Paula Maria Wyche Tookes died Feb. 8.

She was born on Oct. 10, 1948 in Miami, Fla., the second child of Gracie Thompson Wyche and Paul Howard Wyche. Raised as a Roman Catholic, she attended Holy Redeemer School and graduated from Notre Dame Academy, both in Miami. She attended Spelman College and received her bachelor and master’s degrees from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. She married Hansel Emory Tookes 2nd on Dec. 29, 1971. They had two children.

Paula built her life around spending time with her family and brought great joy to them all. She found joy in serving others — at work, at home and in her community. She spent her career in human resources, becoming director of HR at the Otis Elevator Company in Farmington, Conn., later working and at Florida Power and Light in Juno Beach, Fla., before retiring in 2000. Her life of service included serving on the boards of the Urban League of Palm Beach County, and the Artist Collective of Hartford. She was also a member of the Links.

During retirement, Paula split her time among her homes in Palm Beach Gardens, Branford, Conn., and Martha’s Vineyard. She continued serving others wherever she was. She served on the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church in West Palm Beach, where she was a successful program leader and fundraiser. She was also an active member of the Obama finance committee and hosted President Barack Obama at her home in Palm Beach Gardens where she helped to raise critical funds for his 2012 re-election. On Martha’s Vineyard, she was a dedicated member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Oak Bluffs and an active member of the Cottagers. She also enjoyed travel both for business and pleasure, from the U.S. to the Caribbean, Europe and Asia, always helping others.

She gave to Habitat for Humanity, built a house for a family in Haiti after the earthquake, gave to the United Way and to her churches.

She is survived by her husband and two children, Heather Elise Tookes of New Haven and Hansel Emory Tookes 3rd of Miami; her two brothers, Paul Wyche Jr. and Spaulding Wyche, brother in law Darryl Tookes, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Paula’s memory to Smilow Cancer Hospital ( Donations can be directed to the Paula Wyche Tookes Memorial Fund by selecting that the contribution go to Yale School of Medicine and adding the following information in the comments section: “Attribute this gift to the Paula Wyche Tookes Memorial Fund, c/o Julie Parr, YCC Development.”

A celebration of life will take place Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m. at Trinity on the Green in New Haven, Conn. Interment will take place at the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven. Friends may visit with the family at the wake on Monday, Feb. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Howard K. Hill Funeral Services, 1287 Chapel Street, New Haven, Conn.