Obituary: Pauline J. Petrus
Pauline J. (McEvoy) Petrus, a longtime resident of Montclair, died on Nov. 3, 2021, at Mountainside hospital of a pulmonary embolism. She was 82.
Mrs. Petrus was born in 1939 in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England, to Irene and Reginald McEvoy.
She was educated at the local schools in Marlow and, while there, chose a “pen friend,” an American girl from outside of Cleveland. So began her relationship with the U.S.A.
Once she finished school, she worked as a secretary for various organizations (like the BBC) before spending more than two years in her early 20s traveling on her own through the United States and Canada, always finding a job, like taking provisions on horseback to the high camps in Yosemite National Park.
Back in England, Mrs. Petrus worked for the United States Travel Service out of the U.S. Embassy in London, where she began to lead British travel agents on trips to the U.S. She lived in London, even walking into the Beatles’ movie “Let It Be” (she’s the young woman wearing the yellow coat) on her way home from work.
In 1971 she married Robert Petrus, a teacher at Montclair High School, at Marlow Church; she immigrated to the United States, where she lived ever since.
After her marriage, she worked in the travel industry in New York City, organizing tours for Europeans visiting the U.S. for the first time. Later, until the birth of their son Simon in 1981, she worked for several organizations (a Catholic church, a rabbi, a board of education) before finding her most accomplished calling: as a paralegal with attorneys Lucy Agostini and Jill Slattery in Verona.
Throughout her time in the U.S., Mrs. Petrus frequently visited her extended family in and around Marlow, never missing an important event in their lives. She loved and respected her homeland and, especially, her family.
She lived in Montclair for 40 years. There, she cherished St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, being especially proud of her son’s participation in the Junior Choir and his serving as an acolyte and crucifer. She herself was active at St. Luke’s, notably at the Second Time Around shop and as a member of the Altar Guild. At St. Luke’s everyone knew that if they needed help, they could always count on her.
Mrs. Petrus loved her English homeland, loved her adopted country, loved living in diverse Montclair, loved her church. Most of all she loved her son Simon and her entire family.
She is survived by Simon and his father, Robert Petrus; her brothers, Raymond McEvoy (Leanna) of Fort Lee and Ronald McEvoy (Jan) of Marlow, and her many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
A service to grieve and to celebrate Mrs. Petrus will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 73 South Fullerton Ave., at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20. Her ashes will be interred in the church’s columbarium.
Donations can be made in her name to St. Luke’s Church.
Arrangements were by Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home.