James W. Paulus, 62, notary, writer, Teletype operator for state police

June 22, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

James W. Paulus: An obituary for James W. Paulus in yesterday's editions contained errors. Mr. Paulus is survived by a brother, John R. Paulus of Baltimore. Mr. Paulus moved to Bel Air in 1996. He was entitled to a flag-draped coffin because he was a notary public, according to his daughter.

The Sun regrets the errors.

James W. Paulus, a retired writer and a notary public who as a private citizen corrected hundreds of Marylanders for incorrectly displaying the state flag, died Sunday of bronchial pneumonia at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. He was 62.

"All of his life," said a daughter, Mary Paulus Yeaple of York, Pa., "whenever he noticed a Maryland flag flying upside-down, he would stop what he was doing and advise politely, but firmly, that it be flown properly, with the black and gold panel at the top left.


"Many a parade participant over the years would be warned by him to fix the flag before daring to pass a reviewing stand," she said with a laugh.

Mr. Paulus lived in Highlandtown for many years before moving to Bel Air in 1995.

"It was his wish that a Maryland flag be draped over his coffin, and since he was formerly a Teletype operator for 14 years with the Maryland State Police, he was entitled to the honor."

After working for the state police from 1953 to 1967, Mr. Paulus worked at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt under contract with Bendix Field Engineering Corp., where, in addition to being a Teletype operator, he was a technical writer and librarian.

Mr. Paulus began a second career in 1985 when he became a notary public. In 1994, the National Notary Association elected him National Notary of the Year.

"Frustrated by the minimal information given by the state when he received his commission and realizing that being a notary was more than just signing your name and stamping a document, he designed a curriculum and taught notary courses at a number of institutions, some of which included Essex, Howard, Harford and Cecil Community colleges, as well as in Virginia," Mrs. Yeaple said.

Mr. Paulus gave a free notary course to a group of Franciscan nuns at their motherhouse in Ashton, Pa., and offered his services free to the elderly in area nursing homes.

A communicant and usher at the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mr. Paulus was present in the basilica during Pope John Paul II's historic visit in October and counted it as a highlight in his life.

In addition to working in the gift shop at the basilica, he gave scheduled tours of the registered National Historic Landmark. Mr. Paulus was a former communicant and usher for many years at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Highlandtown and St. Brigid Roman Catholic Church on Ellwood Avenue.

He was born and raised near St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church, 22nd Street and Greenmount Avenue, and was a 1951 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday at the basilica.

He is also survived by his wife of 36 years, the former Helen I. Kline; two sons, William J. Paulus of Baltimore and Stephen G. Paulus of Glen Rock, Pa.; two other daughters, Regina M. Holt of Elkridge and Anne E. Renner of Columbia; his mother, Margaret Brooks Paulus of Homeland; a brother, Joseph P. Paulus of Baltimore; two sisters, A. Virginia Phelan of Baltimore and Margaret M. Kennedy of Coal Valley, Ill.; and two grandchildren.

Pub Date: 6/22/96

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