ANDOVER, Mass. — Paula Scolnik died at her home in Andover, Mass., on Aug. 5, at the age of 90, with her husband of 67 years, Louis, at her side.

Paula was born in New York City in 1927, the daughter of Meyer and Ada Revitz. Raised in Washington D.C., she graduated from the University of Maryland in 1949 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. She continued her studies at The George Washington University Graduate School of Clinical Psychology, where she co-authored “The Assimilation of the New Child into the Group,” an article that was published in “Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes.” She later earned a master of science degree in education from the University of Southern Maine.

In 1951, she was employed by the U.S. State Department as a research analyst in the office of Herbert Marcuse, as part of the Northwest Europe Division of Intelligence Research. The same year, she married Louis Scolnik of Lewiston, then a second-year law student at Georgetown University Law School. In 1952, the couple moved to Maine, where Louis began the practice of law, eventually rising to the position of justice on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

While Paula and Louis raised their three daughters, they became very active in Democratic Party politics, civil rights, the peace movement and the work of the League of Women Voters. Paula created an intellectually and musically vibrant home, filled with books, paintings, sculpture and LP recordings. She was a protective and intensely devoted mother, instilling in her daughters a deep appreciation and passion for literature, poetry, music, art and dance. Anyone who met Paula recognized her sharp intellect and independent spirit. She was provocative, unusually perceptive, unconventionally funny and had zero tolerance for phoniness.

For many years, Paula taught English at Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine, where she founded the school’s first literary magazine, Parnassus. She organized cultural trips and enrichment activities for her students, opening doors to the world beyond the classroom. Paula’s refreshingly candid style, commanding presence and deep personal interest in her students made her a cherished and beloved teacher.

After retiring from teaching, Paula immersed herself in numerous community service organizations, including work as a court-appointed special advocate for children (CASA), often testifying in court in child-custody cases. She also worked as a hotline volunteer for the Abused Women’s Advocacy Project (AWAP).

As chairperson for two terms of the Lewiston Public Library board of trustees, Paula guided some of the library’s most critical decisions in personnel.

When LPL/APL, now L-A Arts, was first instituted, Paula was program chairperson and successfully brought interesting, high-level concerts to the Lewiston-Auburn community.

In 2001, the first of several waves of immigrants fled from Somalia and resettled in Lewiston, eventually numbering 5,000 by 2011. In the first crucial stages of Somali immigration, Paula devoted herself to helping facilitate employment for the Somalis, thereby enhancing their integration into the community. She was also a volunteer in Lewiston’s Adult Learning Program, teaching in the English as a second language curriculum.

In 2007, Paula and her husband moved from Lewiston to Andover, Mass. She adored her three grandchildren and relished spending time with them. In her last years, she received loving care from her nurses Sandy Pasco and Tony Martinelli.

Besides her husband, she is survived by a sister, Marilyn Greenberg, of Bethesda, Md.; daughters Nina Scolnik (Jack) of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; Donna Scolnik of New York City; and Julie Scolnik of Brookline, Mass.; and grandchildren Theodore Jack of New York City and Sophie Scolnik-Brower and Alexander (Sasha) Scolnik-Brower, both of Boston.

She was predeceased by a brother, George Revitz, of Alexandria, Va.

Paula Scolnik

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