By David Morris
By David Morris
Blaga Pauley, Riverside Community College Assistant Professor of math, died of breast cancer on May 2 at the age of 44 years old.
According to Kenneth Cramm and Doug Brown, she wanted all of her friends and colleagues to know that she died of breast cancer. Pauley wanted this known to encourage people to get checked regularly. She wanted people to realize that breast cancer is still a killer. Pauley wanted everyone to continue supporting the fight against breast cancer in any way they can.
She was born in 1960 in Sophia, Bulgaria and her life is considered an immigrant success story. Pauley was an opera singer and she received a Master of Arts in music at the Bulgarian University. There are currently no voice recordings of her singing, which saddened her deeply.
In 1988 she left Bulgaria and moved to San Francisco for an audition but was unable to perform due to a paralyzed vocal chord. However, she met her husband Thomas Pauley there and they moved near Mount San Jacinto College so she could take classes to improve her English. They were separated some time later. She graduated in 1996 with an Associate degree in mathematics and science and a certificate in Early Childhood Studies.
She then attended Cal State San Bernardino.
Cramm, a long time friend and colleague of Pauley remembers her as always in the back of their math class, quickly answering questions. They became acquainted during “Tuesday Tea,” a social where faculty and students mingle. Cramm asked if she was an exchange student and she took offense to that, proudly proclaiming that she and her boys were Americans.
She graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and entered the Master program in the same subject. She and Cramm shared offices during this time.
Pauley was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in 2002 and moved closer to Riverside to lessen her commute. Her three sons took up the charge and helped her battle against the cancer.
She is survived by her three sons, Tommy, 14; Rich, 13; and Jimmy, 11.
In lieu of flowers, the Blaga Pauley Memorial Trust was established through Altura Credit Union to provide her children with financial support for their higher education goals.
Tommy plans to become a dentist; Rich wants to become an oncologist, a doctor that cares for cancer patients; and Jimmy wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps, to occupy her office and teach math.
Cramm, a math instructor at the Riverside Campus and his wife Carolyn will soon become the legal guardians of Pauley’s three sons.
Donations may be placed with Blaga Pauley Memorial Trust, account #2253888, Altura Credit Union, 3451 14th St. Riverside, Ca 92501.