Paula Wilmot Krause • Yellow Springs News
Paula Wilmot Krause, a much loved and loving wife, wonderful mother, wonderful grandmother and educator, born April 5, 1957, died November 4, 2023.
Suddenly, a catastrophic stroke and brain hemorrhage ended her all-too-short life.
Paula was a true joy, a gift to the world – to know her was to love her. A talented, award-winning artist, educator and nature lover, her creativity and energy know no bounds. Her love poured out unreservedly through her creative, health-conscious meals (carrot tacos, anyone?), her gorgeous photography, her willingness to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed a boost, and the causes that fueled her activism: the environment. Equality and social justice. Paula and her husband, Fred, also supported and participated in the local and larger arts community, attending all types of events and hosting house concerts in their home.
Paula found the light of her life with her family, which was a love affair without limits. Her husband, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren basked in Paula’s ever-present warm glow.
Paula enjoyed all types of outdoor activities, from hiking to biking, from canoeing to water skiing. Her favorite places in Dayton were the MetroParks and the bike paths. I loved a good project, whether it was creating brick and stone walkways, landscaping, or just solving problems at any level. She was also a competitive athlete in high school, setting several records in swimming. One example of her versatility: As a 12-year-old member of the youth baseball team The Petticoats, she smashed a home run over the fence during the annual Fourth of July All Star Game in Zelenople, Pennsylvania.
It is noteworthy that Paula continued her passion for life despite decades of battles with various health problems, which she overcame without complaint, with grace and beauty. If the choice came between moving forward or resting and recovering, Paula always chose the more active path. She lived her life as if every day might be her last. After undergoing nine-hour open-heart surgery in 2015, she fueled her recovery so she could dance at the wedding of her son Max and his wife, Christine. Paula hit the dance floor remarkably well and has been dancing ever since.
Although Paula was kind and even-tempered, she would stand up for anyone or anything she felt had been wronged. Despite her great artistic achievements, she remained humble, sweet, and hardworking. The family saying goes: “If you can’t get along with Paula, you can’t get along with anyone.” It was so true.
To say that Paula was project oriented would be an understatement of the highest degree. I found nature endlessly fascinating and inspiring. Collections of found treasures inhabited her home, garage and yard. They were all intended for photography projects, but with one project completed, two more would be started.
Her passion for her art instilled her view of the world, a world she celebrated and rejoiced in every day of her life. Her widely exhibited fine art images emerged as visual poetry – her evocative images allowed and prompted the viewer to think about the natural world anew under her guidance, to marvel at how we are all part of the continuum – and then, perhaps, to reflect on his works. Or her private life.
As an artist, Paula relied largely on her immediate surroundings, often using nature and natural forms to explore memory, emotions and formal aesthetics in her photographic works. She began her career in photojournalism and moved into fine art photography to tell her visual stories. She associates photography or “light painting” with the painter’s process of mixing paint to create the initial painting of raw materials. Light was often her raw material.
Paula most recently worked as a gallery curator at Rosewood Arts Center in Kettering, where she recently received her five-year service certificate.
Paula began her photojournalism career with the Chagrin Valley Times near Cleveland, Ohio, and later moved to the Medina County Gazette in Ohio. After moving to Houston, Texas, with her family, Paula worked as a photography coordinator at Rice University, as well as a freelance photographer for the Houston Post and Houston Chronicle. After moving with her family to Oakwood, Ohio, in 1994, she worked as a freelance photographer for the Dayton Daily News, then began teaching at the Ohio Institute of Photography in Dayton.
Paula then focused her work on fine art photography, exhibiting her work widely. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums nationally, including the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Visual Arts Center, Fort Wayne Museum, Tiffin University, Antioch College, and Eastern Washington University. Paula’s work can be found in numerous private collections, as well as in corporate collections such as Savannah College of Art and Design, Antioch University, Montgomery County Children’s Services, the Cummer Collection at the University of Texas-Dallas and the Kettering State Center. She was a member of SPE, NAPP, DVA, and ASMP.
She has received two Montgomery County Individual Artist Fellowships (2001 and 1998) and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship (1998). In addition, she is the recipient of a Teaching Enhancement Grant for Wright State University’s College of Liberal Arts (2012), and a grant from the Texas Photographic Society (1996). Awards for her exhibited work include the Texas Photographic Society Members Exhibition, the DVAC Members Exhibition and many others. Paula has shown her work in dozens of solo and group shows across the country.
She continued her work as an exhibition artist while working as an assistant professor at Wright State University in Dayton and later as a photography instructor at Stivers High School of the Arts in Dayton.
Paula holds a Master of Arts in Photography from Antioch MacGregor University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. She also graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and attended the University of Houston’s Master of Fine Arts program. She graduated from Seneca Valley High School in Zelenople, Pennsylvania. She received a scholarship to spend her final year studying on a sailing ship that sailed throughout the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Some of her public artwork is on permanent display at the Dayton Metro Library. Paula’s “Morning Glory” is her largest work, a 4-foot-tall, 96-foot black-and-white pictorial mural inspired by Impressionist Claude Monet’s water lily paintings. Other commissioned public art works by Paula include “The Nature of Light” which is on display at the Wilmington Stroup Library.
Paula’s survivors include her husband, Fred Krause, of Kettering, Ohio; his son Max Krause and his wife Christine of Oakwood, Ohio; and their two sons, Camden and Carter.
Also surviving are her four brothers: Doug Wilmot, of Zelenople, Pennsylvania; James Wilmot, of Asheville, North Carolina, his son, Ian Wilmot, of Louisville, Kentucky, his daughter, Ava, and his son, Christian Wilmot, of Charleston, South Carolina; David Wilmot, of Zionsville, Ind., and his wife, Maurissa, and their daughter, Robyn, and her husband, Rob Peters; and Stephen and his wife Cindy of Sayre, Pennsylvania, and their children Ross, Garrett, Colleen, Brenna, Emmett, Annabelle and Merryn.
Other survivors include her uncle, David Laird, of Gainesville, Fla.; Cousin Bob and Joan McDonald, of Washington, D.C., and their daughter Sarah, husband Charlie, and son Oscar, of Blue Ash, Ohio.
Additional survivors include her cousin Cheryl Hughes and her husband, Patrick Hughes, of Washington, D.C., and their three children, Grant, Jacqueline and Jillian. cousin Tim Wilmot, of Falls Church, Virginia, and his three children, Jonathan, Audie and Rocco; and her cousin, Becky Wilmot, and her son, Jasper Gamble Wilmot, of Seattle, Washington.
Additionally, there are countless students, teachers, artists, musicians, friends and acquaintances who have been fortunate enough to experience Paula’s warmth and energy; Extended family members of the Krause, Magda and Wensing clans; And everyone who appreciated her work and passion for life.
Paula was preceded in death by her parents, William “Bill” Wilmot and Louisanne Wilmot; Her sister, Barbara Harrison. her uncle, Ken Wilmot, his wife, Geri, and their son, Jeff; her father-in-law, Fred “Fritz” Kraus and his wife, Dolores Kraus. Finally, she was also preceded in death by the family dog, Wallace, a handsome beast who accompanied Paula on countless trips and explorations around Oakwood and beyond.
A visitation was held on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at Tobias Funeral Home, 5471 Far Hills Ave., Dayton, OH 45429, from 4 to 7 p.m. There was an informal open mic presentation of Paula’s memories at 6pm on Paula’s Photos, and a small sample of the photographs she created was shown.