Paula Stark

2/21/2024

Paula Lee Stark, Mezzo-Soprano, beloved mother and friend continued her wonderful journey when she unexpectedly passed February 21, 2024 at age 88.

Born on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th 1935 to John Eugene & Sophie (Grossman) Stark, in New York City at Flowers Hospital. She survived polio as a ten year old listening to the Brooklyn Dodgers, rooting for Jackie Robinson, Pee-Wee Reese and dem Bums. She went on to sing like a bird and swim like a fish, living on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn where she rode her bike from Prospect Park to Coney Island daily and in the Summer helped out at her fathers Pennsylvania penny arcade on Harvey's Lake and loved swimming there like a fresh water mermaid.

Paula spent her life in the city she loved, but she didn't stay put. She never met a museum she didn't like and loved to travel, preferably by train or ship. She visited Vincent Van Gogh in Amsterdam with her daughter-in-law, traveled the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the USA with good friends and walked the Australian outback (and got stuck in the mud) with her best friend.

Paula was singing from the moment she discovered her vocal chords. Music and voice were her joy and passion. After Erasmus Hall HS in Brooklyn, she graduated the Julliard School of Music and went on to perform with City Opera, at Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall and so many of the wonderful churches, halls and venues throughout New York and the country. She even served for many years as a female cantor aka “khazntes" at Temple Beth Ohr, Brooklyn. From the concert hall to pool hall, from opera house to dinner theatre, catering hall to cabaret, school auditorium or charity benefit, Paula was always delighted sharing her beautiful voice and love of music with others.

It was at one of those many venues, the Seamen's Church Institute that she met her future husband in 1960, was married 2 years later and had two sons. When they later went their separate ways, a loving, dedicated, now single working mother seeking the best for her children and career, moved her family from Flatbush, Brooklyn to Hell's Kitchen much to the chagrin of some family and friends. Best move ever. An original resident of the Manhattan Plaza West building, marvelously managed to support working artists, she lived there nearly 47 years making many wonderful friends, memories and of course music. Somehow, she also had time for a BA from Lehman College.

Paula was predeceased by her parents, sister Joyce (Seymour) Hollander, many beloved cousins, ex-husband Charles "Eddie Guy" Odom, lifelong best friends MJ Slattery and Barbara Diamant. She is survived by her sons Douglas (Ada-Jo) Odom, Jesse (Denise), granddaughter Chloe, nephew Andrew Hollander, Blossom (meow) and many close cousins and friends.

She loved her children, family, music, art, NYC, cats, the Brooklyn Dodgers, sunflowers and life passionately. Her voice and song, kindness, love and laughter will be forever missed by us all.

Memorial date to be announced.

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