Paula J. Johnson

Date of Passing:

August 23, 2023

Johnson, Paula J. (Whalen), 59, of Crescent View Avenue, Riverside, died peacefully at home on August 23, 2023 surrounded by her loving family.

Born in Providence, a daughter of the late Joseph and Carol (Lyons) Whalen, she was a lifelong resident of Riverside.

Paula enjoyed spending time with her loving family.

She is survived by two sons, Anthony Palermo III of Cranston and Brian Palermo of Riverside; four grandchildren, Jayla Palermo, Natalia Palermo, Anthony Palermo IV and Alyanna Palermo; two sisters, Norma Bettencourt of South County, RI and Colleen Costa of Johnston; two brothers, Patrick Whalen and Joseph Whalen both of Riverside and several nieces and nephews.

Calling Hours will be held in the W. RAYMOND WATSON FUNERAL HOME, 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside on Saturday September 2, 2023 from 1-3 p.m. Flowers are respectfully omitted. Contributions in Paula’s memory to the American Lung Association, 260 West Exchange Street, Providence, RI 02903 would be deeply appreciated.

Online Condolences


  1. Mom my birthday is finally on thanksgiving again but I wish I could sleep threw it Kristin an I am the girls would come over with food so u didn’t have to make anything even though u would but now my birthday being that day I wana sleep from Wednesday till Friday cause I can’t have thanksgiving without u I finially got a big tattoo for u I wish u could see it u always wanted to c it but these pass three months been the absolute worse I break down on a daily basis I can’t pay attention Focus nothing I miss doing everything I can for u bringing u outside or to shaws or watever u wanted to do this is absolutely killing me very fast I know u been sick for so long but u was so strong I always thought u would beat it thank god i got Kristin she is so special she did absolutely everything me an Tony could never do she did everything with out her an the kids I would be with you rite now gonna b the worse birthday ever I just need to hear ur voice an see u I got 82 voicemails from you an I just can’t listen to them cause it will kill me to hear ur voice an not to have a conversation I can’t even walk into cvs cause it kills me cause it was always for u Ik u was in serious pain I could b selfish but I wish u was here I would’ve took all ur pain all I got his Tony’s an my girls I got ur tea cup an water cup an wheelchair tattoo on me An I’m still adding but idk how to live without u I miss u so much I can’t even explain it my life seems boring now I get out of work an just come home instead of checking on u after work after shower after dinner than before bed I miss it so much I would give anything up to spend one more day with you you r the best friend an mother ever u took everyone No matter who it was an half those ppl didn’t even show up. To say good bye that bothers me to u did everything for anyone an ppl can’t take ten min to pay there respect u was always rite everyone acts like they care but there’s very few only Kevin Nunez he still checks on me on a daily basis if I didn’t have Kristin to help me I would b sitting with u rite this second I just can’t mom I could go on forever I’m sorry I did t do more I tried to help u an take care of the girls while Kristin working an when I was working Kristin would help u she misses taking u to Walmart an see smash into everything with the motorized chairs please help me figure this out with out u mom I just can’t do it u meant the world to me an everyone says it will get easier but that’s definitely not true it gets so much harder I love you mom to the moon and back an I can’t wait to see u again I’m sorry I didn’t stay that night it absolutely kills me that I didn’t an I came back an checked u at midnight an u was sleeping but u was fine 4 hours later I found u that was the worse thing I ever seen or had to deal with I called tony an Kristin immediately Kristin an aly was there within minutes I’m sorry mom I should’ve had u move in with me I could’ve did something different I’m so sorry I love u an I will try an do what I can for the girls for as long as I can but it’s just to hard I miss an love u mom I go sit in the parking lot all the time an listen to one sweet day by boys to men An it just crushes me ur not outside I’m sorry mom I should’ve stayed an it’s killing me that I didn’t I love you mom I hope ur finally walking around pain free but I still rather u be in ur chair an me pushing u I’m sorry an I love u more than life itself love u mom

  2. Paula was my neighbor for many years. May she rest in peace and may her children be strong for their families.

  3. We honored my younger sister this past weekend,we lost our parents at a young age so we only had us siblings and for the most part we were there for each other,you had a rough life but you fought threw it,when you broke your back you couldn’t stand up straight but once again you fought back.then after years of living like that.a new specialist comes along and says he can do surgery to make you stand straight you went for it and you were totally left with not being able to walk at all,but you still went on,when I came to live with you to take care of you we fought like we were kids back at home,it kills me that I left you but I couldn’t take some of your so called friends that just took from you,you always did help people and you were treated so wrong,but sister I have to say you did it again you got to be with mom and dad first lol you know what I mean,I ask one thing of you is to hug my son Joey tell him how much I love him and miss him with all my heart,well sister I could go on and on,Sister I pray that you are at peace,and thank you for being a second mom to my son Kevin if he didn’t have me he had you,You Will Be In My Heart always,Your sons honored you Beautiful,I don’t know how long I will be here but I will be here for them if needed,I miss our phone calls and I want you to know I listen to you and got a new specialist I went on tuesday,I already miss our chit chats,I went to call you after my appointment I had the phone in my hand and I couldn’t,until we meet again my sister,love you for ever 💔

  4. Mom I hope we did you proud with your service we tried our best an we did everything u wanted we miss u more then words describe forever in our heart always on my mind so many regrets but so many proud moments too we hope u mad u proud. Love u always an forever❤️❤️💔💔

  5. Sending my love to the family, My most beautiful best friend who I will miss forever until we meet again. Memories will live on and in my heart, love always and forever for you are at peace, sleep my baby girl.

  6. Mom I just don’t know how me a tony are gonna get threw this next six hours I can’t do this with out you I tried to do everything I possibly can for you. I just should’ve tried more an I can’t live with that it’s killing me I should’ve did more I tried to do everything for you so u can rest a get better. I should’ve stayed there that night an it absolutely kills me that I didn’t an I’m sorry I should’ve did more I tried mom it killed me doing all those things for you but I didn’t want you to fall or get hurt I can’t do this without you u are my best friend an mom I loved rushing out of work or waking up to go to your house to makesure u was ok when I went to work had Kristin Kevin checking on u you telling Kevin he’s a terrible babysitter I yelled at him for that but Kevin helped out since I was 7 years old he’s always there for you an me an he still is for me me an Tony are already best friends but we will watch eachother an u watch us u taught us how to b good husbands fathers everything I will take care of the girls I just need u mom we will try an make the best of this with all these stories today but I can’t do it I need you mom i love u more than anything I just don’t understand why this happen to the best an most beautiful person in the world an I never will I’m sorry mom I love you. U will always be on my mind. I just don’t know how to live without you please help me well here we go mom I love you more than life love you mom

  7. Mom I don’t know how me an tony are gonna get thru this next 6 hours Nevermind the rest of our lives without you we need you me an tony will keep a eye out on eachother we are already best friends now we will b even closer but we need you more than anything. I never understood why this had to happen to the most beautiful person in the world it’s just not fair at all life sucks But u taught us how to b men an good husband an fathers you taught us everything there is to know about life even being in all that pain u are in it’s just not fair an we need you I just can’t figure out how to do this an I dknt think I ever will u was my mom but my best friend I tried to do everything to help u Ik sometimes I freaked out but it wasn’t cause I was mad at you it was because you couldn’t do all that stuff for yourself even though u Probly could’ve but I didn’t want u to fall or get hurt so I tried to do everything for you so u could rest and always wish u would get better one day I just wished I would’ve did more for you I could live with knowing I could’ve did more I should’ve stayed there that night an I can’t live with my self that I didn’t stay That hurts more than anything I wish I did more for you an I’m sorry I didn’t that hurts me so much I’m sorry but I love you more than life I will take care of the girls But I don’t know how I’m gonna do this mom I need you I love you mom I’m sorry this happen to you I love you mom we will try an make the best of this with all the stories we are gonna tell I love you mom u will never get off my mind I love you Have fun with your family an friends up there u deserve to have no pain an have a little fun I love you mom

  8. I’m so deeply sorry to Tony and Brian she always told me sents use were young how much she loved you both and how proud you Both made her as a mom and as a Nonie ! She was the most beautiful person in Side and out we had long talks good talks about selfs and we would have tea she never would drink coffee but I love that about her she had a big heart ❤️ but a strong mind and told as she seen it I texted and talk to her and over texted but she didn’t mind and I didn’t I miss you so much too my friend Paula I new you sent my late 20 are kids hung out and that’s who brought us as friends love you Karen 🙏

  9. Brian and Tony I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom. Both of you were amazing sons to her and let me say this knowing this it will help with the healing process she will watch over your both and looking down being proud of her son and also thankful for all you done for her Stay strong. My condolences to all your family members also

  10. Dam mom I’m sitting here in your apartment waiting for u to yell at me Or bring you outside or to shaws ( you know I loved that) but your not coming and it absolutely kills me tony said it best you taught us everything except how to live without you an I don’t know how an it’s killing me an Tony I don’t know what to do. I miss watching Chicago pd Chicago fire law an order with you miss you yelling at me cause you can’t figure out the remote control it dosent do what u want we need you if it wasn’t for Kristin doing everything I would b even more lost I could go on forever I just can’t handle this at all can’t sleep can’t eat I need you mom please help me get thru this I know ur in pain but I need you I would’ve took ur pain any day for u I wish me an Tony got the (mom tattoos so you could see them they r coming shortly I just need you mom I love you more than life itself I love you mom😘

  11. Mom I don’t no what to do without u you was always the one that told me When I was messing up or I was doing the right thing even though I’m adult I still need u to put me in the right direction u was always the one I got to talk to about my mess ups an my wins I’m lost not having u a phone call away I can’t describe the heartbreak I feel. The only thing I can hold on to is you aren’t in pain every second of every day. Knowing u fought as long as u could for your family shows how strong u was. You took a piece of my heart with u an u can have it , it’s yours for eternity I miss u an don’t no how to go on but I will be as strong as I can because that’s what u would want I miss an love u more than I can describe always in my heart always on my mind. You taught me everything except how to live without you. Xoxo

  12. Brian and Anthony so sorry to hear about your mother. Family is everything and life is not fair sometimes. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Rest in peace Paula

  13. My sincere sympathy goes out to entire family. Thoughts and prayers are with you all. Paula suffered terribly for so long. I hope you all find peace in your hearts knowing that Paula’s next day will be her best day. RIP. Brenda

  14. I can’t believe I’m writing this you and I were friends long before I even met Tony I thought you were going to be mad but you welcomed me into your family with open arms treated me like I was your own I knew what it was like to have a mom again Tony would leave for work and I’d go sleep in your bed I would give anything to be able to do that again I couldn’t have asked for a better grandmother (nonnie) for my kids they love you with all their heart and soul you will be missed never forgotten rest easy mom dance under the grapevine with my mother

  15. Sending Prayers & Condolences,To The Family,Very Sorry For Your Loss,Paula You Will Truly Be Missed,My Friend ,Rest In Peace 🕯️🙏🏽❤️🙏🏽

  16. Paula, you are in my thoughts & prayers. I will miss you.
    Rest in Peace.

  17. Rest in the sweetest peace Auntie Paula!❤️ Our sincere condolences to aunties children, grandchild and siblings. Sending you all so much love and prayers during this difficult time.

  18. I’m so sorry for the family’s loss. Went to school w/ Paula..we all grew up together. She was a beautiful soul inside and out. My condolences to all who loved and knew Paula. RIP BEAUTIFUL LADY 🙏🩷🙏

  19. Auntie you were one of the strongest people I know. My favorite aunt even if we weren’t truly blood related. The only aunt I cared to talk to, and visit. The only aunt I talk to Oliver about. Im so glad he got to see you one last time. He wanted to see you the next day lol. We love you so much. My heart hurts. But im so glad you’re not suffering anymore. My condolences to Brian and Tony. And to Pat and your siblings. Keep them close and wrap them in your love. Ill miss you forever and always. “Love you more.”

  20. Auntie,
    I am so glad we got to messaging each other just three days before you passed.I really never thought that it would have been our last time. I am so saddened and hurt that I will never get to show up at your new place to surprise you with my presence. Yes you have been there for some time,but I actually never got to see the new place.All the good memories I will keep close to my heart and all the annoying ones as well 🤣😂😆. I love you always and forever! Tony Brian I’m so sorry and I love you all xoxoxo To my mother,aunt and uncle’s I’m so sorry.May we all have peace in this difficult time.

  21. I can’t believe I’m writing this I really need u mom I can’t do this without you I tried doing everything I possible can for you Kristin an the girls tried everything I know I always said you tortured me but man I would give anything for that again U watching aly ride her bike was the best feeling in the world for me or u coming to Natalia’s softball games meant everything to us knowing ur in pain but u did it anyways I wish we could be as strong as you for that long I never ever thought this would happen an it don’t feel real I still wake up an do my normal routine for you And it doesn’t hit me till I walk inside the house I need you mom I love u more than life itself Kristin an the girls miss an love you

  22. I can’t even believe your gone.
    you was like mother to me I’m sure you know that,
    you helped raise so many of us, you will forever be in my heart! Love u Ma more than you’ll ever know
    see you when I get there

  23. Paula you will be missed. You are a beautiful soul now in heaven like an angel watching over your family and loved ones, it gives us peace knowing you are not in pain anymore. You are loved by so many because you gave a piece of your love and kindness to us all. My love and condolences go out to your family and boys from me, louie, and our families.

  24. Auntie was truly a remarkable woman. She was someone who would do anything she could to help others in need, someone who would always put those she loved before herself. My thoughts and prayers are with her siblings, children, and grandchildren during this tough time 🙏🏻. May she rest in peace ❤️.

  25. So sorry for your loss

  26. Sorry for the loss!! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all in this time of grieving. Cousin Russell

  27. Norma and Joe very sry for your sister’s passing my prayers are with you guys.

  28. Joe, Pat, Norma and Colleen my deepest sympathies to you all. Thinking of you

    Cousin Dawn

  29. Sending prayers to the family. I loved your mom she will always be in my heart and always on my mind. Rest in Paradise my friend gone but never forgotten.

  30. To the Whalen family my condolences

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