PAULA KATHLEEN LUNDBERG-LOVE, LT’92, LA’93
“Paula’s life goal was to help others. She made a lasting difference in countless lives.”
Dr. Paula Kathleen (Hirsch) Lundberg-Love passed away from cancer on Saturday, June 6, 2020, in Tyler, Texas. She was born February 27, 1949, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alma Amelia Hirsch Stern (nee Bock) and Christian Walter Hirsch. Paula was preceded in death by her loving mother, Alma; her stepfather, Albert J. Stern; and her father, Christian. She is survived by her loving family, daughter, Jill Wright; son-in-law, Charles Wright; granddaughters, Alexis Mara and Lily Racquel Zi Tao; and her stepdaughter, Alisha Holly Love. Paula has two surviving siblings, her sister, Pamela Kay Allendorf and brother, Christian Martin Hirsch. She was aunt to nephews, Gregory Ryan, Alexander Michael Allendorf, and Christian Albert Hirsch; and to her nieces, Victoria Hannah and Erika Leigh Bertocci.
While growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Paula had loving support from both sets of grandparents, Amelia & Peter Bock (maternal grandparents) and Miriam Beinkemper & Christian August Hirsch (paternal grandparents). From an early age Paula loved to play “school;” she was always the teacher to her siblings, Pam and Chris. It was no surprise that she wanted to be a teacher. Teaching was her mission, and her core beliefs were: Knowledge is power; those who suffer trauma must know that recovery is possible, and recovery is important for society as a whole.
Education and teaching did become her life. Paula attended Aiken High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, followed with a full scholarship to Western College for Women. She received her B.S., Chemistry, from Xavier University. She worked in pharmaceutical research with Merrill-Dow labs prior to obtaining an M.A. in Psychology & a Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology, both from the University of Cincinnati. She completed a three-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Lundberg-Love then began her career in Tyler, Texas, at the University of Texas at Tyler.
Dr. Lundberg-Love was a professor of psychology for 32 years. She was the Ben R. Fisch Endowed Professor in Humanitarian Affairs from 2001-2004. While at UTT, Dr. Lundberg-Love was a Research Consultant with the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute and a contributor to the Family Violence Bulletin and a recent contributing editor of the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Sage Publishing.
Paula’s academic and research career coincided with and prepared her for a distinguished career as a highly respected clinical counselor with Tyler Counseling & Assessment Center, where she practiced from 1984 until her recent illness. Paula was both a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Psychological Associate with Independent Practice. She was a Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners and a Diplomat of the American Psychotherapy Association, the American Board of Psychological Specialties, Divisions of Psychopharmacology and Child Sexual Abuse, as well as the American Board of Forensic Medicine.
Her career in counseling included the treatment of childhood and adult sexual assault, victims of incest, post traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, as well as chemical dependency. Through her counseling with survivors of domestic trauma, she not only healed them, but also gave them the potential for rich, productive lives. In the words of one of the survivors Paula worked with, “she saved my life”. This survivor also said, “she believed me; she helped me work through the pain so I could be a normal person and have a good life”. Without Paula, this survivor and countless others would still be traumatized and living in pain. The effect of this work is like ripples spreading in a pond when a pebble is dropped. The positive impact of Paula’s work touched not only her clients, but also everyone with whom her clients came into contact.
Paula also devoted herself to the empowerment of women. She was a long-time member of Leadership Texas, the oldest women’s leadership development program in the USA, where she found some of her closest friends. She exemplified the empowered woman by constantly standing up for the important place that women hold in all aspects of life, whether in the family, the workplace, or society in general. She had recently joined the Tyler Executive Women’s Network, and she continued her professional counseling services after retirement as a professor.
Dr. Lundberg-Love was a regular lecturer at state and national legal conferences on the effects and outcomes of PTSD and substance abuse on offender (those accused of committing a crime) behaviors. Dr. Lundberg- Love also edited, co-authored, and wrote chapters for numerous books regarding the effects of violence on women. Two of her more recent books still in press include: “Intimate” Violence Against Women, edited by Dr. Paula Lundberg-Love and Dr. Shelley Marmion, Violence and Sexual Abuse at Home: Current Issues in Spousal Battering, by Susan Sorenson and Dr. Paula Lundberg-Love (both published by Praeger Publishing), as well as Women And Mental Disorders, coedited and coauthored by Dr. Paula Lundberg-Love, Spectrum Books. Dr. Lundberg-Love would love for you to read them and learn more.
Perhaps one of her greatest clinical passions was in the field of forensics. Dr. Lundberg-Love saw great injustice in the sentencing of the accused in the criminal justice system. During her 34 years as a clinician, she worked on more than 100 cases where the accused had histories of mitigating clinical issues, which should have excluded the death penalty. Dr. Lundberg-Love tirelessly examined evidence, the accused’s social and medical histories, and conducted hours of interviews and psychological testing with those who had experienced extensive child sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, post-partum depression, as well as those with long histories of neglect, and those with traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse. Dr. Lundberg-Love’s forensic work included many cases in Texas as well as throughout the nation, and she helped save many from the death penalty.
As a friend of Paula’s said, “she lived her life the way she wanted to live it, helping others become who they were supposed to be in the first place before they were hurt.” Paula spoke her truth. Paula lived her truth, and she empowered others to do the same. Her legacy will live always through the many people she helped.
Paula cherished the relationship she was able to build with her daughter and granddaughters, made somewhat difficult because they live in Canada. A devoted grandmother, she delighted in buying Alexis and Lily a week’s worth of Texas dresses she took on every visit to Canada, and in her home she displayed photographs of them at every turn. In addition to “her girls”, Paula was much beloved by her former students, who probably number in the thousands, as well as professional associates who respected her intellect, her compassion, and her dedication.
Thanks go out to the UT Health Tyler and UT Health Northeast facilities for her care, and to Choice Hospice and Home Place for her final weeks. Heartfelt thanks are expressed by the family to attending physicians Dr. Robert Strominger, Dr. Usuri, Dr. Seferovic, and Dr. Johnson for their skill and candor. Special thanks also go to the caring nurses at The Waterton (Rosie, Brandie, Katy, and Sonia).
Thank you to Paula’s many dear Tyler friends who were her local family. They supported her always, especially during these past five weeks as she struggled with this devastating cancer diagnosis. Everyone wanted to spend more time with Paula, and Paula wanted to spend more time with all of us.
Stewart Family Funeral Home has assisted with arrangements and cremation has taken place. Dr. Lundberg-Love’s final resting place will be at Rose Lawn Cemetery’s Angel Columbarium. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date when travel restrictions are lifted and people can come together.
If you would like to honor Dr. Lundberg-Love, we offer two donation ideas that align with her lifetime of work.
- Leadership Women, of which Leadership Texas is an important part. Your donation will assist women from the Tyler region who wish to attend Leadership Texas. Click DONATE NOW to make a donation in Paula’s name.
- Equal Justice Initiative Your contribution is critical to EJI efforts to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenge racial and economic injustice, and protect the basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Paula, a.k.a. Dr. Love, will be missed by so many.
Rest in Peace.
Obituary courtesy of the Tyler Morning Telegraph. To view the obituary on the Telegraph’s site, please click the link below: