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Paula Ann Klimek

Date of Death: January 16, 2017

Date of Birth: February 15, 1948


CAPE ELIZABETH - Paula Ann Klimek passed away at her home on January 16, 2017. Paula was born On Feb. 15, 1948 in Webster, Mass., the daughter of Sophie and Peter Klimek. She earned a Master's degree in Teaching at Rhode Island College and taught in the R.I. public schools in the 1970's. She was the founder and director of the Human Development Project, an innovative holistic education curriculum incorporating body, mind emotions and creativity to foster an optimal education experience for the whole student.

Paula was the Co-Director with Jack Canfield of the nationally recognized Institute for Holistic Education in Amherst, Mass, where she worked to provide consulting, professional training workshops, writing and public speaking on holistic approaches to child and adult education. The Institute offered an intensive Master's degree level training program in holistic education and personal development for educators and counselors. In 1980 Paula brought the Institute's M.A. program to the Interface Foundation in Boston, Mass. where she met her future husband, Robert Cornett. She worked with Robert to further develop the Holistic Studies M.A. program which gained national stature as a center for training educators, counselors and health professionals in the theory and practice of educating the whole person and facilitating personal growth and transformation.

Paula and Robert moved to Cape Elizabeth in 1986 where Paula established a private counseling practice and provided workshops using holistic, transpersonal, and Jungian approaches including sand tray therapy. She provided individual and couple's counseling and led workshops on women's psychological and spiritual development.

At home Paula and Robert transformed their property into a cottage garden sanctuary that integrates the home and landscape and uplifts the soul by creating multiple "garden rooms" reflecting the principles of the British and American Arts & Crafts Bungalow style. Paula's knowledge of plants and skill with garden design was extraordinary. She created a living canvas of bulbs, perennials, annuals, vines, shrubs, berries, fruit trees and assorted vegetable and herb beds. Using organic and biodynamic principles their property honors the four seasons and the cycles of birth, life, death and rebirth within nature and human life. Their home was a favorite on the Cape Elizabeth Garden tour in recent years.

Paula was a master teacher and group facilitator with a large and loving spirit that profoundly touched hundreds of souls during her career. She was proud of her Polish heritage and hosted an elaborate traditional Polish Wigilia meal during the Christmas season. She had a big heart and soul which she shared generously with all she knew. She suffered through many serious medical challenges with courage and strength in her final years. She was especially thankful for the wonderful team at the Maine Transplant Program that took such exceptional care of her.

Paula is survived by her husband, Robert Cornett; her cousin, Jessica Cacciapouti and her husband Richard Cacciapouti and their three children and spouses Mark and Deborah, Brian and Carol, Melissa and Craig; and their children Nicole, Sarah, Caden, Tessa, Dominic and Devon, all of whom she loved very much.

A celebration of life gathering is planned for the spring. 

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her memory to the Maine
Transplant Program, 19 West Street, Portland, ME 04102.

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