Barbara Anne Pauley

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Barbara Anne Pauley, 89, novelist and longtime Landrum resident along with her late husband Robert, passed away April 4 at her son’s home in Iowa following a short illness. She was 89.
Barbara Anne Cotton was born in 1925 in Nashville, Tenn.Her father, William, a former professional baseball player, was a print paper salesman whose job required much travel, and the family relocated often throughout the upper Midwest during the Depression.
When her father acquired a printing press in exchange for a debt, he started publishing film and celebrity news on his own.
As his business grew, the family settled in Pound Ridge, N.Y. in the 1940s. Barbara attended Low Heywood School for Girls in Stamford, Conn. During these years, Barbara and her family would travel between New York and Hollywood, and she enjoyed her father’s associations and friendships with such film stars as Alan Ladd (a frequent houseguest).
After completing Low Heywood, she matriculated briefly at Wellesley College.
In 1946 she married Robert Pauley, a U.S. Merchant Marine officer from nearby New Canaan, Conn. While Robert completed his graduate studies at Harvard Business School, they began a family, and soon moved to New Canaan, where they built their first house. While pregnant with her second son, Barbara remembered helping her husband install sheetrock and pound nails.
As Robert’s executive career in broadcasting took off, Barbara, who published a short story in the early 1950s, started working on novels while raising four school-age children.
Her first, a murder mystery set in a small New England town, went unpublished. She kept writing, and Doubleday published her first novel, “Blood Kin,” a period Southern romance mystery, in 1972.
Four years later her second novel “Voices Long Hushed,” was published also by Doubleday. By now, she and Robert and the family had moved to the north shore of Massachusetts.
While on a fox hunting vacation in South Carolina in 1983, she and Robert fell in love with a house and property on Fairview Farms Road in Landrum, which they purchased and restored, and named Great Oaks. They lived here until 2005, their longest stretch in any one place in either of their lives.
Barbara continued to write as she raised a grandson and was active in the community, including as a regular volunteer with Meals on Wheels and in a leadership position with the Methodist Church of Landrum, during which she supervised a major building expansion. She also helped found a writers workshop for upstate creative writers, which she led for several years.
During this time, Barbara completed her most ambitious work, a 600-page novel of the old South, “Deaf Heaven.” Barbara and Bob often remarked on this time as the happiest and most productive of their lives.
After Robert’s death in May 2009, ending a 62-year marriage, Barbara moved in with her college professor son in Indianola, Iowa.
She greatly enjoyed her nearly five years there in the company of her twin grandsons as they finished high school and attended college nearby.
She passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family. Barbara is survived by all four of her children, and many grandchildren.
Her family plans a memorial gathering in the Landrum/Tryon area and will post advance notice in the Bulletin for all her many friends in the area she remembered with love and fondness.
Barbara expressed her wish that any donations be made to the Hospice of Central Iowa., or to HCI Foundation, 2910 Westown Parkway, Suite 200, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266.

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