Victoria woman killed in collision 'lived to give'

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

May 18, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.
Updated May 20, 2013 at 12:20 a.m.

The idea of being mourned was never something Paula Nersesian wanted -- a celebration, now that was more her style.

Despite her wishes, the 64-year-old's death in a crash Friday night remains a massive heartache for those who knew her, especially because the man who ended her life is suspected of drunken driving.

Nersesian was the wife of Dr. Joseph Long, a Victoria family practice physician, and was active in Girl Scouts, her church and other organizations.

"It was very shocking," said her stepson, Michael Long, 40. "She was a good person."

Nersesian had finished arts and crafts at a friend's home and was on her way back home, Long said.

Nersesian was driving west on Mockingbird Lane about 10 p.m. when she was hit by John Ausbon Florida, 30, who was driving north on Main Street in a black Ford F-150, said Sgt. Jeffrey Strauss with the Victoria Police Department.

Police estimate Florida, of Victoria, was traveling about 60 mph; he was arrested on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter.

The pain and the reality of her death is still sinking in, Long said, but it is also reminiscent of a wreck his father had at the same intersection years ago.

The car was totaled, but his father was OK. Still, Long said he would like to see more acknowledgement that a light exists at that intersection.

"It's just dangerous," he said. "I'd like to see how many wrecks or close calls they have there. There should be more of a heads up there for drivers."

Terry Blevins had been friends with Nersesian about 25 years and was shocked to learn not only about her death but also about the circumstances.

"The whole thing is just a shame," she said about the intoxication charge, "that she had to lose her life like that."

Blevins is the director of volunteer services with the Girl Scouts in Victoria.

Nersesian taught leadership and life skills to the scouts as well as basket weaving and scrapbooking, Blevins said.

Aside from her civic volunteering, Nersesian attended the Trinity Episcopal Church in Victoria and worked with Habitat for Humanity and Christ's Kitchen, Blevins said.

"Paula lived to give and do for others," she said. "I could not say enough for her. It's just a total loss."

Nersesian also leaves behind a daughter, Chelsea Long, and stepdaughter, Michelle Long.



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