Paula Cecile Crouch

Published 11:57 am Friday, December 22, 2023

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June 11, 1944 – Dec. 20, 2023

Paula C. Crouch, 79, lately of Columbia, S.C., passed into her Heavenly reward on Dec. 20, 2023. Born in Natchez, M.S. to Paul and Kathryn Crouch on June 11, 1944, Paula was a lifelong resident of Natchez, Miss., before living with her sister, Claudia Moore, in Columbia in 2020.

Paula grew up in Columbia and graduated from University High School in 1962, then earned her undergraduate degree in secondary education from the University of South Carolina in 1966. She then moved to Natchez, Miss., where she taught English at Natchez High School from 1966-78, earning a master’s in education from the University of Mississippi in 1971.

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She taught 11th grade English at Vidalia High School for 29 years, from 1979-2008, finishing her career as a school librarian, for which she earned her second master’s from the University of Louisiana-Monroe in library science.

Paula is predeceased by her mother, father, older sisters Kathryn Ratcliff and Christine Foster, her nephew Carey L. Ratcliff Jr. and her beloved aunt Gertrude Mayo and uncle Sidney Mayo, also of Natchez, who were like a second family to her and why she chose to live her adult life in Natchez.

She is also predeceased by her dear friends Kenny Hathaway, Faye Junkin Hudnall, Ellen Junkin Saunders, and Mary Brown.

Paula is survived by her younger sister Claudia; nephew Ron Aiken and his wife Leesa of Blythewood, SC, and their children Jacob Benggio, Levi Benggio and Kailee Aiken; nephew Andrew Aiken and his wife Brook of Evans, GA.; niece Kathy Watkins of Brandon, MS and her sons Wes Conn and his wife Jodi of Brandon, MS and their children Ashford and Isaiah and, Ben Conn of Nashville, TN; niece Tina Green and her husband Tom of Nacogdoches, TX and their sons Casey Green and Cody Green; nephew Wesley Foster and his wife Tricia of McKinney, TX and their children Allen Foster and Bonnie Foster Price and her husband Brian; nephew Michael Ratcliff and his wife Becky of Tomball, TX, and their children Jennifer Ratcliff and Gerry Ratcliff; and Amy Ratcliff Clark and Philip Ratcliff.  It was with great pride that Paula could boast she was a “great-great” aunt to a host of great-great nieces and nephews.  Paula was a Godmother to Lara Lee Saunders and her sister, Sadie Saunders, and treasured that relationship.

Paula was an active member of Jefferson Street United Methodist Church and served on many committees and boards for decades, most recently the Loft Ladies Bible Study Group. She loved music and musicals, played the piano and enjoyed watching the Hallmark Channel. Her quick wit and love of stories of friends and shared experiences will be forever remembered by those who love her.

Paula was a devoted Christian with a servant’s heart. She was an ardent prayer warrior her entire life, and her kindness and sweet spirit were beloved by all who knew her, especially the generations of students she taught and whom she likewise cherished. She had two treasured pet dogs, Katie and Caroline, was an avid reader and loved shopping for and collecting antiques with friends.

A funeral service will be held at 12 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28, at Laird Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until noon on Thursday, December 28, 2023, at Laird Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or a charity of your choice.