After high school she worked as a corporate secretary, commuting between Detroit and Chicago. Disillusioned by the corporate lifestyle and a brief marriage, she began searching for a new direction. The search led her and a group of friends to the Self-Realization Fellowship Church (founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1920), where she married fellow church member Mike Machnik in 1971.
Following the birth of their son, Andy (2/14/72), they travelled in a converted panel truck to California, living a communal lifestyle with friends in a dome house in Mokelumne Hill.
Due to a lack of work options, Paula with Andy, was on the move again. At the suggestion of her father (who mated for Capt. George Edwards of Venice) she discovered Boca Grande. Living for a time at Cole Island Campground and Eldreds Marina, where she met many lifelong friends. She eventually moved to the island proper; living above Rachaels, at the Quarantine House and Hotel H. Feeling truly at home in Boca Grande, she worked as a cook-housekeeper for several island residents, while waitressing at the Temptation, Inn,Pink Elephant and Millers Marina where she became a dinning-room manager.
She also worked for 8 yrs as a surgical assistant to Dr. George Fritz, dermatologist and island doctor; and as a bartender at the Temptation for 22 yrs.Other business ventures include: registered massage therapist, photographer-videographer, cake baker-party planner, and producer of island post and greeting cards and Temptation T-shirts.
Paula loved to travel. Trips to Jamaica, Cuba and much of the Carribbean, as well as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hawaii and most of western Europe inspired many fond memories and photographs.
After her divorce in the late 70's she was persued by many suitors. The battle for her affection was eventually won by George W. "Snake" Smolzer in 1979. They lived happily ever after with Andy, first in Boca Grande (6 years) then in Englewood East (11 years) and finally at the home she loved in Dixon Subdivision (16 years) where she loved to host great dinner parties.
She transitioned peacefully (4/7/2012) at home surrounded by: George,her father (Ed), her brother (Scott), her son (Andy) and a small group of old friends and neighbors. Always a true friend of Boca Grande she will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by: her father, Ed (and Mary Adams) of Bradenton; her mother Donna (and Joe Weithoff) of Englewood; her brother Scott of Englewood and Zamboanga; her son Andy of Englewood; and her devoted companion of 33 yrs George.
Her family invites all who knew her to attend a Celebration of Life - Memorial on Mother's Day, Sun. May 13 at 11:30 on the beach at the South End followed by a luncheon buffet at the Community House.
Those who wish may bring; testimonials, favorite side dish or dessert, etc.
Don't forget to bring your mother.
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