Woman of courage and adventure.
Nina Paulsen passed away Jan. 23, 2018, at home, attended by family members after a five-month battle with cancer.
Like her Irish hero Cuchulain, though too weak to stand, she refused to give up the fight.
Nina was born March 18, 1934, in San Jose, California, to George and Violet Barber.
She is survived by her sons, David Bethel (Pearl), Tom Bethel (Rachel), William Bethel (Judy); daughter, Julie Griffin (Dennis); sister, Georgia Barnett; grandchildren; other beloved family members and so many very loving and dear friends.
Nina courageously reinvented herself many times throughout her long life. She had a love for music since early childhood and earned her living as a professional musician for nearly 40 years, recording six music CDs. She was a talented and proficient writer, and an accomplished artist in multiple media, including painting, chiton shell sculpture, yarn/carpet collage, etc. Nina always loved the ocean and partly for that reason, moved to Brookings in 1996. She felt that she had moved to paradise when she relocated to Oregon, as the rain, the ocean and her many friends brought her great pleasure.
Soon after taking up residence in Brookings, she became co-director with Jan Norwood of the Hospitality Tours from 1996-2001. Later, she became a long-time participant in the monthly Art Walk. She especially loved the after-Art Walk parties where artists and musicians enjoyed each other’s company in a relaxed and informal setting (thank you, Brodericks!, et al).
Over her last several years in Brookings, she found a special joy in playing piano for the residents of the Good Samaritan convalescent hospital. It was there that resident Kathryn MacPherson inspired Nina’s only original piano composition, the hauntingly beautiful “Kathryn’s Song.”
Faced with a terminal diagnosis, Nina promptly gave away nearly all of her belongings to friends and local charities/non-profits. Her family thanks all of those who aided in that endeavor. Many thanks, too, to those who made her life a joy and full of meaning by being good friends to her, by sharing adventures and experiences — walking along the beach, playing music, seeing movies, eating out — and lately by sending cards and prayers.
Nina will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.
Submitted by the family.