Catholic 02

Sue Carole Paolella

March 11, 1952 ~ May 8, 2022 (age 70)



Obituary – Sue Carole Paolella 

Sue Carole Paolella was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 11, 1952, the first-born child of Frank and Diana (Cicone) Paolella.  Growing up in West Bloomfield, Michigan, she became a big sister first to brother Neil, and then to sister Kim, babysitting and lovingly caring for them when mom and dad were at work.  Fortunate and unique for Sue, she grew up playing side by side not only with her little brother, Neil, but also with Diana’s younger brothers, Ric and Bruce, resulting in tightknit friendships between Sue and her uncles.  Sue had a sweet personality and despite being somewhat shy in her younger years, enjoyed many friendships, several of which extended into adulthood.  Sue had a lifelong pen pal from England (Ruth Davies) with whom she exchanged frequent letters but never had the pleasure to meet in person.  As a student, she excelled in all subjects, was active in the Oakland County 4-H Club winning many awards, and relished participating in her high school French club.  Sue graduated cum laude in 1970 from Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and then went on to Michigan State University where she briefly studied humanities and foreign language.  Sue enjoyed crafts, sewing, knitting and cooking for her family.  She made the best tuna noodle casserole, salmon patties and crepes.  Sue never met a pool, lake, dance floor, or dog that she did not like – she loved to swim and dance, and pet and kiss dogs whenever she got the chance.  She was an avid reader and loved to practice her foreign language skills, especially French and Italian, often reciting her prayers in those languages with sister Kim during the Covid lockdown.  Attending church on Sundays with her loving and ever-present mother Diana was always a priority for Sue; she took her religious faith seriously.  Moving to Traverse City during her parents’ retirement years gave her the opportunity to be independent, develop several good peer friendships and appreciate “up north” lake living.  She enjoyed family travels to Italy, made a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, and several trips as a ‘snowbird’ with her parents to Florida.  She greatly enjoyed spending time with her family members, especially all the children who were born into the extended family along the way.  

Sue died peacefully in her sleep on Mother’s Day May 8, 2022, at the age of 70 years.  Her parents, Frank and Diana, and her nephew, Brian Vlazny, preceded her in death.  She is survived by her brother Neil (Anita) Paolella, sister Kim Marie (John) Thomas, nephews Kevin Vlazny and David Paolella, niece Gabriella Thomas, uncles Richard (Carol Burke) Cicone and Bruce (Mary Jo Gruber) Cicone, and numerous cousins and extended family members. 

The family would like to express its deepest gratitude to the staff at Regency of Whitmore Lake for their loving care of Sue these last several years. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Sue’s memory to the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Washtenaw County, 1100 North Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.  ( 

Funeral arrangements are as follows: 

Friday, May 20, 2022 

St. Joseph Catholic Parish, 6805 Mast Road, Dexter, MI 48130 

10:00 a.m. - Visitation 

11:00 a.m. - Funeral Mass 

1:15 p.m. - Interment (Holy Sepulchre) 

Luncheon to follow 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sue, please visit our floral store.


Gathering of Family and Friends
May 20, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Parish
6805 Mast Rd
Dexter, MI 48130

Mass of Christian Burial
May 20, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Parish
6805 Mast Rd
Dexter, MI 48130

May 20, 2022

1:15 PM
Holy Sepulchre
25800 W 10 Mile Rd
Southfield, MI 48033


National Alliance on Mental Illness
1100 North Main Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104