Paula Rae Hollis of Vineyard Haven died peacefully on Oct. 14 with her family by her side, following a short and courageous battle with glioblastoma. She was 63.

She was born November 29, 1958 in Bellefonte, Ky., a daughter of Margaret Horsley Marshall of Flatwoods, Ky. and Earl Ray Marshall. She was raised in Greenup, Ky. and graduated from Greenup County High School in 1976. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Kentucky in 1982 and 2014, respectively.

Most of her adult life was spent in Lexington, Ky., where she worked for many years as a customer service representative for Computer Color Corporation before finding her true calling as “social worker Paula.” This led her to roles at University of Kentucky Healthcare and KVC Behavioral Healthcare.

In 2016 she relocated to New England to be near her sister. Her daughter Kirsten joined her a year later. This transition broadened Paula’s career to include jobs at Compassionate Care Hospice in Londonderry, N.H. and Village MD and DMC Primary Care, both in Derry, N.H. She also worked part-time in case management at Exeter Hospital in Exeter, N.H. During her time in New Hampshire, she completed her LICSW, an accomplishment of which she was very proud.

While in Lexington, Paula became heavily involved in refugee settlement missions, which opened her heart and doors to becoming “American Mom” to Peter, Philip and John Manga, brothers from the Democratic Republic Of The Congo. Her love and support for them spanned through middle school, high school, college and beyond.

She dedicated her life not only to the boys but to the entire refugee community, where she worked tirelessly as an advocate within the school system and various organizations to generate support, money and material donations needed to integrate them into a new culture while helping them maintain their own cultural identity

In September 2019, Paula moved to Martha’s Vineyard, where she assumed roles as a licensed social worker, followed by behavioral health manager at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She treasured her time on the Island, where she enjoyed many walks on the beach, hikes at Menemsha Hills and dinners out with friends. She thrived in her work and truly impacted the lives of many.

Her legacy will live on for many years to come. Her network of friends was endless and everyone who met her was made the better for it. She lived life to the fullest and was infinitely proud of her children and grandchildren. She will be missed for her crazy humor, boundless energy, radiant personality, generosity, laughter, strong faith, love for the ocean and all things Kentucky and, most of all, her devotion to her family.

In addition to her mother, she leaves behind two daughters, Ashley Parker and her husband Dan and their children Addison and Isla of Preston, East Yorkshire, and Kirsten Hollis and her partner Clayton Jervis of Exeter, N.H.; her brother Jon Marshall of Catlettsburg, Ky.; her sister Julie Brooks and her husband Ted of Hampton Falls, N.H.; and her nieces, Morgan and Lily McGinnis.

She was predeceased by her father and a sister, Johanna Lynn Marshall.

A celebration of her life will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. at 92 Main street in Vineyard Haven. Friends are respectfully invited to attend.

For more information, to view Paula’s memorial website or to sign her tribute wall, please visit Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory at