Paulette Shuey Johnson

1943 ~ 2022

Obituary Photo for Paulette Shuey Johnson < >

We will miss you everyday

Our beautiful mom, wife, sister, grandma, aunt, and friend passed away on August 2, 2022, surrounded by loved ones after a brave and courageous battle with Dementia. Born to Paul Edward Shuey and Ernestine Gigax Shuey on October 7, 1943, in San Diego, CA. She was later adopted by Mother Lucy Chiaro Shuey. She married John “Lennie” Johnson, February 10, 1962, and together they had 3 children - Jennifer, Michelle, and Brian, they were later divorced but remained friends. Paulette married Max Eskelson on Sept 12, 1980, they were married 41 years and had many years of traveling adventures.

Paulette was raised in Grand Junction, CO until moving to Holladay, Utah in 1959. Paulette graduated from Judge Memorial High School and went on to complete nursing school and was an Operating room nurse at LDS Surgical Center. She traveled with Operation Smile (cleft lip surgery), with the advanced team, helping children in China and Gaza Strip. She loved spending time with her family and was exceptional in helping her grandkids navigate through their teen and young adult dilemmas.

Paulette is survived by her husband Max Eskelson, daughter Michelle Romney (Scott Halton), daughter in law Jay Johnson (Steve Mimnaugh), sister Marcia (Chris) Kennard, grandchildren Clint (Corina) Trujillo, Tara Romney, Anna (Joe) Clausi and Rachel (Garret) Vance, sister-in-law Kathy Shuey Smith (DeWayne) 11 great grandchildren, plus many bonus great grandkids, nephews Jeff Shuey, Jace (Jo) Cook, Jake Cook and niece Amy (Wade) Lambert. Preceded in death by her parents Paul, Ernestine and Lucy, her brothers Ronnie Paul and Gareth Shuey, children Jennifer (1978) and Brian (2000), and grandson Steven Trujillo (2016).

We want to acknowledge all the caregivers that helped my mom stay at home as long as possible – Idella, MaryAnn, Yvonne, Tina, Vera - you are truly angels. With their help, Max was able to keep his promise to keep his girl at home and safe as long as possible. To the neighbors that took her in during her times of angst - Alisha and Jay, Lori and Russ, Brayden and Tate, Anne and Darren, Ken and Stacey, and Jeff and Angi - thank you for comforting her long enough to feel safe to return home to Max. A big shout out to the Murray Police Dept for showing up when called and being aware you were going on a call dealing with dementia, you handled every situation with kindness and understanding.

To the aides at Riverway – Brian, Jennifer, sweet Kelli, Jack, Ashlyn, Mickie, Jen, Ella, Averi to mention a few and our Canyons Hospice team – Jennie, Kelli. It was a short 3 months, you are truly special people that can make a difference to the elderly, and you do it well with love and compassion. Thank you all for giving so much love and care to our wife and mom in her hardest days.

We will be celebrating Paulette’s life on Sunday, September 11th, 2022 6:00 – 8:30 PM at Cactus and Tropicals, 12252 Draper Gate Drive, Draper UT 84020. Dinner buffet, wine, sodas, and margaritas. Come and celebrate with us!!

We have two requests:
1. Please, no flowers. Make a donation to a local animal rescue (humane society, aspca, etc.) in Paulette’s name.
2. Since pink nail polish was Paulette’s trademark, we are asking that you wear bubblegum pink nail polish!

Inurnment on Monday, September 12th, 2022, at Murray City Cemetery at 11:00 AM.

On August 2, 2022, my teammate in life was finally freed from a disease that her devastated her mind and body. I met Paulette while working at Cottonwood Hospital, where Paulette worked as a LPN on the Surgery 2 floor. I was always in awe watching her work with her patient’s was a sight. She treated them as family. She often told me she enjoyed rubbing their backs and getting them ready for bed. She made sure her patients had a good night’s rest.

After dating for a while, we decided to get married. So, on September 12, 1980, we did! It was truly an adjustment for me. Going from single one day to instant family the next. This was an interesting experience. Soon after we married, I became a grandpa! This was getting really interesting.
Paulette had three children – Jennifer, Michelle and Brian. Sadly, Jennifer passed before we married. Michelle was married before we were! After a period, Michelle was the proud momma to three lovely kids.

We started our travels low key. We would go to San Francisco three or four times a year. And we would time it so we were always there on Sundays. We would have a wonderful Chinese dinner at the Empress of China and breakfast at the Buena Vista – a place known for its Irish Coffee. Another dinner at Scomas on the Wharf. Then Sunday morning we would go the Hyatt Regency for Sunday Brunch. And (of course) we found time to go to the Hard Rock Café for hamburgers and Hurricanes. Then we would fly home and start our normal lives the following morning.

Somewhere along this timeline Paulette bought a white 2-door BMW that she just loved. And she looked good in it. Paulette got involved with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). Sundays we would go to a large open parking lot that had a road course laid out on it. And she would drive her BMW like she stole it. At the end of year awards show, Paulette always took first in her division. Sounded good but the fact is she was the only person in her division!

Our travels got a little more daring. Florida, New Orleans, New York City, Washington DC. Wherever we went, we made sure to hit the local Hard Rock for our hamburgers and hurricanes (can you say London?). And of course, I had to stop in the gift shop and get a shirt! While in Washington DC, Paulette met up with her long-lost cousin Louise and her husband John. We hung out together in DC, visited museums and had nice dinners. Paulette was so happy she got to see Louise.

About a year later, we were talking about a trip to the wine country in California. So, we arranged to meet John and Louise in Napa to explore the vineyards.

One day Marcia contacted us and asked if we would like to tour Italy with her and Lucy. The obvious response was “oh hell yes – how soon?” We had a nice time the four of us. As a team, we saw some cool parts of Italy, and this gave us the bug to return. Over the years, we visited a lot of countries and places. But Germany was always our favorite.

We have some fond memories of Paris - Giverny (Monet’s’ home) and Lourdes. Taking a dinner cruise down the Seine. Watching the huge parade of in-line skaters while we stood outside the Moulin Rouge. Cruising the Rhine with Bernd and May-Britt. Laughing about eating Chinese food at an antebellum style home in Germany! Touring the English countryside with Lucy. Visiting Bath. Moving on to Italy. We enjoyed Rome and all it had to offer. On to Naples where we spent time with Max’s brother Derek and sister Sabrina, their mom Elvy and their stepdad Roberto.

We then caught the cruising bug. We started with a Mexican Riviera Cruise with Anna, Rachel, Steve and Jay. Did some silly things in Mexico. Max went snorkeling. He was hit with a big wave that thru him backwards over a large coral. his back missed it but drug his arm across it and got some pretty good scratches (i.e., shredded) then decided to head to the other end of the USA and check out the Caribbean. We cruised with Marcia (Paulette’s sister) and her husband Chris twice. Paulette and I both enjoy horseback riding. So, what did we do? We went horseback riding both in Jamaica and St. Thomas! There were no Hard Rock cafes close; however, there was a Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville where we enjoyed hamburgers and margaritas. And (of course) Max bought a shirt and a glass. We both enjoyed seeing live music. We have seen and heard a lot of good music with good friends.

Of course, with good times there must be the bad ones. Paulette’s life started of bad when she was nine years old. That is when her mother Ernestine passed on from sudden cardiac death. Ernestine was pregnant at the time, so the child also passed. Paul (her dad) asked Gareth for a name for the little boy. Gareth chose the name Ronnie Paul.

Paulette’s dad Paul had his hands full raising two children as a single parent. Paul then met a lovely Italian girl named lucy while in Grand Junction. They fell in love and were married. Lucy accepted and loved both Gareth and Paulette as her own. Lucy adopted Gareth and Paulette. Soon Lucy and Paul added a third to the group – Marcia.

Paulette lost a lot of people over the years. Her mom Ernestine in the early 50’s, her dad Paul, daughter Jennifer, son Brian, brother Gareth and grandson Stephen. All these deaths where heart breaking; however, Paulette carried on. We would talk about it and came to the conclusion that they all hurt bad when they happened. They still hurt - just not as bad.

From Tara (our granddaughter):

My Grandma Paulette passed away peacefully last night after a long battle with dementia. She was such an amazing and strong person. So intelligent and funny. Really quite a powerhouse combo of traits. She was a smart ass, loved all people no matter their background. Was a registered nurse her whole life, loved to travel and got to go to so many countries for work with Operation Smile. She loved cooking and although she used her microwave a lot, it never tasted like it.

She taught me how to make Hurricanes when I was little and used to put a splash of Kahlua in my milk. I watched “Adventures in Babysitting” on repeat at her house and went down the stairs in sleeping bags with my brothers.

She was an avid reader, a racecar driver (probably where I get my need for speed). She was such a great listener and when I was trying to navigate my 20’s I called her almost everyday and spilled my guts and she was there listening, never judging me.

I’ll miss her voice and her ugly faces she would make by pulling her nostrils and mouth in different directions. I’ll miss just being in the kitchen with her while she made her yummy tomato salad or my favorite sandwich – tomato, avocado, cheddar cheese and mustard, a Grandma Paulette special!

The thought of never seeing her again is painful but I’m glad she is not in pain anymore. Hopefully my Mom and my Grandpa Max can also find some peace soon. My family has been so great to her but those two especially have devoted so much of their time to her so she would never feel alone. Now my Grandpa is alone so if you know him, please reach out and say hello.
Rest well Grandma and enjoy being reunited with your family up there.

From Rachel (our granddaughter):

Today I lost my grandma

The woman who taught me about character, forgiveness, and the true art of telling others to ‘f*%* off’. She taught me about giving and that the most precious thing we can truly give is our time and our most honest selves. She was a fierce, devoted, loyal woman who gave with everything she had and lived with her whole heart.

I don’t remember the toys I played with or the clothes I wore but I remember feeling like the most important and special person whenever I was in her company. I remember the countless nights I spent at her house, begging her to sing lullabies to me and she would for hours with a loving pat and kind eyes that I never failed to see my dad through.

She helped make my childhood feel like magic. She is the safest person I have ever met and no matter what life threw my way, there was never anything that her hug couldn’t fix.

I will miss her giving me the best advice, encouragement to be the best person I can be, and her ability to make my tummy laugh with her hilarious sense of humor and silly faces.

Grandma, I am the luckiest girl in the world to have had you in my life. You were the most incredible example of a strong woman. I promise to tell my children everything about you and I promise that your legacy will always flow through our family with compassion, kindness, and a whole lot of “jackass”. I promise to build a life that you would be so proud of.

Give my dad all the kisses and hugs. I know how badly you’ve been wanting to see him.

Love you forever, cupcake.


Condolences Max, rest in peace Paulette

- Steve Burningham

Max, So very sorry for your loss. Grateful you had such good memories together. Take care cousin.

- Diane Eskelson-Mary


I am sorry for your loss. I know how much you loved her. You always spoke of her with such love and joy. May you get through this challenging time with the comfort of friends and family

- david eitel

I miss you more than I ever thought possible. I miss you when I go to sleep. I miss you when I wake up. We made a good team. Music and travel no longer interests me like it did. I miss my teammate. ❤️❤️

- Max

Thank you Max and grandchildren, for sharing such wonderful stories in regards to your grandma. She was truly an amazing woman I can tell through the stories. Max I know you were hurting and I know you were sad, but I also know that you know she is with you every day in your heart love you friend

- Loni Turner -Easterday

Hi there my girl
I miss you at night when I turn in. I miss you in the morning when I have awoke.
I miss you when I hear Neil Young sing "Harvest Moon". I remember you saying "Neil is so dark......"
Music and travel just do not have the same appeal to me without you.
We made a good team. Went lots of places - heard lots of good music (even if you were rolling your eyes at me being a total geek).
I miss my team mate. And will always miss you and miss us.

- Max Eskelson

So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing these beautiful stories and memories of the wonderful life you shared together..
Cousin Monique

- Monique

My deepest sympathy to the family of Paulette, and especially to Max. May Paulette rest in peace and be in the comfort of God's care.

- Henry Oh

Max, so sorry for your loss-buddy. My heart is broken, thinking of the two of you-together. May Paulette rest peacefully.

your friend Ralph.
(Brent too)

- Ralph Martinez

Life is a precious journey and Paulette lived it with such grace and dignity. Max and Paulette shared one heart between them, and that heart was shared with all their family and friends.

May you fly with the angels and let your light continue to shine over all of us.


- Valerie Sinnott Garcia

I am so sorry to hear of Paulette‘s passing. She was a good person, with a nice smile and a good sense of humor. I am glad I got to work with her and know her.

- Steve Shuput

Miss ya!

- ME

My mom and dad were friends with Paulette’s mom and dad. I was friends with Gareth and Paulette. We used to have overnight sleepovers at their house. I was even younger than they were. I still remember how much fun her dad was and how nice her mom was. But they left Grand Junction and I never got to see them again.. I feel so sad learning about Paulette (and Gareth). But I can tell she lived an amazing life. 🥰🙏🏻

- Suzzanne Taylor