Paula Rollins, whose political career includes service to Westchester County as both a deputy commissioner and deputy county clerk, died Tuesday, July 9 at age 63.
Rollins, of Harbor Island, was a lifelong Democrat. She was appointed Deputy County Clerk of Westchester County by then County Clerk Andrew J. Spano and served through the end of his term.
She next served as Deputy Commissioner of the Board of Elections for Westchester County and then as Westchester County Commissioner of Human Resources.
Rollins was the Commissioner of Human Resources for the City of Yonkers before retiring.
She was the wife of Joseph Metz Rollins, III for 10 years.
Rollins was the daughter of Orial Redd (Banks) and the late M. Paul Redd. She was born in Rye, attended public schools there, and graduated from Rye High School in 1974, where music was an integral part of her life.
Rollins received a bachelor of music from Indiana University School of Music in 1978. She has a successful career in opera as a mezzo-soprano and toured the United States and Europe.
Rollins had a love of traveling and languages and spoke several including Russian. One of her most memorable performances was with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra.
She utilized her musical training to accept an administrative position with the Institute of Audio Research in New York City where she served as personnel Director and eventually becoming the Institute’s dean.
Rollins was a member of the NAACP, vice-chair of the Black Democrats of Westchester, first vice-chair of the Westchester County Democratic Party.
She was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Rollins was a member of the Electoral College which elected both President Bill Clinton in 1996 and President Barack Obama in 2008.
Rollins sat on many boards of various organizations, including the Westchester Conservatory of Music, Westchester Community College’s Professional Development Center, The Westchester American Red Cross, Yonkers YWCA, and the Black Women’s Political Caucus.
She was a strong and powerful advocate for the LGBTQ community and women’s rights. Paula was generous with her philanthropy and was a staunch supporter of the non -profit Stages of Freedom, and their Swim Empowerment program.
During her retirement, she enjoyed being a member of the Harbor Island Garden Club and she enjoyed attending live concerts and music festivals.
In addition to her husband and mother, she leaves behind her brother, M. Paul Redd Jr., of Tuckahoe; two step-children, Bailey Leighann Rollins of New York City; Andrew Pierce Rollins of White Plains; cousins Ethlouise Banks, Howard Banks, Wayne Banks, and her dog Diesel.
A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, July 17 at 11 am at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 168 W. Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.