Remembering Freddie Papineau
I met Freddie Papineau back in the early '80s when she opened up the Graphic Emporium in the Downtown Mall. She also owned and operated the Miracle Mile Mercantile, conducted estate sales and was an enthusiastic patron of the arts.
She opened the Graphic Emporium for many Saturday Art Hop events and provided food and wine for visitors.
I sold her a computer in the '80s and dropped by to troubleshoot problems. I would visit the Miracle Mile Mercantile and check out the computer there. I worked at a computer store in the downtown mall when I first met Freddie and she confided in me that my boss was “just plain kooky.” I had to agree, in a good way. He knew he was not good with the public and fashioned himself an office in the basement of the computer store so he wouldn’t drive customers away.
It’s been a month since Freddie Papineau died. There was no obituary in the Record Searchlight newspaper for this woman who was in business in Redding for 30 years, and there won’t be one. There was no service or “celebration of life”.
I always imagined that birth notices and obituaries were important news in a community as well as primary source historical documents. Researchers glean important genealogical information from reading obituaries.
I imagined that everyone born in a community would have a birth announcement, and that everyone who passed away in a community would have an obituary.
This has changed in the last few years. Many people aren’t aware that obituaries are no longer printed in the Record Searchlight unless someone in the family steps forward to buy column inches of space in the local newspaper. The cost of an obituary in the Record Searchlight starts at $95 and goes up. This cost is prohibitive for many families, but the effort that a family must make during a time of grief to cobble together an obituary can also be a major barrier.
I recently talked to the husband of a local, world-class musician who was in the middle of recording a CD with another musician in Scotland when she died last year. He admitted that he lived in a haze for several months after his wife died, and putting together an obituary was the last thing he was worried about.
Redding lost a wonderful business woman and patron of the arts when Freddie Papineau passed away.
Of anyone, she deserved more that the two lines of text in the death notice that she was granted by the Record Searchlight.
Freddie, you will be missed.
Joanne Snyder is a north state teacher.
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