Paula Jean (Oomen) Rohn, 73, of Merrill, Michigan, will be remembered as the river rock of her family and faith, whose quiet strength held true, as she nurtured those she loved against the currents of life. With her family by her side, Paula passed away July 21, 2022, to join her husband of 47 years, Donald Frederick Rohn Jr., in heaven 352 days after his death.
Paula was born July 24, 1948 in Alma, Michigan, the eldest of four children and only daughter of the late Gerald Lewis Oomen and Shirley Jean (Williams) Oomen. Paula was a 1966 graduate of Merrill High School, where soon after, she began her career. She served as the superintendent’s secretary of Merrill Community Schools, a position she held for 51 years, earning the Merrill Community Schools Lifetime Achievement Award shortly before her retirement in 2017. Paula was also a member of the Merrill Lion’s Club and Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Above her work, Paula’s marriage to her husband Don was the central part of her life. After initially turning him down when he asked her out, Paula fell in love with Don’s charm and gregarious nature. His authentic, outgoing demeanor paired well with her loving, warm nature, and the two were married September 22, 1973. Together, they raised two children, a daughter Abby Lynn, and a son Matthew Donald, in a farmhouse on a hill above the banks of the Bad River, on their farm planted annually with corn, soybeans, and a large garden from which Paula preserved tomatoes, corn, and other vegetables.
Paula was a call-me-when-you-get-there kind of mom, partner, best friend, confidant, and protector. If people can be hobbies, then her family, rather than crocheting or scrapbooking, was certainly hers. Paula also loved feeding people. She cooked elaborate Sunday dinners that -- no matter what the main dish -- always included baked beans, and she founded what her family jokingly refers to as Rohn Farms Meals on Wheels, shuttling sandwiches, sides, and sodas to her husband and son as they worked the land every spring and fall.
In addition to managing her family, farm, home, and work, Paula’s strong faith in God led every area of her life. Paula regularly recognized and reflected on her blessings, believing all good things in life came from God. She would say, “See, God is looking out for us,” recognizing the blessings that came her way, things even so small as good parking spaces. She had the mind and the courage to say the things so many people don’t say until it’s too late. “You mean so much to me.” “I’m blessed to have you in my life.”
Paula also understood the little things in life are the big things. She loved spending time on her front porch, reading, having lunch with her friends, talking over scrambled eggs with her number one son, spending the day with her brothers at Sugar Springs, sharing time with her sisters-in-laws, going shopping with her daughter, and making cookies with her grandchildren. Her life was as full as (what she lovingly referred to) as the “country clutter,” she cherished in her home.
Paula is survived by her daughter Abby (Tim) McGuire; son Matt (Alissa) Rohn; grandchildren Gabe, Collin, Marek, Gannon, and Carrigan McGuire and Brooklyn Rohn; brothers Jerry Oomen, Rich (Elaine) Oomen, and Robert (Earlene) Oomen; sisters-in-law Marlene (Mike) Penny and Kathy (Tom) Vanecek; as well as her nieces and nephews, many friends, and extended family.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider the Merrill Library or Immanuel Lutheran Church.
A funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 10020 Monroe Rd., Wheeler, Michigan. Rev. Michael Podeszwa will officiate. Burial will follow at Lakefield Township Cemetery. Public visitation for Paula will take place on Monday, July 25, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at W. L. Case & Company Funeral Chapel, 125 E. Saginaw St., Merrill, Michigan and at the church on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m.