WILMINGTON — Paula Ann Recko, 73, passed over Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.
Paula was born May 21, 1947, in Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of Frank and Stella Recko.
Paula grew up in Cleveland and graduated from Sacred Heart Academy High School. She furthered her education while a devotee at Ursuline College in Cleveland and subsequently obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marion College in Indianapolis.
Paula continued her education with Graduate Studies at the University of Cincinnati and Nonprofit Organization at Northern Kentucky University. Paula was honored as a member of the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels. In Covington, Kentucky, Paula was recognized by the Suspension Press for her contributions to minority communities.
On April 21, 1975, Paula married Paul Overman, the love of her life and partner until her day of passing.
Paula’s artistic palette was life itself. She loved life nearly as much as people loved her. Paula’s love showed in her pastels, watercolors, oils, charcoal drawings, collage, and sculpture — but it was also in the way she lived. Her sense of design was always fresh, reaching for unique visual perspectives. Her culinary skills have always been celebrated and shared by friends and family alike. Her caring and compassion for people of all walks of life knew no bounds. In her professional life, as in her art, she always brought her vision into reality.
Paula brought her passion and creativity to her life’s work of helping other people. The special fundraising events that she organized for worthy causes are too numerous to mention — suffice it to say that she was a master at marketing and public relations. Just some of her achievements in her professional life included her early work with BAWAC in Kentucky, a sheltered workshop giving challenged adults a way to be productive.
While she and Paul lived in San Francisco, Paula collaborated with renowned modern artist Ruth Asawa to create a children’s art gallery and ran an art gallery as assistant manager. While living in Klamath Falls, Oregon, Paula was among the first nationally to bring pet therapy to a nursing home. While in the Cincinnati, Ohio; Covington, Kentucky; and Dayton, Ohio area, Paula had productive years while director of the Dayton Visual Arts Center, growing the center while collaborating with New Mexico in creating an artist collaborative and art exchange and youth programs; and in Cincinnati as the executive director of the annual Day in Eden Community Celebration, serving thousands of people annually. In Covington, Paula set up after school artistic and creativity programs for youth on the streets.
In bringing her skills to Wilmington, Paula served as the marketing manager of the Wilmington Symphony; coordinator of the Wilmington Wine and Chocolate Festival; volunteer and youth coordinator at the Wilmington Red Cross; interim executive director of Family Services, Lower Cape Fear; and valued employee of Hospice, bringing her creative loving touch to individuals approaching the journey she has now taken.
During these years, Paula never stopped creating her art and supporting other artists and the artistic community. Always giving more than she received, Paula loved life with a rare passion.
Paula is survived by her loving husband, Paul; and brothers Richard, Robert and Marc Recko. She loved her nieces, Erin Dawley, Pamela Sullivan, Sarah Recko and Nicole Walker; and nephews, Brian Croll and Jonathan, Brian, Matthew Rhyan, Jonah and Seth Recko. A special place in her heart was always kept for her nephews, Matthew Recko and Kevin Croll, who preceded her in passing over.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.