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Victor L Papai

February 16, 1935 ~ February 8, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old

Victor Papai Obituary

Victor L. Papai passed away peacefully on the morning of February 8, 2024, at the age of 88. He was born on February 16, 1935 in South Bend, Indiana to the late Stephen and Julia (Varga) Papai.

Victor was welcomed into heaven by his precious wife, Mary Lou; and brothers, Stephen, David and Albert.

He will be forever cherished by his children, Victor Jr. (Nancy Mock), Ken (Cindy), Debbie (Ben) Troxell, Stephen (Deanna) and Christopher (Christine) Papai; his grandchildren: Alex, Galen, Victoria, Chloe, Natalie, Kyle, Emily and Kegan Papai, Coty Zimmerman, Corey and Kelsie Troxell and Brianna (Chris) Ardis; great grandson, Everson Ardis; and sister, Julianne Mroczkiewicz.

Vic was beloved as a US History teacher for the SBCSC from his early years at John Marshall and Lincoln, where he coached basketball and baseball, to his later years at Jackson High, Middle, and Clay High school. He impressed his students as he could rip a phone book in half in front of their eyes, or do random hand-stands when the students dared him. He spent many summers with near-infinite patience as a Drivers-ed teacher.

He inspired a love of travel in all his children visiting national parks and natural beauty.  With a pop-up camper or his green Chevy van conversion, everything was in reach. 

He was skilled in activities with hand-eye coordination and loved competition.  His favorites included tennis, handball, racquetball, and bowling.  He found a love for running to maintain fitness and was an age-group competitor. Running was a hobby of his for decades that he shared with his kids, and his professional photographer, Mary Lou.

He was a master gardener, and would often share his vegetable bounty at the South Bend Bridge Club, especially his tomatoes.  He was a specialist with his potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and zucchini.  He reached the ACBL rating of Ruby Life Master; Bridge was a life-long passion. 

His retirement years were spent visiting his children across the country in New Orleans, San Francisco, Dallas, Indianapolis and Boston.  He and Mary Lou traveled overseas to Ireland and the UK, France, Switzerland, Hungary and hiked in the Austrian Alps.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at St. Therese, Little Flower Catholic Church, 54191 N. Ironwood Rd, South Bend, at 11:30 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10:30 a.m..

Per their wishes, Victor and Mary Lou will be scattered together.

Please consider a donation to Center for Hospice Care,

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Open Viewing
February 17, 2024

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church (South Bend)

Funeral Mass
February 17, 2024

11:30 AM
St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church (South Bend)


Center for Hospice Care
501 Comfort PL, Mishawaka IN 46545


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