Dr. Elaine Mayo Paul

Published 5:17 pm Sunday, January 17, 2010

By Staff
A devoted mother, distinguished professional and champion of many causes, Dr. Elaine Mayo Paul died at home on January 15, 2010 surrounded by loved ones.
Her energy and commitment were boundless. She had five children — four of them still at home — when, in 1960, she won a four-year, full adult fellowship from the Ford Foundation to pursue a college degree. The award was based on her passionate devotion to community service. Commuting more than one hundred miles a day, she earned her undergraduate degree from East Carolina University in three years; and from there she went on to earn a MA in history from the University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina. She later studied at the Institute for Commonwealth Studies in London and specialized in British imperialism. Born in Campbells Creek, a small community five miles east of Aurora, NC on March 7, 1916, Dr. Paul lost her mother, Mamie Moses Mayo, a popular principal and teacher, when she was only six. Her father Lacy Rayfield Mayo, was a successful farmer and community leader. Her brother, Kenneth, who was two years younger, was killed at sea during World War II. A son named for him died unexpectedly in 1987. During the war, she and her husband, Mack A. Paul, Jr. lived in Baltimore where she worked as an aircraft parts inspector. After the war they returned to Campbells Creek where her husband farmed for many years. Her husband died in 1988. After finishing her education, Dr. Paul taught at East Carolina, Newberry College and colleges in Delaware and Georgia. She retired from teaching in 1989 and returned to Greenville, NC where she played an active role as a community volunteer. One of her favorite causes was teaching prison inmates. For many years she was an active member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Greenville.
She is survived by her son, Allen and his wife, Betsy of Raleigh; her son, Jon and his wife Brenda of Denver, CO; and her son, Chris and his wife, Suzanne of Denver, CO; and her only daughter, Mary, who was her caregiver during the last years of her life. Dr. Paul is survived by five grandchildren: Jennifer Anne Paul of Arlington, VA; Mack Allen Paul, IV of Raleigh; Solomon Kenneth Paul, Bryan Christopher Paul, and Lucas Michael Paul, all of Denver, CO. Her survivors include four great-granddaughters: Erin Bonner Daniell, Kiera Tyler Daniell, Emma Rollins Paul and Lee Evelyn Paul.A memorial service will be held 2:00 PM Monday January 18, 2010 at Campbells Creek United Methodist Church officiated by Rev. George Jones of Aurora. Burial will follow in the Mayo Family Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be sent to Campbells Creek United Methodist Church, C/O Harvey Austin, 40 Campbells Creek Road, Aurora, NC 27806 or to Pamlico-Tar River Foundation P.O. Box 1854, Washington, NC 27889.
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