Obituaries detail

Paula Marie Tharp
Nov 16, 1953 - Mar 27, 2020

Paula Marie Tharp, Lee’s Summit, MO, daughter of Barney and Helen Stitt, passed away in the comforts of her own home on Friday, March 27, 2020.  She is survived by her husband Thomas Tharp, sons Justin and Scott Tharp and daughters Lindsay and Jessica Tharp.  Her children were truly the joy of her life as were her nine grandchildren, Kenneth Tharp, Scarlett Tharp, Bennett, Ellis, Harlan and Reese Tharp, Jackson and Julius Jones and Everett Walter.  She is also survived by two sisters, Mary Patrick and Rose Vanhecke and three brothers, Mark, Matthew and Adam Stitt.  No services are planned at this time due to the ongoing worldwide health crisis.  A celebration of her life will be held in the future and the details will be posted to this website.

Paula spent most of her career working with elementary schoolchildren in the Lee’s Summit school district as a health aide.  She was unique in that she treated each of these children as if they were her own.  Paula’s willingness to laugh was infectious, certainly not quiet, and will be greatly missed.  She was a perfect mother to our kids and dedicated her life to their growth and happiness.  Her reward was nine grandchildren, each of whom delighted her every visit.  Nothing gave her more joy than to sit and put the same puzzle together 215 times or to listen and laugh and watch them grow.  Words are totally inadequate to describe her love and devotion to her children and grandchildren.    

Paula was a perfect partner and would always do whatever was necessary to accomplish a goal, no matter the size of the challenge.  She was my wife and my friend.  I love her and I will miss her badly.  I will miss her laugh and companionship and the almost childlike fun we had whenever we would travel.

Paula, you will be greatly missed.  Love you.

Additional Service:
Services at Later Date


Brigid Andrews Apr 02 ,2020

I will miss this lady. Her personality could fill a room, and she had a fantastic way of making everyone feel special. The energy she exuded was contagious. Thank you for sharing her with all of us.

Jim and Beth Slinkard Apr 02 ,2020

Friend ,Lee’s Summit ,Missouri

I am so sorry about Paula. She was my best friend and you included me in your family. Your family will always be in my heart and prayers.

Kevin and Diane Smith Apr 02 ,2020

Friend ,Belton ,Missouri

Tom, We are so sorry. We cant even imagine. We are thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. Our prayers are with you. Sincerely Kevin and Diane Smith

Kathleen Stegman Apr 02 ,2020

I am so sorry to hear of Paula passing. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Norma Mooney Apr 02 ,2020

friend of daughter, Lindsay ,KEARNEY ,Missouri

I am so terribly sorry to learn of your loss. I'm sure I met her when I was Lindsay's Girl Scout leader and I wanted you to know that I've been keeping you all in prayer. May God provide peace and comfort as you deal with your grief.

Laurel Baumgardner Apr 02 ,2020

Friend ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

What a beautiful tribute to wonderful Paula! She is one of the first people I met when I walked in the doors of LSR7 not knowing much about working in a school setting so many years ago. She teased me from the first day, and never let me forget how wet behind the ears I really was. We worked together at several buildings through the years. Her laughter brought a smile to my face hundreds of times. She will be sorely missed, for sure. Thinking of you all and holding you in my prayers. -Laurel, OT at PVE

Sherri Landsverk Apr 02 ,2020

Friend ,Knob Noster ,Missouri

I met Paula 21 years ago when I started working for Lee’s Summit schools. I had the joy of working my first substitute job in her health room at Westview Elementary. She made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I will always remember her quick wit, her ability to chit chat with kids and adults alike, and her infectious laugh. I will miss you sweet Paula. To her husband and children, I have been praying for you all and will continue to do so. She is such a big loss to her work family, I can’t imagine the loss you are feeling. Sending much love and blessings to you all. Sherri Landsverk, Health Room Clerk at LSHS

Gayle Kenny Apr 02 ,2020

Friend and teacher ,Raytown ,Missouri

It was my pleasure to meet Paula through her children. I was a teacher at Dobbs Elementary and enjoyed the Tharp children as well as their mother, Paula. She was a bundle of laughter and smiles whenever she was in the building. She will be greatly missed. My condolences to all of her family. Hold on to those wonderful memories. Gayle Kenny

Bonnie Lamb Ruyle Apr 02 ,2020

Friend ,Santa Fe ,New Mexico

Paula and I grew up together in Independence. She sounds like such a great Mom and Grandma and will be sorely missed. All our love, from the Lambs.

Felton Bishop Apr 02 ,2020

Colleague/friend ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

Paula just brought joy to PVE and no one had a kinder heart. Working as a nurse was perfect for the kind of person she was. She loved the students, the staff, but most of all her family. I would see her light up whenever she talked about them. I'm sad, but especially for them. God bless you Mr. Tharp, Lindsay, Kenny, Jack, Julius, and all the family. Praying for all of you! Mr. Felton Bishop

Gina Gavin Apr 02 ,2020

Friend in Health Services, LSR7 ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

What a beautiful tribute to Paula, Tom. I am so sorry for you and your family’s great loss. I will remember her quick wit, laugh and work ethic. I hope in time you find peace of heart and mind, as she would want that. I’ll be thinking of all as I remember this wonderful woman. With Sympathy, Gina Gavin

Sonia Hernandez Apr 02 ,2020

I work at PVE ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

My deepest condolences to your family. I had the honor of meeting Paula at PVE. Her beautiful smile and kindness always made my heart happy. We bonded over her beautiful grandson Julius because I also have a son with Down Syndrome. I promised Paula that I would keep an eye out for Julius and as long as I'm there I'm keeping promise! Please tell Julius Mrs Sonia is thinking of him and his family. Sending love and prayers of comfort for her family.

Cindy McCurren Apr 02 ,2020

Worked as a Health Clerknof Lees Summit

So sorry for your lost. Paula will be greatly missed by all. My prayers for the family. Cindy McCurren

Jane Quinn Apr 02 ,2020

Friend ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

My heart is breaking! I so wish we could be there for you! To love you and hug you! Paula adored you, spoke often of you, and was a delight to laugh with! She will be greatly missed! My warmest wishes for peace during this time! For that which you weep , has been your greatest joy! - Kihil Gibran Rest well sweet friend!

Frank Higgins Apr 02 ,2020

cousin ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Paula was passionate in her love for kids in general, and her children and grandchildren in particular. She made every room she was in brighter. My deepest condolences to Tom and the family.

Michele Keller Apr 03 ,2020

cousin ,Blaine ,Minnesota

Tom - while I never had the opportunity to really know Paula as an adult since we moved from Kansas City in the mid-60's, she sounds like she would have been a person that would have been fun to know. I'm sorry I have missed that. My best to you and your family.

Dennis Haldiman Apr 03 ,2020

Teacher at Dobbs Elem. ,Salisbury ,North Carolina

Everyone loved Paula and her infectious sense of humor. Thoughts and Prayers for all the family. I know she will truly be missed but never forgotten.

Tracy Oliver Apr 03 ,2020

friend ,Pleasant Hill ,Missouri

Paula was always a straight shooter. Someone I would go to for advice when I wanted and needed the brutal truth. I will miss that amazing laugh. She had pure joy in her heart all of the time! Love her!

Beth Osborne Apr 03 ,2020

Co worker at PVE ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

I am so truly sorry for your loss. Paula was a sweet and kind person. I was fortunate enough to know her both as a coworker and a parent of one of my students. I had Julius when he was in second grade. Paula had a fierce love for her family. Her infectious laugh filled a room. Her spirit may be gone from this world, but I know she lives on in the memories that you all share. Take time to remember those good times together. Those memories will help to heal your hearts.

Steve Miller Apr 03 ,2020

Friend ,Loveland ,Colorado

To the Tharp and Stitt families, I am so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful friend, wife, sister, mother, and grandmother. I will always remember her infectious smile and joyful personality. She will definitely leave a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

Carla Thomas Apr 03 ,2020

coworker ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

I am deeply sorry for your loss, and I know you and your family will miss Paula deeply. Paula had an amazing gift of making each person she was with feel special. What a difference she made in our lives at PVE and in the lives of our students. She was always upbeat, lifted me up, and made me laugh. Paula is a great inspiration for how I want to make each person feel that I encounter.

Kathy Stitt Miller Apr 03 ,2020

cousin ,Gladstone ,Missouri

Although our cousins have not all been together for awhile, I do remember all the fun times we had as children at our grandmother's house. Paula was always nice to me and I'm truly sorry for your loss.

Bernita Gray Apr 03 ,2020

Our daughters went to Dobbs together. ,Lees Summit ,Missouri

Condolences to Lindsay and Family. May God comfort you during this time of mourning. Many fond memories of your mother working in PTA. From Bernita Tyson-Gray (Tyson Taylor-Canty’s Mother)

Cindy Carboneau Apr 03 ,2020

friend from PVE ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

Thank you so much for sharing Paula with us at school! she was a kind, loving person with a great smile. She will definitely be missed by many. Cherish your memories. God's blessings to all. Cindy Carboneau

Craig Ruechel Apr 03 ,2020

Cousin ,Kearney ,Missouri

Hi Tom, Justin, Scott, Jessie & Lindsay. So very sorry for your loss, so sad. Paula is a wonderful person, she’s still with us, we just can’t see her. I believe when you talk to her she can hear you. Every time I was around her she was laughing, funny and smiling. She’s probably laughing right now, lol. If we were to ask her now to come back, she probably would want to stay where she’s at, she’s in the greatest place there is. We’ll all be together there soon, Jesus will come get us soon. You all take care, God Bless, Praying for all of you! 🙏🙏🙏

Zoe Ruechel Apr 03 ,2020

Aunt ,Kearney ,Missouri

Yes, Paula’s laugh will be missed by us all, as will her love & support that she showed. You, Tom and the family, especially you & the children will be kept in our prayers and held near and dear I’m our hearts, as well as her sisters. Paula was a special person. We will all miss her. Love to each of you. Zoe.

John A. & Mary Beth Messer Apr 03 ,2020

Cousins ,Fort Myers ,Florida

Tom our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our deepest sympathy Sincerely, John Arthur Messer and Mary Beth (Cianciolo) Messer

Laura and Brandon Walters Apr 03 ,2020

Friend ,Odessa ,Missouri

We are so very sorry for you loss. We all are praying for you during this difficult time. May God surround you with His love during this time. May you feel the comfort that only He can provide. May you be surrounded by those who can help you through this time. We are sending our hugs of comfort your way.

Tammy and Frank Flores Apr 04 ,2020

Client of Tom's ,Linn Creek ,Missouri

Tom, our deepest condolences to you and your family. We talked often of the four of us getting together for dinner or a night of music. But life was busy for us all. I am sorry we missed the opportunity to get to know your wife. Our loss. She sounds like an amazing person. You remain in our thoughts as you begin on this new path. May your memories bring you peace, comfort and smiles.

Robert Powell Apr 05 ,2020

Tom, No words can express how sad I felt when I read in the paper today of Paula’s passing. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God bless you and your family.

Jerry Lamb Apr 05 ,2020

classmate ,Leawood ,Kansas

Paula was a dear and kind person. Like so many have said, she had a sweet and big personality. She will be missed greatly.

Tamara fetterolf Apr 06 ,2020

So sorry to hear of your loss. May God provide comfort to you and your family.

Cynthia Pitts Apr 06 ,2020

friend ,Blue Springs ,Missouri

Tom & Family, I am so sorry for your loss. May your memories of happy times help with your sorrow. She decorated your house so beautifully & with much love. Sincerely, Cindy Pitts

Sabrina Hamble Apr 06 ,2020

Friend of Jesse Marie’s ,Wichita ,Kansas

Sending prayers for comfort, love and light to you and your beautiful family.

Teri Hansen Apr 06 ,2020

Work ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

I am so sorry for your loss. I got to really know Paula over the last 17 years working with her. I will miss her energy, laughter and overall wonderful person that she was! I am keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers!

Jerry Apr 07 ,2020

Brother / brother in law ,Lone Jack ,Missouri

Great tribute!

Cassie Luster Apr 07 ,2020

My deepest condolences to the Tharp Family - my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Kim Hill Apr 07 ,2020

Friend of Jesse ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers and hugs for your family.

Kim Gerdts Apr 10 ,2020

client ,Independence ,Missouri

Tom we are so sorry about the loss of your wife. I can not imagine losing a loved one during this terrible quarantine. You need the love and support during this time of your family and friends. I hope by reading these message that you find some comfort.

Sigrid DeVita Apr 10 ,2020

Friend ,Lee’s Summit ,Missouri

My heartfelt sympathies to your family. I spent many years working at Prairie View Elementary. Paula was a kind, caring person who worked hard in the health room. She always had a smile and big hello to everyone .

Tom Apr 02 ,2021


It's been a year Paula. I miss you and love you more and more each day.