The winners have been selected! Fifteen of your neighbors in the community will be honored with a Beacon Award on Nov. 17 at WoodWinds. Join the celebration.
Paula ‘PB’ Baraket
On May 28, Paula “PB” Baraket of Guilford, passed away peacefully at Connecticut Hospice, Branford, with longtime partner and spouse Nancy Ruther and dear friend Holly Kolinski by her side. Paula was born in Brooklyn, New York on Dec. 17, 1949, daughter of the late Edmund and Agnes (Ockovic) Baraket. She was predeceased by her brother, Edmund Baraket. She is survived by her brother Kenneth Baraket (Monika) and numerous nieces and nephews.
Paula grew up in Brooklyn, New York and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Right after graduating from Allen High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she moved to Manhattan. Working full time, she graduated from Hunter College in New York and completed course work for a business degree at NYU. She held a variety of jobs over the years, from exercising her amazing speed typing for Susan Sontag to rising to be the first woman senior VP of Shearson Lehman. The creativity of her early work in advertising blossomed into an out-of-the-box approach that fueled her success in sales and marketing with Citibank and on Wall Street. She continued her work with Citibank in Norwalk and started building her Connecticut social networks there with the Saugatuck Congregational Church and the Human Services Council of Norwalk and other community arts organizations.
When she retired from Citibank, she and Nancy moved to Guilford. For her new chapter, she wanted to be either a rock star or a disc jockey, but thought she might start with real estate. She was recruited by Page Taft, and the rest is history. From there, she took Guilford by storm, meeting everyone and making friends as she sold houses all over. Everybody has a story about meeting PB. She joined the Guilford Civic Women, the Human Services Council, the Newcomer’s Club, Chamber of Commerce, and most recently, the New Haven Neighborhood Music School. She served in different roles at the First Congregational Church. Whether it was community service, business, or seeing family and friends, she lived with a sense of wonder. She created connection with people everywhere she went and lived her life with a sense of fearlessness and joy. See a video “PB’s day in the neighborhood.”
She especially loved her Lebanese heritage, and travel fueled and rejuvenated her. She and Nancy traveled to every corner of the world except Australia, New Zealand, and the polar ice caps. Special favorites were Paris, Venice, and Barcelona. She shared her passion for music and the arts by recommending her favorite movies and books with friends of all different tastes.
PB loved the poet E.E. Cummings and lived this quote: “Unless you love someone, nothing else matters.” There’s another quote she loved: “Forever is composed of nows.” To keep the forever love going, share your nows with each other. Her colleagues in real estate plan to add two memorial benches in front of Page-Taft and Cilantro’s—so you can keep the PB magic going.
Friends are invited to calling hours from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 6, at the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church Street, Guilford. Burial will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the “PB” Baraket fund at two organizations particularly close to her heart: CT Hospice, 100 Double Beach Rd, Branford, CT 06405; https://www.hospice.com/donate/ or at Women & Family Life Center of Guilford, 96 Fair Street, Guilford, CT 06437; https://womenandfamilylife.org/donate To share a memory or leave a message of condolences, please visit www.guilfordfuneralhome.com.