Paula Ann Stufflebeam passed away on September 11, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona. Born on October 5, 1958 in Ottumwa, Iowa to Connie and Bud Stufflebeam, it soon became apparent that Paula possessed exceptional skills in athletics and, in particular, softball.
She played second base for the Ottumwa High School Bulldogs for four years winning many honors. She was such a dominant and successful softball player that the city honored her by naming the playing fields at Ottumwa Park after her. In 1977, Paula, one of the first girls in Iowa to be offered a softball scholarship to a college accepted a full-ride scholarship at Arizona State University. While at ASU she developed as a solid, highly skilled second baseman.
Her career also included playing for the Sun City Saints, a nationally known ASA team; playing in the 1978 World Cup Tournament in Japan and representing the USA in the 1979 Pan Am Games in Puerto Rico winning a gold medal. In 1982, Paula was selected to the first Iowa High School Girls Hall of Fame, and in 2013 she was inducted into the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame.
After her graduation from ASU in 1981 with a degree in nursing, Paula joined the Phoenix Fire Department as an EMT. After several years as an EMT, she went back to school at the University of North Dakota to get the education necessary to obtain her license as a Physician's Assistant. After she retired from the Fire Department she continued working as a PA at the Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Paula is survived by her mother, Connie Stufflebeam of Ottumwa, Iowa; brother, Kris (Julie) Stufflebeam of Macomb, Illinois; nieces Grace and Sarah; nephew Stephen and many wonderful family and friends. Preceding her in death were her spouse, Marian Lohman; father, Bud Stufflebeam; brother, Stephen Stufflebeam.
A time to celebrate her life in Arizona will be announced at a later date. A memorial donation can be made to the Phoenix Children's Hospital, 1919 East Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016 or to Ottumwa High School / OHS Softball - Paula Stufflebeam, Business office, 501 E. Second St., Ottumwa, Iowa 52501.
Published on September 28, 2017