Paula Dailey Jones entered into the presence of Christ on January 6, 2022. Paula was born 61 years ago on September 17, 1960, in Decatur, Georgia to Walter and Audrey Dailey. She was an unexpected blessing, arriving 9-10 years after her wonderful sisters, Donna and Vicki. As a child, she loved playing piano, visiting Donna and Vicki and their families, and taking care of her cat, Dum-Dum (named by Pop). In high school, Paula joined the Drill Team. It was during this time of life that her faith deepened, and she became an “on-fire believer.”
In 11th grade Paula was volunteering at the Vacation Bible School at Donna’s church in Florida when she met her future husband, Bill, who was also volunteering at VBS. This interaction started an initial friendship that developed into a lifelong love. They decided to continue their relationship long-distance while Paula went back to school in Georgia. Bill was completely smitten- he willingly spent a freezing night sleeping in a van to visit Paula in Georgia since Pop wouldn’t let him sleep in the house. Upon graduating high school, Paula moved to Florida where she and Bill could go to the same community college.
Paula and Bill married on December 29, 1979. Their marriage of 42 years was a true treasure. Their humility and servitude toward each other was a shining light for those around them. Each person’s strengths perfectly complemented the other person- God could not have given each other a better companion. Their constant laughter and encouragement to each other delivered them through several hardships of life. Paula and Bill were best friends above all else.
They then transferred to the University of Florida where Paula completed her BS in Nursing. She was the first person in her family to go to college. She worked as a nurse in several settings, including DHEC home nursing, family practice, cardiology, pediatrics, and OB/GYN. Her genuine care and compassion for her patients and coworkers were evident in her attitude each day.
Paula and Bill welcomed their first greatest joy when Daniel was brought home in 1987. They then welcomed their second greatest joy when Audrey joined the family six years later. Paula was the most dedicated mother; she showed unconditional love, was generous to a fault, and was always willing to lend a hand or an ear to listen.
Paula was extremely active in a ministry called Bible Study Fellowship. This ministry held such a special place in her heart. She served in multiple roles, including Group Leader, Substitute Teaching Leader, Class Administrator, and Area Team Personnel. Her greatest desire was to know God deeper and to make God’s Word more accessible to others.
She also served in each church of which she and Bill were members. At various stages in her life, she served on the worship team, as a small group leader, on the prayer team, and in the youth group. She also served as Volunteer Coordinator at Southside Christian School and created many impactful and meaningful relationships. Paula became a Mother to countless others. She frequently had young adults living in the house for months at a time. Her house was always open and full of love.
More than anything, Paula loved “making memories” with those she loved. She was adventurous at heart and rarely turned down an opportunity to do an activity with a family member or friend. She enjoyed traveling, going to places such as Ireland, England, Austria, Nicaragua, Montana, Arizona, and Utah. She was always up for a hike, going to the movies, or other spontaneous moments that make up the scope of life. She said that spending time with loved ones was the greatest gift she could be given, but it was also the greatest gift that she could give. She put family above all else and gave such dedicated love and merriment to each person.
Most who know Paula will remember her joy, even in the midst of hardship. Her faith was unshakeable, knowing that her faith was placed in the Rock who sovereignly and lovingly directed her path. Paula never complained during her battle with ALS; she fought until the end because she knew Who was fighting for her. Each day she sought to point others to Christ. Her life was a reflection of Christ’s love. While we grieve our loss of her on this earth, we know that Christ has welcomed her, saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant! … Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt 25:23)
Paula is preceded in death by parents Walter and Audrey Dailey. She leaves behind Bill, her best friend; her son Daniel Jones and daughter Audrey Wildeman (Jesse); her two sisters Donna Ray (Paul) and Vicki DeFreese (Jimmy); her “other sister and brother” Tami and Steve Jones; her sisters-in-law Bobbie Sue and Carolynn (Ron) and brother-in-law David (Gayle); several nieces and nephews; and two fur “grandbabies” Naila and Nellie.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Bible Study Fellowship Global Headquarters, 19001 Huebner Road, San Antonio, TX, USA 78258-4019 or online at https://www.bsfinternational.org/support/bsf-worldwide/
Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel