Last Thursday the skies were dreary, as the world lost a source of brightness and love. Michele Paulding, who brought healing, light, and warmth to all she knew, returned to heaven on Wednesday, January 11, 2023. Born in 1959, Michele grew up in Windsor Locks, CT. She was the youngest child of Lennis and Monique Gilbert and was cherished as the baby of the family by her five older siblings. As a child, she displayed a talent and love for ice skating on the rink at Denslow Park. She graduated from Windsor Locks High School in 1977, where she played field hockey and dabbled in the clarinet. As a young adult, Michele rose in the ranks at the Cloud 9 Lounge and the Terrace Room, establishments that catered to travelers, executives, and celebrities from around the world. After this, she served as Special Deputy Sheriff at Enfield Superior Court and took pride in developing a sheriff’s honor guard, which marched in local parades. As time went on, she was called to a life of healing, first as an EMT, then years later as a Reiki Master. Her spiritual nature and talent for healing touched many people over the years.
Michele’s greatest joy was her family. She and her beloved husband, T.R., shared a love for the ages; their devotion to one another was truly unmatched. They were two halves of a whole, and their love was an inspiration to all who knew them. Together they raised four children in Glastonbury. Michele created a beautiful home full of warmth where all were welcome. She was a loving mother to her own children, and to a host of others who came through her door. She often showed her love for others through her phenomenal cooking. She had a passion for decorating; she especially loved the Christmas season and making the house festive and cozy. The best times were spent around the fireplace, talking for hours and being together as a family. She took pride in even the smallest of her children’s achievements, and took every opportunity to celebrate them. Michele also treasured the bonds formed through her many enduring friendships. Some of her fondest days were spent with family and friends at Old Lyme Shores. She had a special affinity for the beach and the water. She loved taking trips to Block Island and spending time in Essex, where she and T.R. were married. The Griswold Inn is still a special place for her family. Michele survived a major stroke in 2015. While the resulting impairments made life more difficult for her over the last eight years, Michele approached her situation with dignity and grace, taking joy in witnessing the entrance of five grandchildren into the world. During the last years of her life, Michele was surrounded by the laughter of her grandchildren, all of whom loved her deeply.
Michele is survived by her husband, T.R. Paulding; her four children, Daniele Paulding Daveline (Nick), Nichole Paulding Susat (Rick), Adrian Paulding (Lexie), and Aaron Paulding (Allie); and five grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters, Nadine Alderucci (Sebastiano) and Jacqueline Loney; her brother, Daniel Gilbert (Missy); her sister-in-law Carol Gilbert; her in-laws Ray and Cathy Paulding, Martha Paulding Kardok, and Sarah Paulding. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and a large extended family that includes all those Michele welcomed into her heart. Welcoming her into heaven were her mother, Monique; her father, Lennis; her grandmother, Lily; her brother, Gary; her sister, Cherie; and her brother-in-law, Michael. They surely threw a party upon her arrival.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2023 from 1 to 3 PM at Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home in Wethersfield, CT. All who loved her are welcome. A service and celebration of her life will follow in late June.