Paula Friedrich, a former longtime Gazette Packet and Connection Newspapers employee, died suddenly Oct. 19, 2017 after collapsing at her job at the IMAX Theater at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, where she worked as a projectionist.
“Paula cared deeply about everything she did, and she helped us in many ways over the years,” said Local Media Connection Publisher Mary Kimm.
Born Jan. 8, 1956, Friedrich was a 1974 graduate of T.C. Williams High School. She began her career with The Connection Newspapers in January of 1993, working in classified, paste up and general production. Her duties quickly expanded to include copy editing and compiling calendar listings.
“Paula served as Santa Claus for children at our office parties and decorated the office for Christmas and sometimes other holidays,” Kimm said. “She more than once decked out my office for bosses day.”
Friedrich was also known for bringing in large trays of handmade chocolates to share with her colleagues.
“She said her strengths were reliability, dependability and work ethic,” Kimm recalled. “I would have to add that she was super smart and cared deeply about everything she did. She described herself as ‘not a people person,’ saying ‘I tend to be rigid about things like rules and deadlines, which are less important to some ... Lord knows how we stick to deadlines around here!’”
Friedrich was a member of Mensa. She was predeceased by her parents, Alfred and Florence Friedrich of Alexandria. A memorial service will be held in the Airbus IMAX Theater at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, 143900 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, at 9 a.m. Nov. 2.