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College of Education mourns passing of student Lexi Weber, longtime staffer Paula McDowell

February 23, 2011

Photo of flowersMembers of NIU’s College of Education family are enduring a difficult week as they mourn the passing of promising elementary education student Alexis “Lexi” Weber and longtime and valued staff member Paula McDowell.

Paula Jo McDowell

McDowell died Saturday, Feb. 19. She was employed at NIU for nearly 26 years, spending the last six years as an administrative assistant in the college.

She received her bachelor’s degree from NIU and was an active volunteer with the DeKalb County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She proudly served as vice president of the Kishwaukee Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

Visitation for McDowell will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at Anderson Funeral Home, 2011 S. Fourth St., DeKalb. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, February 25, 2011, at Christ Community Church, DeKalb.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Paula Jo McDowell Memorial Fund, in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 S. Fourth St., DeKalb, Ill., 60115.

College leaders encourage any and all who are able and would like to attend these services to do so. Supervisors are urged to be flexible with employees who wish to attend the funeral service Friday.

Alexis Y. “Lexi” Weber

Weber died Monday, Feb. 21, as a result of a car accident that also claimed the life of her longtime boyfriend, Timothy T. Getzelman.

She was a Dean’s List student enrolled in the College of Education’s elementary education program. She was in her senior year and in the process of completing her student teaching in the Burlington School District.

Weber also worked in the OSCAR program, providing before- and after-school care for children in the Sycamore School District. She was an active community volunteer and a founding member of the Feed ’em Soup community service project in DeKalb.

A joint visitation for Weber and Getzelmanwill be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Salem Lutheran Church, 1145 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, with a joint funeral service beginning at 8 p.m. immediately following the visitation. Memorial gifts may be sent in care of the Butala Funeral Homes, 1405 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, Ill., 60178.

The College of Education also will hold a memorial gathering in Weber’s memory.

All are welcome at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at the NIU Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center, 231 North Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb, at the corner of Stadium Drive and Annie Glidden Road on the NIU DeKalb campus.

Counseling resources and support will be made available at the event. Any individual who wishes to speak with a counselor on an individual basis is encouraged to contact the following:

  • Counseling and Student Development Center, 200 Campus Life Building, (815) 753-1206.
  • Counseling Lab, Gabel Hall 200, (815) 753-9312.
  • Employee Assistance Program, 7th Floor, Holmes Student Center, (815) 753-9191.

For more information on Thursday’s memorial gathering, call (815) 753-1948.