Grieving man urges drivers to slow down
Shelly Pauletto didn’t have to go to work on Thursday.
But the dedicated employee decided to go in for a half-day at LandSolutions, where she was employed as an accountant.
After finishing work that afternoon, Pauletto called her 11-year-old daughter Mady to tell her she would be home soon and bring lunch for her daughter and Mady’s nine-yearold brother Jaxx, who both had the day off school. She never arrived. After leaving work around 12:40 p.m., Pauletto crossed the street outside her Beltline office on a marked crosswalk at the intersection of 10th Avenue and 5th Street S.W.
She had the right of way and was three metres from the north curb when she was hit by a van turning on a green light.
Rushed to hospital in critical condition, she died from her injuries a few hours later.
Instead of spending the weekend antique shopping with his family in Nanton as planned, her husband Derek Pauletto spent the Family Day weekend making funeral arrangements for his wife of 14 years.
Pauletto, 39, was cremated on Sunday and her grieving family has decided her ashes will accompany them on future family vacations.
“I told the kids we could get 50 or 60 or 100 tiny bottles and put Mommy’s ashes in each one. Then every time we go on holidays, we can bring one with us and find a little spot and Mom will always be with us every time we’re on holidays,” an emotional Derek Pauletto told the Herald.
Since the Paulettos’ first kiss, under a starry and bat-filled night sky on a May long weekend camping trip in 1993, the duo was inseparable.
“She was blond-haired and blueeyed. She smiled a lot. She took care of me. She kept me really grounded,” her husband said.
After marrying in 1999, the couple’s life together was filled with both adventure and the mundane. There was a fixer-upper house, a memorable trip to Africa, countless nights spent laughing uncontrollably while lying in bed, a family trip to Disney World last February and a 3,000-kilometre motorcycle trip from New Orleans to Daytona where the couple woke up early to sit on the beach and watch the sunrise.
“We were that couple,” Pauletto said.
When the pair welcomed Mady into the world 11 years ago, his wife thrived in her role as mom.
“Shelly had so much compassion, so much patience,” he said. “She made me better. She calmed me down. Listening to how she would do stuff, I would reflect and go ‘this is how you parent.’ ”
When he was selected to represent Canada at a motorcycle gathering in Sturgis, S.D., in 2007, it was his wife who insisted the entire family go.
The couple drove 17 hours in a truck with a two-year-old, a fouryear-old and a motorcycle, to stay in a campground full of bikers for 10 days.
Shelly Pauletto also volunteered at her children’s school, was on the parent council and supported her offspring in their various afterschool activities.
“Mady does six different dance classes a week and this is her first year in competition. Shelly isn’t going to get to see that,” he said.
Chad Hughes, president and CEO of LandSolutions, said employees are devastated by her death.
“We’re just rallying together and behind her family to support them,” he said Sunday.
Her grieving husband is urging Calgarians to slow down and pay attention when behind the wheel.
“I used to be the guy that tried to rush all the time.... But when I just started to calm down and just drive the speed limit, go with the flow, I may have got to work 30 seconds later,” he said.
“We’re in these big huge wrecking machines and our bodies are really fragile.... Just try not to be so much in a hurry.”
Police are continuing to investi- gate the fatal collision. No charges have been laid.