One of the most competitive people in the world, Leona “Nonie” Paulson completed the final item on her “Anything you can do I can do better” checklist by outliving her mother, Mabel McTague (who passed at age 92) and finally called it a day on December 27 at the age of 93 years, and 20 days, outlasting her mother by 304 days. We’re sure you’ll hear all about it, Grandma Tague.
Known to all as “Nonie,” she also went by several other monikers: Crazy Nonie, Dr. Nonie, Nonie Baloney, The None Bone, and of course the best two, Mom and Grandma. She was born in Duluth on November 7, 1928 to Mabel and Leonard McTague. Nonie was a firecracker and an incredibly hard worker who never met a party she didn’t like. On April 22, 1950 Nonie married the 2nd most competitive person in the world, James Paulson. They were known for their daily best-of-three cribbage games, where daily score was kept on scrap paper on the dining table, and those who dared enter the house post-game always immediately knew the winner of the 3 nickels of the day. Nonie’s framed perfect hand against Jim followed her to her place at Marywood, proudly hung on the wall.
Jim and Nonie owned and operated many Super Valu Grocery Stores, where they believed they would never ask an employee to do something they wouldn’t do themselves. As well as working extremely hard, Jim and Nonie were always up for a good time. Whether it was a trip to Hawaii, season tickets for the Vikings since day one (including standing reservations at the Thunderbird), or of course, their yearly voyage to the Kentucky Derby, they were the life of the party.
Nonie also loved to sing. She was very proud of her time spent in the Colomonde Women’s Chorus in Lake Havasu, AZ where she and Jim were snow birds. She also spent time singing in the St. Raphaels choir in Pike Lake. Now, don’t let this classy choir resume fool you, anyone who ever knew Nonie for more than an hour or two was most certainly taught an Irish pub tune, the dirtier the better.
Nonie was predeceased by her parents, sister, Mary, and husband, Jim. Nonie leaves behind four children; Jim (Linda), Gary (Vicki), Bob (Laurie), and Mary (Don) Gemuenden. Eight grandchildren; Matthew, Ryan (Rebecca), Crystal (Patrick), Patrick (Angela), Shannon (Nate), Jamie (Steve), Jessie (Mike), and Tanya “Lou” (Jon). Thirteen great grandchildren! And so many special friends. The family wants to extend their gratitude and appreciation to the incredible staff at Marywood, who took such amazing care of our Nonie for the past several years. Your patience and time for learning her tunes never went unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you!
We will miss Nonie forever and a day. She was our rock and larger than life. If you knew her, run to your local establishment, tell the bartender a dirty joke, and ask for a Cuba Libra. Until we meet again, Nonie, cheers!
Visitation will be Monday Jan. 3rd, from 10am to the 11am services in the Dougherty Funeral Home. Burial at Oneota Cemetery. Memorials are preferred and may be directed to Second Harvest Northern Lights Food Bank, 4503 Airpark Blvd, Duluth, MN 55811.
Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2 nd St. Duluth, MN, (218) 727-3555. Please sign her online register book at, www.dfhduluth.com.