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Paula

Paula Scheliga Kearns

d. May 13, 2023

Paula Scheliga Kearns passed away peacefully at the University of Tennessee Medical Center on May 13, 2023, after facing various complications from a fall she sustained in 2022.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Mary Kozaki Scheliga, as well as her brother, Raymond John Scheliga.  She leaves behind her husband of thirty-nine (39) years, Brian Kearns and two adult children, Ethan Alfred Kearns and Hannah Kozaki Kearns, ten nephews and nieces, and twenty-five (25) grandnieces and grandnephews, all whom she loved deeply. Paula graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree (high honors) in 1983, then completed a Master of Public of Administration degree from University of Kentucky in 1988.  In 1991, she received the first Doctor of Philosophy degree conferred by the University of Kentucky’s Martin School of Public Administration.  While at UK she also served as a Research Assistant for NASA.  After she received her degrees, she taught public budgeting, public finance, and public policy at Michigan State University from 1991-1997.  During this period, her research on biennial public budgeting was entered into the congressional record. While in Okemos, Michigan, Paula and Brian led in planting the Meridian Christian Church in 1992 (now, 242 Lansing Campus).  Later, they moved to Powell, Tennessee, to plant the Lighthouse Christian Church in 1998 (now, The Way).  She served in numerous capacities (except piano playing!) and many enjoyed her wit and wisdom in Bible study groups, especially in the Beth Moore classes she taught. She adored her children, Ethan and Hannah, and was so proud as each graduated from UT, summa cum laude.  As they grew, she was always actively involved in their education from room mother to middle school PTA president to helping them piece together their UT class schedules. They, indeed, were the light of her life. Visitation will be held June 25, 2023, at 3:00, at the Mynatt Funeral Home – Powell Chapel, 2000 Powell Drive, Powell, TN 37849 with a memorial service to follow immediately afterwards. Long time dear friend, Dr. Paul Kissling will lead the service.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Bethany Christian Services (Bethany.org/locations/us/Tennessee/Knoxville/donate) would be gratefully appreciated.

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