Stewart-obit-webPEABODY — Paula T. (Belforte) Stewart, 71, of Peabody and formerly of Melrose and Quincy, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 7.

Paula was born in Quincy on Sept. 20, 1943 and raised in North Quincy by her parents Ferdinand and Catherine (Zona) Petrucci. A graduate of North Quincy High School, Class of 1961, Paula was a resident of Quincy for 50 years. She worked with special needs students in the Quincy elementary schools as the assistant Title I gym teacher for 10 years. Paula was a Quincy girl at heart; she raised her three daughters in the community, organized many class reunions for North Quincy High School and was an active, devout parishioner at St. Boniface Church.

On Oct. 6, 1996, she married Robert G. Stewart, proprietor of Harding & Stewart Insurance of Melrose. She relocated to Melrose, attained her insurance license and became an integral part of the agency. With her sociable, warm personality Paula was a natural insurance agent. She worked with her husband Bob in the office for many years and she loved personally working with all of her clients. With her easy smile, kind nature and quick sense of humor, she made many friends.

In her free time, she loved cooking, entertaining, dancing and playing the slots at Twin Rivers with Bob.

Most of all, Paula was a selfless family woman. Hard working, vibrant and full of life, she worked many jobs as a young mother to support her family and her devotion to her daughters never wavered. Very generous, she was always willing to help anyone in need and often offered healing prayers for sick family and friends to her favorite, St. Raphael. Above all else, Paula was a dedicated wife, mother, sister and cherished the time she spent with her 10 grandchildren.

Paula was the beloved wife of Robert G. Stewart with whom she shared 18 years of marriage. She was the devoted mother of Rina M. Laugelle of Weymouth, Lyn L. Cohen of Dorchester and Carla M. Carbonara and her husband Richard of Brockton. She was the stepmother of Lori Stewart Coletti and her fiancé Ed Camuso of Essex. She was the dear sister of Donna M. Jackson and her husband J. Robert of Summerfield, Fla. and Frederick “Ricky” Petrucci and his wife Joan of Hingham. She is also survived by 10 loving grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Paula’s life for visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Friday, April 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. and again on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. before leaving in procession to St. Mary Church, Herbert Street, Melrose for her funeral Mass celebrated at 11 a.m.

Gifts in honor of Paula may be made to Allcare Hospice, 210 Market St., Lynn MA 01901.

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