Cover photo for Pauline Thirup's Obituary
1928 Pauline 2020

Pauline Thirup

September 3, 1928 — November 4, 2020

Pauline Thirup passed away peacefully after a short illness surrounded by her three daughters in Watsonville at the age of 92.  She was born in Recke, Germany to Karl and Anna (Tietmeyer) Doeker.

Pauline immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1952 at the age of 24.  She arrived in San Francisco with little more than a desire to make a new life for herself, a willingness to work hard, and a need to move on from the memories of her childhood during WWII.

It was in San Francisco that Pauline met a handsome Danish immigrant by the name of Arne Thirup.  They married shortly after.  At the beginning of their marriage they tended to their one-acre flower parcel in Pescadero during the evenings and weekends while working their day jobs as a nanny and gardener.  As their business grew, they moved to Watsonville where Pauline continued to work alongside Arne in the greenhouses and fields.  From these humble beginnings they were able to build one the largest cut flower growing operations in the United States.

Pauline was a devoted wife and mother and spent much of her free time tending to her beautiful garden and home of 50 years in Corralitos.  She took up tennis and snow skiing while in her late 40’s.  She was athletically gifted with a strong competitive nature and quickly became very adept at both sports.  Pauline spent time traveling with Arne to many destinations in the U.S. so that she could get to know her adopted country better.  They also travelled worldwide including destinations to India, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Europe, Canada, and South America.

Pauline was a quiet woman with a strong disposition that very quickly turned soft when around her family and cherished friends.  She was fearless, unfiltered, determined, athletic, and competitive while also gracious, caring and loving, all traits that have been passed on to her children and grandchildren.

Pauline is survived by her three daughters, Karen (Mark) Sambrailo, Doris Thirup, Sandy (Frank) Garcia; as well as her grandchildren, Erik (Natalie), Kiersten (Billy), Ty (Alex), Alex, Grant, Brock, and Maren.  She was blessed with three great grandchildren; Taylor, Miller and Hayes, and she was looking forward to the birth of Ryder, a great grandson in December.   In addition, she leaves two sisters and numerous nieces and nephews in Germany, as well as members of the Thirup family in Denmark.  Her cherished husband of 64 years, Arne, passed away at the age of 90 in 2018.

The funeral service and burial with family only in attendance has taken place.  Due to COVID restrictions, a celebration of life reception will be held at a later date.  Funeral arrangements have been entrusted in the care of the Carroll family of Ave Maria Memorial Chapel.

The family wishes to acknowledge and thank the staff at Montecito Manor in Watsonville.  Pauline’s last year of life was not easy but was spent in the company of caregivers that treated her with dignity, compassion and kindness.  For this we are eternally grateful.

The family asks that memorial gifts be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 or to a charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Pauline Thirup, please visit our flower store.


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