Vigen Memorial Home obituary – Paula Louise Wright, 68, Keokuk



Paula Louise Wright, 68, of Keokuk, IA died Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at Blessing Health Keokuk.

She was born July 16, 1953 in Beardstown, IL the daughter of William and Mary Thurman Watkins.  Paula graduated from Carthage High School in Carthage, IL, with the class of 1971.  She furthered her education at Western Illinois University in Macomb, IL, where she received her Bachelor’s degree and was a member of the school’s sky diving team.  

Paula was united in marriage to John Lasley.  He preceded her in death on September 7, 1983.  She later was united in marriage to Darren Lorenz on October 13, 1990.  They later divorced.

Paula had been the owner of Madhatters in Keokuk for many years.  She had been employed by Freuhauf/Wabash in Montrose, IA and later owned and operated Wright Place Restaurant in Carthage, IL.

Paula loved to cook and made wonderful meals for her family and friends to enjoy.  She was a caring and gentle person who loved spending time with her family.   Paula loved collecting frogs and had a large frog collection. 

She is survived by one daughter, Kristianna Lorenz (Matthew McClain) of Keokuk, her adopted children, Karen Krisl (Tom) and Brian Boyd,  one adopted grandchild, Samantha Boyd, her father, William Watkins of Fountain Green, IL one brother, James Watkins (Pam) of Fountain Green, IL and one sister, Christal Watkins-Hicks of Fountain, Green, IL.  Paula was like a mother to many and a grandmother to their children including, Megan Rinderknecht (Daren), Shyla LaVelle (Zach), Dawn Craig (Delbert), Leah Harl (Wil), RJ Wright, Jeremy Wright (Di), Cody Lutzen and the Arrowood families,  Leslie Asbury (Jazz) and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Thurman Crews and her husband, John Lasley.

A graveside will be held at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, in the Oakland Cemetery in Keokuk with Pastor Derek Olsen officiating.

Visitation will be held prior to the service from 12 noon – 2:00 p.m., Tuesday at the Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk, IA with family meeting with friends at that time.

Memorials may be made to Multiple Sclerosis Association.  

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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