HOULTON AND FALMOUTH – Paula Marie (Broekman) (Bruso) Callnan, age 86, died peacefully on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at Sedgewood Commons in Falmouth, ME. Paula was born on July 1, 1927, in Nieuwehagen, Netherlands, the daughter of Lambertus Broekman and Maria Josefina Dreessen.
She was the oldest of three daughters and adored her sisters Rietje and Trudie. Her family endured difficult years during the German occupation and during WW II, Paula’s mother welcomed the American soldiers into their home where Paula met George Bruso. She married George in 1945 and at 18 she came to Maine via New York on the SS Ryndam. Settling in the farming community of Houlton, she learned to speak English and embraced American culture. Paula and George had two children, Philip Frank Bruso and Phyllis Marie Bruso. Paula was widowed at 25 and remained in Houlton to raise her children surrounded by a close knit community of friends and neighbors.
In 1965 she married Lewis Walter Callnan, a prominent Houlton farmer who was also widowed with two children, Michael Callnan and Mary Callnan. Paula and Lewis joined their families and had two daughters, Lisa Callnan and Julie Callnan. Paula made a beautiful home for their family and worked by Lewis’ side on their farm for 15 years before he died in 1981.
Paula had an unforgettable smile, gracious personality and never lost her sweet Dutch accent. She loved her family, her community, her country and her church. She took great pride in keeping a beautiful home and always loved to have it filled with family, friends, great food and laughter.
Paula is survived by her sister, Rietje Vandenhoff of Nieuwenhagen; her daughters Phyllis Folsom of Monticello, Lisa Saulter of Falmouth and Julie Bartlett of Hodgdon, 3 nieces and a nephew, 13 grandchildren and 9 great grand children.
She was predeceased by her first husband George Bruso, second husband Lewis Callnan, sister Trudie, son Philip Bruso and grandson Mark Bruso.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Houlton. A reception to celebrate Paula’s life will be held immediately following at St. Anthony’s Hall.
The family would like to give a special thank you to the loving caregivers at the Hawthorn community at Sedgewood Commons. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes gifts in Paula’s memory to the Paula Callnan Memorial Fund to plant a tulip garden in her memory Sedgewood, c/o Dunn Funeral Home 11 Park Street Houlton 04730.