about Africa and and Black people. Always a straight talker and never afraid to speak her mind, Paula was always proud of her culture. In life she celebrated and embraced African American, Caribbean , and African traditions. She was a rebel in the best way possible.
Paula loved food and loved to cook. She could make a tasty pot of lima beans and cornbread, and great ackee and saltfish with fried dumplings. She loved having her grandchildren around her and they reminisce of many breakfasts, with pancakes being their favorite thing. One of her treasured pleasures was going to lunch at restaurants with family and friends.
Paul was married at 19 to her dear husband and soul mate, Wesley Sterling, until his passing in 2010. She has resided for over 45 years at 859 Montgomery Street. She worked for the Department of Education as a school aide for 26 years.
Paula enjoyed family, fun, food, sharing and caring. She enjoyed wearing the loveliest of African clothes, each ensemble more beautiful than the next. She loved going to church and seeking the most high. She had Bibles all over her home, but there was always one big one that she'd keep high up on a dresser and out of the way. It was part important text, and part storage. She would say "It's in the Bible, go up there and get it." If it was something important to her or something worth saving you might find it in there. It had a little of everything between it's thin crinkly pages.
Some of Paula's favorite phrases were "If you love the cake, you love the icing" and "always remember when the praises go up, the blessings come down."
Paula was preceded in death by her loving husband, Wesley Sterling; her mother, Willa Mae McFadden and her sister, Kavis Hinds.
Paula leaves to cherish her memories, her children, Kimbley, Wesley, Jr., Emmanuel and Nicole; her beloved grandchildren, Zakiya, Tarif, Anthoney, Xavier, Emmanuel, III, Leah, Kavis Imani, Enoch, Nadja, Cinique, Maurine and Jah-Quan; her loving godchildren, Richard Ellerbee, Maya Denise Simmons; her Jubilant Church family who loving referred to her as "Mother Sterling", her Sh'ma Yisreal Temple famiy, and a host of family and friends.
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