Avilla - Stephen M. "Pops" Papai, 77, of Avilla, passed away on Friday, November 6, 2020 at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne. He was born on Aug 8, 1943 in Ft. Wayne to Louis & Evelyn (Weber) Papai. Pops was a graduate of Central Catholic High School and served his country in the US Army and Army Reserves. He retired from GE after 30 years of service. On Dec 31, 1965, he married Kathy Sarrazen. She preceded him in death on March 21, 2000. He later married his second wife Judy Rice on March 17, 2001. She also preceded him in death on Jan 29, 2019.
Pops dedicated much of his life to veteran's organizations, including the Avilla American Legion Post #240. He served as the Post historian, sergeant at arms, and lead the Honor Guard for many years. He also belonged to the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, the 40 & 8, and the Disabled American Veterans.
He leaves behind sons, Donald (Petra) Papai of Avilla, Steve "Subo" (Heather) Papai of Wolcottville, step son, Rob (Sara) McInturff of Ft. Wayne, step daughter, Angie (James) Snyder of Ft. Wayne; grandchildren, Kayla, Josh, Nicole, Richard, Danielle, Kate-Evelyn, Amber, Dylan, Brandon, Brayden, and Preston; and great grandchildren, Gracelynn, Micah, Riven, Grant, Gwendolynn, Damien, and Zoey. Also surviving are brother, Kenneth Papai of Angola, Bob (Judy) Papai of Converse, IN, and Martin (Teresa) Papai of Kendallville.
A gathering of family and friends will be held on Veteran's Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2020, from 2-7pm, with a celebration of life at 5pm, at Harper Funeral Homes, Avilla Chapel, 530 N Main St,. Avilla. Burial with military honors will be at a later date at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, rural Avilla.
Contributions in Pop's memory may be directed to the Avilla American Legion Post #240. To sign the online guest book or leave a condolence, visit www.harperfuneralhomes.com
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