Bobbie Rhea Paden
2/22/1929 - 4/30/2020

Bobbie Rhea (Johnson) Paden, age 91, long-time Lubbock resident passed away from this world on April 30, 2020. Born on February 22, 1929 in Rotan, TX to Joe E. Johnson and Dovie Archer Johnson, she was the middle of five children. The family moved to Lubbock in 1944 and she graduated from Lubbock High School in 1946. In December of that year, she married Gerald Paden, also of Lubbock. After his graduation from Abilene Christian University, he preached in Meadow and in 1953 they moved with their children Joe Michael and Cynthia to Rome, Italy.

The Padens spent a total of 14 years in Italy where they served as missionaries under the sponsorship of the churches of Christ, ten years in Rome (where their youngest son, Ted, was born) and four in Pisa. While on hiatus, the family also spent 3 years in New Home where Gerald served as minister. In 1971 Bobbie and Gerald returned to Lubbock where Gerald joined the faculty of Sunset International Bible Institute (formerly Sunset School of Preaching). Based on her missionary experiences, Bobbie became an instructor in Women’s classes helping wives of future preachers and missionaries prepare for their ministries. Her passion for people and missions led her to accept the position of the first Dean of Women for the School. Once retired from that role, Bobbie continued to serve the School as librarian, historian and archivist.

Hospitality is a Christian virtue and Bobbie and Gerald were consummate hosts. Thousands of people gathered around her table both in Italy and in Lubbock. She learned the art of Italian cuisine from her Italian friends and church family and brought those recipes to Lubbock. She always felt that her legacy was bringing Spaghetti alla Carbonara to West Texas. One of her favorite sayings is ”people wait on pasta, pasta does not wait on people” - this is especially true for Carbonara.

Bobbie is survived by her youngest sister, Norma Sue (Bebe) Johnson of Arlington Texas; sister-in-law Patsy (Paden) Whitson of Friendswood, Texas; her children, Joe Michael Paden and wife Lynn of Westerville, OH; Cynthia (Paden) Jennings and husband Mack of Sun Lakes, AZ; and Ted Paden and wife Lura of Rio Rancho, NM; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A private, family only memorial will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, August 15, 2020 at Sunset Church of Christ. The service will be live streamed at In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Sunset International Bible Institute, 3723 34th St, Lubbock, TX 79410 in the name of “Gerald and Bobbie Paden World Mission Fund.” Use PayPal online or call Sunset’s Finance Office, 806-788-3336, for credit card donations.



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