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Paula M. Burpee

Jun 27, 2020

Paula Marie (Moquin) Burpee of Merrimack, NH passed away peacefully in her home, surrounded by family on Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Paula will always be remembered in the moment a dragonfly alights on the bow of a kayak, in the delighted chirping of a bird, and in the surprising and graceful beauty of a garden.

Growing up in Nashua, NH, Paula was the daughter of A. Edward and Dorothy (Cunningham) Moquin. As a child, she basked in the glow of a close family and a neighborhood full of friends. She and her sister spent countless hours playing cards, skiing, and laughing so hard their sides hurt.

The center of her being was her desire to help to make the world a little more beautiful than she found it. She did this through her career, her hobbies, her friendships, and most of all her family.

She was commissioned and served in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, then worked as an emergency room nurse for many years. She built a successful family fundraising business with her then husband, Dan Burpee. She built a massage therapy business, and in her “retirement” worked as a visiting nurse. She was a creative, driven, and compassionate professional.

Paula was masterful at transforming hardship or heartache into something beautiful. Just as she brought beautiful gardens to life among dirt, and created amazing quilts from scraps of fabric, she always found a way to brighten the world.

She was a friend to all, and she believed in helping anyone she could. Her friends will remember her through a million simple memories, a thousand stories shared among those with whom she shared her days. Above all, they will remember her generosity, her adventurous spirit, and her fierce, unwavering love for her friends, her community, and her family.

Most of all, Paula was a proud mother to her children, Adam and Sarah. She taught them to be self-sufficient and how to humbly and quietly care for someone in need. One of the last lessons she passed to them was to “be brave, be kind, and be generous.” She taught them to go confidently in the direction of their dreams. She gave them roots so that eventually they could have wings.

She is survived by her sister Mary Anne Moquin, and her children Adam and Erika (Milani) Burpee, and Brian and Sarah (Burpee) Denham, and her grandchildren Walter and Stella.

After her divorce, she reunited with her high school sweetheart John Mandziej, with whom she spent the last 21 years doing crosswords, traveling the world, and holding hands – right up until she took her last breath.

Paula will always exist when you cut the cards for a cribbage hand, when you begin to sled down a snowy hill, or when you catch a glimpse of a cardinal or a rose-breasted grosbeak. She will be remembered as a beloved Didi to her two grandchildren. She was a beloved friend to many, including her surviving nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, her family requests remembrances to Home Health and Hospice of 7 Executive Drive in Merrimack, or to the Craig P. Hutchinson Memorial Scholarship Fund at 138 Lake Street in Nashua, NH.