Paula A. Damigella (Merrill) of Quincy died on January 21, 2024. She was 81. Beloved wife of the late Paul Damigella. Devoted mother of Paul Damigella Jr. and his wife Bonnie of Millis, Robert Damigella of Brookline, NH and his late wife, Elizabeth, Richard Damigella and his wife Amy of Weymouth, Kimberly Deitsch (Damigella) and Joseph Deitsch of Easton. Sister of the late Linda DeHart and David Merrill. Cherished Grammy of Paula, Joseph, Danielle, Michael, Katelyn, Robert, Ashleigh, Jessica, Melissa, Nicholas, Allison, Taline and Giulia. Great-Grandmother of Jacqueline, Christian, Aidan, and Landon Paul. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Paula grew up in Revere and Winthrop. She attended the nursing program at Shattuck Hospital, where she earned her LPN. She worked as a nurse at Shattuck Hospital, Boston State Hospital, and Boston City Hospital. Later, she furthered her education by becoming a licensed social worker. She would work with the at-risk population at the homeless shelter on Long Island in Quincy. Her steadfast, calm, and generous demeanor, coupled with her dedicated care, caused her to often be recognized around town.
“I have always loved helping people who were facing a lot of challenges,” Paula once said in an interview.
During her entire life, she always tried to help people in need – and was always thinking of other people. She volunteered for many years at Rosie’s Place and helped co-found DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended) in 1978, which is still doing good work to this day – something Paula was very proud of. Moreover, the women’s shelter was the first of its kind in Massachusetts, so Paula had a 24/7 hotline set up in her own home. It is no surprise that many of her family would follow her into the medical field, carrying on her legacy of care, compassion, and hard work.
As Paula once reflected, “I think you have to look at situations that are sad, and think, ‘what can I do to make that better?”
“Paula has a huge, huge heart full of empathy,” said one of her fellow volunteers. Indeed, Paula’s generous heart and giving soul lent her a radiance that drew people to her. In her free time, she enjoyed arts and crafts, cooking for her family, and attending the many, many events of her children and grandchildren.
During the past two years, when she lived at the Boston Home, where she became an integral part of the community. She contributed her paintings to the art shows, was celebrated as a “Woman Making the World a Better Place” on International Women’s Day, and even partnered with local students interested in learning more about assistive technology.
Paula and her late husband Paul raised a wonderful, loving, and lively family. A family that stood by their Mom over the past few years while her health declined. Her children and grandchildren were the foundation of all that was truly important to her – they were the fabric of her life. “Mar” or “Grammy” will live on in all the memories they created over the years.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visiting hours on Monday 4-8 PM in the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., QUINCY. A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the funeral home at 9:45 AM on Tuesday prior to the Funeral Mass in St. Ann’s Church, Quincy at 10:30 AM. Burial in Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Paula may be made to the Boston Home, 2049 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124. See www.Keohane.com for directions and online condolences.