Paula Raynar, mother of The LION 90.7fm’s John Raynar and long-time friend and supporter of Penn State student-run radio, has passed away. Many of you know or remember John from his days as an on-air personality and account executive for The LION 90.7fm (WKPS) and other local stations. Today, he serves as sales manager and morning show host for KHJ South Seas Broadcasting in American Samoa. He has been a long-time supporter of the Penn State Media AIG and is the namesake of Centre Foundation’s John Raynar Penn State Media Leadership Fund, which supports student broadcasting. Please join us in sending John and his family our deepest condolences.
A native of West Virginia and graduate of Potomac State College (a branch campus of WVU), Paula first taught high school journalism and French classes in her home state before moving with her family to Texas to study counseling at North Texas University. Ultimately, Paula and her husband Karl relocated to State College where they were valued members of the community and great friends of student radio at Penn State. After observing the immense impact of The LION on John’s life, Paula became and remained a champion for student broadcasting, offering guidance, financial contributions, and advocacy throughout her life. The quiet and steady support of individuals like the Raynars has helped keep the tradition of student radio strong at Penn State for over 100 years.
Paula devoted 25 years to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, providing family counseling and financial assistance, until she retired in 2014. Over that time, she helped countless individuals better their lives, including many Penn State students and members of the State College community. She spent her retirement years pursuing her love of rail travel, gardening and doting on her grandchildren via John and his sister Laurel. Paula and Karl enjoyed hiking and cycling. They had just completed a tour of the Erie Canal. When not otherwise engaged, Paula could be found curled up with a good book.
Paula was an energetic soul and devoted her many talents to volunteer work in the communities in which she resided; they included St. Vincent de Paul, Out-of-the-Cold, and PAWS. She was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church where she was active with the Matthew 25 Group. Paula was a proud member of the South Branch Valley Daughters of the American Revolution in her home town of Franklin, West Virginia.
Paula leaves behind her lifelong partner of 48 years, Karl, and three children, Christie Lee, who died at birth, John Carl and Laurel Marie. Her six grandchildren, Peceli, Carina, John, Zelene, Bryce and Daniel will remember her as Nana. Paula is also survived by her brother John and her sister Zelene. The State College community has always provided a bedrock of support for campus radio, as exemplified by Paula. We recognize a life well lived, greatly appreciate her valued advocacy, and mourn with John and his family.