Anita L. Paul was born in Nashua into a working class family, her father being a fireman for the Boston & Maine Railroad. She grew up on the family farm in Hudson, New Hampshire, studying in the local schools, and later attending and graduating from Nashua High School in 1941.
Even at the age of 17 she knew what she wanted. In her high school yearbook, under “immediate plans” she listed, “take a vacation.” As for her “Ambition” she would make it come true–“Aviatrix.”
After high school graduation, she went to work as a secretary at the Nashua Gummed and Coated Paper Company. Acquiring additional skills and good recommendations, she moved to Washington, D.C. where she worked for the War Department. She must have been considering her spiritual future at this time, for she spent a few months at a Maryknoll Convent in New York State.
Then there was Pearl Harbor. Everything changed, and Anita Paul wanted to help. She enlisted in the WASP, one of 400 young women enlisted by Jacqueline Cochran, organizer, during World War 2. In 1944 Anita received her wings and was assigned to Altus, Oklahoma as a test pilot.
When the war was over, Anita returned to Washington, D.C. and became secretary to Archbishop Patrick A. O’Boyle. In 1950 she resigned that position to formally enter the Carmelite Convent in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Eventually she became a Mother Superior.
Many stories have been written about her, and rather than repeat those, I will offer links to them below. Her story and achievements have been memorialized as a focal point on the wall of the New Hampshire Aviation Museum in Londonderry New Hampshire.
In case you want to look it up, the Nashua Telegraph did a two-page spread of photographs and her story [May 30, 2010] Her partial genealogy, that I have compiled, is shown below.
WASP Final Flight (obituary)
WASP on the Web: Focus on Anita Paul
===PARTIAL GENEALOGY of ANITA L. PAUL===
Leonard Hus dit Lemoine and Marguerite — (1620-1669)
– Paul Hus dit Millet and Jeanne Baillargeon
– Louise-Pierre Hus dit Paul (1716-1793) and Louise-Angelique Niquet
– Joseph Hus dit Paul and Marie-Genevieve de Rainville
– Jean Baptiste Paul Hus and Marie Anne Desy
– Antoine Paul Hus, b. 28 April 1791, d 2 August 1863; m. 1 Feb 1825 in Quebec Canada to Marie Ann Grenier
Aimable/Amable “Mark” Paul b abt 1841 d –; m. 29 January 1866 in St. Marcel Richelieu, Quebec Canada to Philomene Loiseau Cardin. She b. abt 1838 Nashua NH d 27 April 1882 in Richelieu, Rouville, Quebec, Canada.
Children of Aimable & Philomene (Cardin) Paul:
1. Jean Baptiste Amable Paulhus aka Amable “Abraham” Paul, baptized Oct 1866 in St-Marcel-de-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada; m. 17 Aug 1885 in Nashua NH to Josephine Bennelle, dau of Joseph Bennelle. She was b. Oct 1866 in NH. Had issue.
2. +Euclide Paul, b abt 1871 Nashua NH
3. Malvina Paul, b. abt 1873, d. 5 Sep 1874 in Nashua NH, age 1.
4. Marie Paulhus, b. abt 1876, d. 21 Jan 1917 in Nashua NH. She m. 20 July 1896 in Quebec Canada to Marcel Lozeau. He was b. abt 1876 and d. 21 Jan 1917 in Nashua NH.
Euclide Paul, son of Aimable & Philomene (Cardin) Paul, b abt 1871 in Nashua NH d 8 October 1940 in Nashua NH; m. 21 Sep 1891 in Nashua NH to Marie Paradis, daughter of Charles & Mary Paradis. She b 1868 d 15 March 1943 in Nashua NH. Resided 2-1/2 Warren St in Nashua NH in 1930. Worked in the asbestos factory. They are buried at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery in Nashua NH
Children of Euclide & Marie (Paradis) Paul:
1. +Armand Paul, b. 18 Aug 1892 Nashua NH
2 Stillborn (female) Paul, 13 January 1895 Nashua NH
3. Edouard R. Paul, b. 15 Nov 1897, d. 17 Nov 1897 Nashua NH, 2 days old.
4. Marie Antoinette Sylvia Paul, b. 1 Dec 1898 Nashua NH; she m. 26 June 1918 in Nashua NH to Edward Burns, son of Henry & Pamile (Neveux) Burns
5. Juliette Paul, b. abt 1905 Nashua NH; m. 26 June 1923 Nashua NH to Emile Boucher, son of Elie & Rose (Ouellette) Boucher
6. Jeannette/Janette Paul, b abt 1909 NH; she m. 2 July 1934 in Nashua NH to Albert Bonenfant, son of Onezine & Elizabeth (Pelletier) Bonenfant
7. Edward A. Paul, b. 15 Nov 1917 Nashua, Hillsborough Co. NH
Armand Paul, son of Euclide “Mark” & Marie “Mary” (Paradis) Paul, b. 18 August 1892 Nashua NH, d. December 1981, La Plata, Charles, Maryland; m. 18 Nov 1920 in Nashua NH to Eva Jacques, daughter of Napoleon & Angelina (de Lusignon) Jacques. She was b. 2 April 1889 in Lowell MA, d. 6 March 1980 at the Mt. Carmel Home in Manchester NH. At the time of his marriage, occupation, asbestos worker. In 1925 living at 13 Perham Street, Nashua NH. In 1930-1940 living on Lowell Road in Hudson NH. In 1960 living in Lynn MA (h12 Waverly) fireman for the B&M RR. He is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, La Plata, Charles Co., Maryland. She is buried in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Nashua NH.
1930 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Hudson > 35 Lowell Road, Hudson NH
Annard Paul 38 Head M W married age 28 NH NH Canada Fireman steam railroad
Eva M. Paul 41 wife married age 25 MA Canada Canada NH NH NH
Lucille G. Paul 8 NH NH NH
Anita L. Paul 5 [5-11/12]
1940 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Hudson
Loretta M. Jacques 46 HEAD 9 yrs school MA
Angelina N. Jacques 81 mother widow 3 yrs school Can-Fr
Marie J. Jacques 47 sister MA
Albert Rodier 39 hired man
Lew/Leu Levesque 25 hired man
Armond Paul 47 brother in law NH [6 yrs of school]
Eva Paul 50 sister MA [9 yrs of school]
Lucille Paul 18 niece [H-4]
Anita Paul 15 niece [H-2]
Obituary, Nashua Telegraph, SATURDAY March 8, 1980 [died March 6, 1980]
Former Nashuan Mrs. Eva (Jaques) Paul, 90, died Thursday at the Mt. Carmel Nursing Home in Manchester after a lingering illness. Born in Lowell MA April 2, 1889, the daughter of Napoleon and Angelina (de Lusignon) Jacques, she had resided in Nashua for many years and was a communicant of St. Francis Xavier Church. Survivors include her husband, Armand Paul of Ocean City, Md., two daughters, Mrs. Lucille Mahan of Titusville Fla, and Sister Theresa of the Cross of the Carmelite orderstationed at the Carmelite Monastery, Port Tobacco, Md.; three sisters, Mrs. Albert (Laurette) Rodier of Orange City, Fla., Mrs. Alma Bonnette and Mrs. Stella Lapointe both of Lynn, MA; two grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. The Phaneuf Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
— March 10, 1980–
A funeral Mass was held Saturday in St. Francis Xavier Church for Mrs. Eva (Jacques) Paul …. Bearers were Arthur Bonenfant, Paul Jacques, Albert Lapointe and Donald Cote. Burial was in the family lot in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery….
Obituary, Nashua Telegraph newspaper, January 2, 1982
Armand Paul, long time resident of Nashua died Thursday after a brief illness while staying in the guest quarters of the Carmelite Monastery in LaPlata, Md. He awas 89. His daughter Sister Teresa of the Cross, the former Anita Paul, is a member of the Carmelite Order where she is Mother Superior. Mr. Paul was born in Nashua August 18, 1892. He served with the American Expeditionary Force during World War 1 and was a membe of the WASP during World War II [this part must be incorrect]. He worked for the B&M railroad for most of his working years. Survivors include two daughters, Lucille Mahan of Titusville, Fla. and Sister Teresa; one grandson, Richard Mahan; a granddaughter, Patricia Sigmore; a great-grandson, David Sigmore, all of Florida; three sisters, Mrs. Antoinette Burns, Mrs. Juliette Baucher, and Mrs. Jeanette Bonenfant, all of Nashua; several nieces and nephews.
Children of Armand & Eva (Jacques) Paul:
1. Lucille Paul, b 20 January 1922, d. 8 October 2009; m. — Mahan. Son, Richard Mahan; daughter Patricia (Mahan) McNelly.
2. +Anita L. Paul [this story is about her, see photograph and biography at top of page], b. 21 May 1924 in Nashua NH, died 28 March 2010 in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles.
3. Norman Paul, b. 22 May 1925, d. 29 June 1925 in Nashua NH