Passed away peacefully at age 65 on Thursday, September 14 2017 following a courageous battle with metastatic melanoma, surrounded by her adoring family. Paulette was a beautiful soul who loved life and lived it to the fullest. She had an incredible smile an infectious laugh and an energy that made everyone want to be around her. The world was a better place with her in it and she brought joy and love to so many.
She was born on October 24, 1951 and grew up in Caspian, Michigan. She was the youngest daughter of Paul and Fernette (Baker) Possanza. Her kids loved hearing about her adventures growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
She graduated from high school in 1969 from Iron County High School. After High School she and her lifelong best friend Marianne left the U.P. and moved to Ann Arbor where her older sister Maureen lived. While living in Ann Arbor she enrolled in school to become a respiratory therapist. It was at school that she met her husband Larry. They had four children who they raised in Saline, Michigan. She adored her children, and her world revolved around them.
If you knew Paulette, you knew of her love of her family, friends, a hot cup of coffee, and great food. She also loved gardening, shopping, cooking and reading. She was the best gift giver and loved the holidays and made each one so very special. She cherished holiday traditions with her family that they will continue for years to come.
There was nothing she loved more than being a Nana. Her greatest joys were her sweet granddaughters Natalie and Violet. She loved to take the girls on walks to the park, bookstore and Jamba Juice. She played dress up, danced and was truly the best Nana ever.
She was a great friend and cherished all of her friendships, but she had a special bond with her “Ya-Ya’s” Dianne, Peggy and Manola. They had wonderful Birthday traditions, loved happy hours and traveling together.
Paulette never missed an opportunity to have fun. She loved to travel, particularly trips that involved visiting her children. Her greatest adventure was the two unforgettable weeks she spent traveling around Italy last year. She cherished the time she spent there and the memories made.
She was extraordinarily dedicated to her work at the University of Michigan Mott Children’s hospital where she worked for 43 years. The love she had for her patients and colleagues motivated her to continue working throughout her battle.
She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Louis “Larry” Ratkiewicz, sons Paul and Jeff (Heather) Ratkiewicz, her daughters Mia Ratkiewicz, Lauren (Jamie) Strohl, and her granddaughters Natalie Marie and Violet Victoria Ratkiewicz, her sister Maureen (Bill) Johns and many other family members and friends who all loved her dearly and will miss her terribly.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Fernette Possanza and eldest sister Fran Creighton.
A funeral mass will take place at 1pm Saturday September 30 from St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Saline, Michigan, 910 Austin Dr., Saline, MI.
A celebration of life will take place immediately following mass at her home in Saline. Her family invites everyone who knew her, loved her and wants to honor her to please join them.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her memory to Rock CF, (letsrockCF.org) a foundation that is dedicated to helping people with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that many of the patients Paulette worked with suffer from.