Paula was the third oldest in a family with eight children. Born Oct. 2, 1946, to Ralph (Swede) Phipps and Rosemary Pinto Phipps of Le Mars, she entered the convent in Wilmette, Ill., after eighth grade and took her final vows as a Sister of Christian Charity in June 1968. She remained with the religious life for more than 25 years, joining the Sisters of the Living Word when the order divided.
She taught in many inner city schools, and had a master's degree in the teaching of reading.
When she left the order, she worked in the field of adult literacy for Jane Adams, and the College of Lake County.
Paula again changed careers to a field that was her passion, earning a master's degree in pastoral studies, and working first for hospice and later as a hospital chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Chicago.
She was beloved by all, and will be sorely missed for her gentle spirit, her compassion, and the courage to live her beliefs.
She is survived by her sisters: Kathy Odell and family, of San Diego, Calif., Rose and Mike Smith and family, of Spokane, Wash., Teresa and Earl Daniels and family, of Rosedale, Md., and brothers: Jim and Flo Phipps and family, of Silverdale, Wash., Rich and Jan Phipps and family, of Omaha, Neb., her partner Therese Lynch, and many nieces, nephews, and countless friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Walter and Gordon.