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Noted Lodi teacher, writer Gwin Paden celebrates 90th birthday

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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:49 am, Mon Apr 30, 2012.

A long-time Lodi resident and teacher was honored with a 90th birthday party Sunday afternoon with a big party at Scooters in Downtown Lodi.

Gwin Mitchell Paden's four children threw the Sunday bash in honor of one of Lodi's best-known teachers and community volunteers. Paden is known for being a stickler for proper grammar and spelling, and she talks about it in a column she writes for the News-Sentinel.

"My job requires me to write emails all over the world," said Frank Gayaldo, a 1983 Lodi High graduate who paid homage to his former English teacher. "I constantly receive compliments on my writing, and I never went to college."

Gayaldo credits Paden for the writing skills he's developed.

People from various walks of life walked into Scooters to give their regards. In addition to former students, people Paden knows from the Lodi Garden Club, American Legion, St. John's Episcopal Church and other areas where she's been involved partied with Paden on Sunday.

Paden, whose birthday was actually last Wednesday, moved to Lodi in 1957, and became a part-time reporter for the News-Sentinel and programmed classical music station for radio station KCVR.

She was a part-time reporter for The Record in Stockton in the early 1960s, was community relations officer at San Joaquin Delta College from 1964 to 1969, and taught English at Lodi High School from 1969 to 1981, when she retired.

Paden was active in the Cub Scouts and Camp Fire, a charter member of the Lodi branch of the American Association of University Women, and was charter president of Friends of the Lodi Library and Lodi Arts Commission. She was also a charter officer of Friends of Lodi Lake and helped start the Arts at St. John's.

Paden's community involvement resulted in her being named Lodi Soroptimist Woman of the year in 1985, the Susan B. Anthony countywide award for community service in 1987, the Lodi Chamber of Commerce's Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award in 1988 and United Way Volunteer of the Year in 1991.

She's slowing down at 90, but Paden said she still participates in Lodi Garden Club activities, sends get-well and sympathy cards on behalf of the American Legion, continues her News-Sentinel column and does odd jobs for St. John's Episcopal Church.

Paden is married to Jack Paden. She has four children.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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