By Carolyn Marnon – She loved Groundhog Day. It was not just another day for Paulette Medvecky, the beloved co-director of the Wayne Public Library who passed away December 21 after a long battle with cancer. Groundhog Day was a celebration. Paulette loved to decorate for the day. She had ornaments, stuffed animals, beanie babies, pictures on the wall and even a groundhog statue she placed outside. Her love was probably a result of being born on February 5; Groundhog Day is February 2. According to her daughter, Jennifer Sulfridge, Paulette loved Groundhog Day more than her own birthday or Christmas.
For Paulette’s 50th birthday, her family took her to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see Punxsutawney Phil. Jennifer remembers that her mother was so excited, waiting to see a rodent come out of a hole. The family had a sign that read “Wayne, MI loves Phil.” A journalist there saw the sign and interviewed Paulette. She told him that seeing Phil was her dream and her kids gave the trip to her as a gift. Paulette was able to make another visit with her girlfriends years later.
About 5-6 years ago, Paulette started giving memories to her family for Christmas. Besides Jennifer, she had two sons, Michael and Jeff. With children of their own, it was a large group to cater to, but Paulette always found a place that had something for every age group. Her grandchildren ranged in age from 1-11.
One year, they all went to the Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury, MI. They were able to enjoy a rodeo and a pig roast at the ranch. Even though the trip was a Christmas gift, they waited until the summer to go. Another year, they went to the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, OH. Jennifer said that trip was hilarious because it was timed with a Rotary Convention so they were always bumping into people they knew.
Sadly, their final memory-making event as a family was a trip on the Polar Express the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Paulette rented the caboose for the family and they had their very own conductor who made hot chocolate for them on the coal stove as they travelled to the North Pole. This was the last trip the family was able to take with Paulette. Paulette always chose the trip and paid for everything. It had become important to her to create memories with her family that everyone would always remember.
Jennifer and her mother were very close, like sisters. Jennifer laughed as she recalled the trips they had made and how much fun they had, especially the trip to see Punxsu tawney Phil.
Paulette once wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Wayne Dispatch in February, 2009. “You never know how far your words will travel.”
Paulette will be remembered for all she did for the people of Wayne and beyond. In addition to being the library co-director, she was also involved with Wayne Rotary, Business and Professional Women, Red Hat Society, Friends of the Public Library and Wayne Main Street. Wherever she was dashing off to, she always had a smile and a friendly greeting. Thank you, Paulette, for the memories you gave all who came to know you.