Paula celebrates her birthday with Kermit on March13,
"She Left This Earth For Her Final Destination
August 2nd, 1997"
Paula and Kermit Lay, Married
Aug. 19, 1946
Paula was born in Lone
Wolf, Oklahoma on March 13, 1926. She married Kermit Lay on August 19, 1946. She
retired from a long career in Federal Civic Service as a GS-9 with her last
position as a Traffic Manager in Logistics at Fort Mason, California. She gave
unselfishly of herself in keeping the ex-POW’s memories alive with a
newsletter and being a contributing factor in Lou Reda’s film production
"Japanese War Crimes - Murder Under The Sun."
Paula co-founded with Kermit Lay the "Zentsujian Ex-POW Quarterly
Newsletter" in 1980, named after the infamous prisoner of war camp located
in Zentsuji on the island of Shikoku in Japan. The publication ended due to
failing health in January of 1996.
Originally the letter was sent to POW’s interned at Zentsuji and grew
into a large nationwide audience as well as many readers in Europe, Canada,
Australia and New Zealand. The readership began with a handful of survivors and
grew into a large mailing exceeding 400 of which many were prisoners of war in
various locations in the Pacific Campaign. As time passed the Newsletter became
a true labor of love for Paula who spent many hours preparing the eagerly
awaited information with her readers who enjoyed the contact with old friends
via the Newsletter. Many readers have informed me that the Newsletter was the
only link to those trying days of WWII and appreciated the effort in its
production. Paula always closed with love from Paula (POW) which meant
"Poor Old Wife".
The "Zentsujians" conducted Annual Conventions with the 1998
site held in Reno, Nevada in August of this year. In October of 1992 the
Convention was held in Arlington, Virginia. Paula and I had the honor of being
selected to place a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Solder at the Arlington
National Cemetery, an honor Paula and I treasured.
It was at the October 1992 Convention that we had the pleasure of meeting
Claude M. Kicklighter, Lieutenant General USA Retired, who was the Executive
Director of the 50th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration
Committee. This ultimately led to a meeting with Lou Reda, the renowned TV
Producer who has produced a number of historical programs for the Arts &
Entertainment and History Channels.
The "Z" Convention was in Dallas in 1995 at which time Paula
spent considerable time with Mr. Reda in pre-production work in the film’s
"Japanese War Crimes…" is a hard hitting, blunt and truthful
history lesson which without Paula’s assistance would not have enjoyed its
success or perhaps not have been filmed. Paula’s name is listed in the ending
credits, which I am extremely proud of.
I lost my beloved "POW" on August 2, 1997 and appreciate being
able to share her accomplishments with fellow ex-POW’s, friends and all that
are reading this information.