A beloved and effervescent spirit of the Wood River community has made the transition to the next dimension as the game of life continues on. As she was slipping away, her face was creased only by a faint smile as her eyebrows were arched in a childlike expression of delight of a new discovery.
Paula Doreen Starr (Barovetto) was born May 7, 1948, in Santa Monica, Calif., to Paul David and Mary Healey Starr and spent her formative years with her three sisters, Mary, Jean and Joan in Catholic schools, Pacific Ocean beaches and Disneyland. She married early and had a son, Tony, who was the light of her life. In 1968 she was invited by her friends to join them in the Sun Valley area and quickly learned to love the mountain environment and the small community of people who lived here.
Paula carried a piece of happiness with her at all times and delighted strangers from the moment they met her. Her great sense of humor and constant laughter would bring joy to whomever she was with. With this wonderful personality she was early employed at the Camp Robber restaurant, the Pioneer Saloon, the Duchin Room and Michel's Christiania restaurant. She met and delighted David Barovetto in 1970; they married and had three wonderful children, Sean, Krystal and Darian. Her greatest years were spent raising her family as a wonderful mother and loving wife.
As her children moved on she found a new family to join, working at the Senior Center in Hailey transporting and communicating with the elder citizens of the Wood River Valley, listening to the stories of life as it existed in the early days. She brought this knowledge to her next position, joining Dr. Spa at the Community Library in Ketchum working in the Regional History Department, categorizing photos and creating the display space.
She returned to the beach and rediscovered the ocean and spent wonderful days in Baja California bringing delight to a whole new culture of friends until she returned to the Wood River Valley to fight the sickness that ultimately resulted in her passing away in the early morning hours of May 27. Her last hours were serene and comfortable surrounded by her loving family and friends.
A memorial service will be held at Saint Thomas Episcopal Church on Saturday, June 6, at 2 p.m. with a celebration of her life to follow at the Bigwood Grille overlooking the Bigwood golf course with a no-host bar and potluck side dishes.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Wood River Valley Hospice would be appreciated.