Cover photo for Linda Pautz's Obituary
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1952 Linda 2022

Linda Pautz

August 10, 1952 — February 23, 2022

Linda M. Pautz, 69, left this world much too soon on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.  She was born to Lena (Russo) and Michael Pellegrino on August 10, 1952 in New York City.  As a proud, first-generation Italian-American, she grew up in a lively household with an array of pets, from turtles and ducks to dogs, embracing her heritage.  She went to St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn and earned a degree in English, writing her thesis on Virginia Woolf.  On June 7, 1974 she met the love of her life, Steve Pautz, who was wearing a sweater in the summer in a New York City disco.  It didn’t take long for the young couple to decide to spend their lives together and after an interlude with a borrowed suitcase in California, the couple married on December 27, 1975 and began their wedded life living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and adopting the first of many shih tzus, Penny.  She completed her master’s degree in English education and two daughters, Michelle and Jennifer, came along.  Linda touched countless lives teaching junior high and high school English, as well as at various colleges and universities.  Her red pen was often aflutter in pursuit of helping her students to learn grammar, to appreciate poetry, and to embrace life’s lessons.  Linda and Steve moved their family (and some azaleas) to Cary, North Carolina.  There she continued teaching and ran her own consulting business.  More shih tzus, Maggie and Molly, joined the family.  As her daughters grew up, she and Steve were ready for the next chapter in their life and they moved to Richmond, Virginia where she continued in education, helping adults complete their degrees.  She found joy tinkering with an old house and perfecting urban gardening, and simply couldn’t resist adding more shih tzus to the family, as Abbey and Zoey came along.  A fortuitous work trip took them to the Eastern Shore of Virginia where she and Steve fell in love with Cape Charles.  A vacation home turned into a permanent residence more than a decade ago.  She loved being a part of the Cape Charles community, contributing to various endeavors, including the local public library.  Gardening was a lifelong passion of hers and there was always room for one more plant, one more bush in the yard, and one more well-stocked bird feeder. She loved traveling and frequently got distracted on excursions wanting to make sure she had the chance to take in all the local shopping.  With Steve, she built a loving home and made friends everywhere.  She will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved her.  Her life was full of energy and zeal, and quiet moments of strength and wisdom.

She is survived by her loving and devoted husband Steve, her shih tzus Abbey and Zoey, her daughters and son-in-laws, Michelle and Steven (Dayton, Ohio), Jennifer and Paul (Torrance, California), her grandson Jordan, her granddogs Sydney, Victoria, and Mackenzie, and her sister Angela Miller.

A private celebration of her life will be held at a future date.  For those wishing to honor Linda, please consider contributing to the Cape Charles Memorial Library ( the Eastern Shore of Virginia Habitat for Humanity (, or the Susan G. Komen Foundation (, and planting a flowering bush or tree because there is always room for more flowers in the world.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements made by Wilkins-Doughty Funeral Home in Cape Charles, Virginia.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Linda Pautz, please visit our flower store.

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