Paula Cecille Gaynair, loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend, passed away at her St. Petersburg, Fla. home on Monday, September 5, 2022. She was 86.
Paula was preceded in death in 2020 by her darling Colin, her lifelong love to whom she was married for 63 years. She is survived by her son Bruce and daughter-in-law Bonnie of Lakeland, Fla.; son Robert and daughter-in-law Leigha of Salem, Ore.; daughter Gillian of St. Petersburg, Fla.; son-in-law Tam of Washington, DC; grandsons Eric, Andrew and Josh; great-grandchildren Jackson, Kate, Lucas and William—and another great-granddaughter on the way—and many nieces and nephews.
Paula was born on September 19, 1935, in Kingston, Jamaica to Aubrey and Myrtle Grant, the youngest of four children who grew up in a home filled with laughter and love. Her siblings Jack, Dorothy, and Verna, passed away before her. A graduate of Alpha Academy and a former ballerina, Paula went on to study cosmetology and operate her own beauty salon out of her and Colin’s home in Kingston’s Trafalgar Park neighborhood. She continued in the business after immigrating to St. Petersburg in 1978, first managing and then co-owning with Colin The Beauty Collection for 25 years. As the face and voice of the salon, Paula created a warm, welcoming environment for both her clients and staff; spending time at The Beauty Collection felt more like being with family than visiting a business. Later, during retirement, Paula was an active member of Central Christian Church and volunteer with Mended Hearts Chapter 43 at Bayfront Health.
Affectionately known to family and friends as Auntie P and Miss P, Paula was a vivacious, elegant woman who loved life and loved people. She was a genuine caregiver, a confidant to many, and a strong woman of deep faith. She was always thoughtful and endlessly positive. And she was a storyteller like no other. Her spirit, wisdom, generosity and the love she gave touched an immeasurable number of lives. She will be forever missed.
A celebration of Paula’s life will take place at 11am on November 19, at Central Christian Church, 6161 22nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710. The service will also be livestreamed.
Memorial contributions may be made to one or more of the following organizations that were meaningful to Paula: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project, Boys Town, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Tunnel to Towers Foundation.