Ginny and I made a rather bittersweet trip to Devils Lake yesterday afternoon to attend the dedication of an area at the North Dakota School for the Deaf set aside to honor the memory of Paula Hartze whose life ended all too suddenly and much too soon a couple of years ago.
Her friends put together a very touching dedication program remembering the devoted NDSD teacher, prompting tears and laughter in almost equal portions. A path leading up to the area was lined with some 250 pinwheels. The pinwheel is a symbol of domestic violence awareness.
Friends told of a teacher so dedicated to her pupils she thought nothing of traveling the country to visit former students at college or to attend one of their weddings.
The area dedicated yesterday, in one of the most beautiful spots on a very beautiful campus, includes two park benches and a flowering crabapple tree. Each spring it will remind her friends of one of Paula’s favorite colors–pink. There’s also a plaque with her picture and a few words explaining to those who have come to NDSD since her death who Paula was. But, plaque or not, those who were there when she was will always remember her.