Paula E. Harte

Paula Rafter Harte, Scranton, passed away peacefully early Friday morning at the Oakwood Terrace, Moosic, following a 2-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Born 1944 in Scranton, she was the daughter of the late Paul and Margaret Boland Rafter. Paula was a 1962 graduate of Scranton Technical High School. Following graduation, she commenced a lengthy career path that always involved helping and educating children of all ages. She began her career at The Scranton State School for the Deaf. Following that she spent 25 years employed as a paraprofessional in the Scranton School District at both Scranton High School and eventually retiring as a teacher at John Adams Preschool. 

Paula was one of a kind, who always put the needs of others before herself, especially when it came to her own children and grandchildren. When it is said that her two sons, Dave and Chris were everything to her, that is not hyperbole. She had always put her life on the backburner to provide them with a safe and fulfilling childhood, almost to a fault. Paula had a profound sense of humor and loved playing practical jokes and pranks on just about everyone she would meet. Very strong headed and opinionated, Paula was someone you would be wise to avoid in a dark alley war of words. Besides the extreme love she had for her sons and grandchildren, her enjoyment of Junior Mints was a not-too-distant 2nd. She was also very fond of her son Chris’ K-9 babies Niko, Henry, and Shane and their many weekly visits. Although the love of her family was first and foremost, Paula left behind many loyal and heartbroken friends and colleagues along the way and will be greatly missed by all.

Surviving are her sons David Harte and wife Kathy and Christopher Harte both of Scranton; her Grandchildren Alison Harte McGuire and husband Michael and Matthew Harte and wife Kaycee, both of Clarks Summit; and newest additions, Great Grandsons Benjamin and Rhys McGuire, and Great Granddaughter Ellie Harte; Nieces and Nephews Brian McCarthy, Linda Flynn, Nancie McCarthy, Melissa Major, Anthony Moody, Cara Harte Fitzgerald, and Krista Harte Sassaman; and Sister-in-Law Margaret Moody.

She was also preceded in death by her sisters Jane Rusinko and Nancy McCarthy and her husband John “Bud” McCarthy, and her former husband Jack Harte.

A Blessing Service will be held Tuesday at 6:15pm in the Vanston and James Funeral Home 1401 Ash Street, Scranton.

Friends may call Tuesday from 4PM until the time of the service at the funeral home.

Interment, private at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Puppies Behind Bars at

To share a memory or to express your condolences to the family please visit

One Comment

  1. Frank Casper Koczwara

    Dear Harte Family:
    I would like to express my deepest condolences on Paula’s passing. I remember being in Paula’s wedding as a driver of the bridal car. I remember going to her house to pick her up and drive her and her father to the church. I remember being impressed with her family residence at 727 N, Irving Avenue. The house made quite an impression on me, that my wife and I purchased the house in 1980 and lived there for 35 years before we sold it and moved to South Carolina. I remember Paula as a strong willed woman, who stood her ground. I hope all of you find peace, love and comfort among family and friends during these sad and trying times. May Paula rest in peace in God’s hands and above all cherish her memory.
    Frank Casper Koczwara, Greenwood, SC and Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (Canada)

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