Paula Marie Ranaud was born in Annapolis, Maryland, on Dec. 16, 1963, to Sarah M. Renaud and Frederick A. Renaud, their firstborn. The family traveled all around the United States, eventually relocating to Cody in 1974, where they became part of the original members of the Yellowstone Mountain Men.
Paula graduated from Cody High School (1981), went on to receive her associates of arts degree in theatre and communication, art education, and environmental science at Northwest College (1992), her bachelors of arts degree in anthropology, history and environmental science at the University of Wyoming (2001), and her master’s degree in anthropology, ethnohistory, landscape and resources at UW (2004).
She brought two beautiful children into the world and raised them on her own. She enjoyed anything that could be done in the wilderness, from hunting bunnies for her dinner to cliff diving and berry picking. She was a fantastic gardener, inventive cook, and one of the most creative minds the world has ever seen. She believed in leaving as light a footprint on the earth as possible and lived this way to the best of her ability. Never shirking her duties as daughter, sister, mother or friend, Paula was fiercely loyal to all she loved and believed in.
Her spirit stepped away from her body on Dec. 25, 2019, to roam free and truly wild, leaving no footprint at all. Her ashes will add sustenance to the meadows and mountains she loved.
Her dear children Andru Renaud (Stephanie Jacobson) and Forest Renaud-Fontaine, mother, father, brother Karl Renaud (Shannon Larsen), sisters Leah Renaud (Chris Owen) and Erica Johns (Garrett), nieces and nephews Carolyn Wood (David), Mary Marchetelli (Mark), Frederick Lentz (Julie Edwards), Teska Johns, Zoey Lentz, Brice Johns (Kenna Jolley), Lilith Larsen-Renaud, and Kassandra Larsen-Renaud, as well as many other family members and oh so many friends, will all meet her again one day wherever she makes camp.
There has been a private family gathering to celebrate her life. There will be a public display of affection in her honor in the first days of spring. Please contact the family for information about the public gathering planned for Paula in early spring.