Paige Dearden was born in Porterville, CA on May 17th, 1964 and passed away in Napa with her husband and children beside her after a two-and-a-half-year battle with breast cancer on December 3rd, 2020.
Paige was the youngest child of Harold and Diane Wilson in Porterville and the sister to Devin. She was bright, athletic and beautiful with a knack for making people feel included. She showed a predisposition to teaching at a young age, as an instructor to her Mom's baton twirling classes. She was a born leader, becoming Student Body President at her high school and then graduating and going to college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. At Cal Poly, she studied Liberal Arts and knew she wanted to become a teacher. She made lifelong friends in the Sigma Kappa Sorority and embraced all that college had to offer. Upon receiving her teaching credential, Paige knew she wanted to teach near the beach; she applied and was hired in the San Juan Capistrano School District at Marion Bergeson Elementary in Laguna Niguel. There again, she made more lifelong friends, as parents and students alike were captivated by her unique way of making individual connections with her students. She loved Laguna Niguel and the beach community.
Although Paige always had an affinity for the beach, it was an old Junior High School sweetheart and prom date from Porterville, Chris Dearden, who brought her to the Napa Valley. Chris reconnected with Paige in the summer of 1989 through her Laguna Niguel roommates, and so their love story began. A two-year, long-distance romance turned into a marriage proposal and Paige moved north to the Napa Valley where she made Chris' dream come true.
She immediately obtained a job at Vichy Elementary in Napa and remained there for the rest of her teaching career. Paige loved her job, the kids and the school. She taught 3rd and 4th grade over her 29 years there, in addition to directing traffic and running Student Council and organizing the students, families and staff for fundraising for Queen of the Valley-Community Outreach. She organized the talent show, Holiday show, Jamestown Outdoor Education trip, Safari West field trips, began the Arts Attack program for each grade level, used baseball cards and score sheets to teach percentages and averages, and taught self-discipline and respect with compassion. She taught and influenced thousands of children over her career and many still call her the best teacher they ever had. Paige was Teacher of the Year in Napa County and was nominated for it several more times.
As a friend, you could not find anyone better, quicker to lend a hand, provide a meal or comfort in a time of need. She was always the first to respond when someone was ill, needed cheering up or had a family emergency.
Her family, however, was what she excelled in even more. Paige was the best mother, wife, daughter and sister ever. Her children, Samuel (Sam) and Adelyn (Addie) were her pride and joy. She taught them to excel in the classroom and in their activities while instilling values of respect and compassion. She was the room Mom for their schools, the photographer for their soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis and lacrosse games from t-ball all the way through Division 1 Lacrosse at UC Davis. Paige was the first to volunteer to help in any way and every parent soon knew they could count on her to get the job done right and on time. She loved to travel with her family, loved going to Giants games and doted on each Newfoundland we raised. She was instrumental in ideas to start the Sleeping Giant wine brand and subsequent vineyard and winery.
To say that a light has gone out in Napa as a result of her passing would be an understatement. The loss felt by her family has been devastating. The support shown by her friends and the community has been sincerely appreciated. The family would like to thank Dr. Amy Jo Chien and the staff at UCSF, Dr. Daniel Mirda and staff for their local care as well as the Infusion nurses at Queen of the Valley Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to:
QVMC Community Outreach
In Honor of Paige Dearden
3448 Villa Lane Suite 102
Napa, CA 94558
Private services are planned, and a celebration of life will be held when the pandemic is over.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Paige Wilson Dearden, please visit our floral store.