VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Claudia Ann Pappas, 61, passed away peacefully in her home on Jan. 3, 2013, after her second courageous battle with cancer. Born Feb. 23, 1951, in Duluth, Minn., to the late Nick and Phyllis Heyson, Claudia grew up a "Yooper" in Wells, graduating from Holy Name High School in 1970.
After graduation she moved to Waukegan, Ill., with her aunt where she met and married her future husband of 42 years, Troy C. Pappas in December of 1970. Claudia was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and a true friend to the many people she met over the years who had the wonderful fortune to get to know her. She is now an angel among angels living in the hearts of those she left behind.
She purely defined the phrase "Good things come in small packages." During her husband's 28-plus-years in the Navy, Claudia worked for several years at the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society as a volunteer assisting many young Sailor and Marine families in financial distress. As Troy was at sea serving the country she raised their two sons and worked as an office assistant for several local companies.
Claudia had a warm and caring heart and was a cherished and active member of the Chiefs Mess and later the Ward Room Wives Clubs. Her home was always open to family members and the many friends she made over the years as they moved around the world during their Navy career.
After Troy retired from the Navy and went to work as a ship master in the Merchant Marine, they settled in Virginia Beach to be near their sons and grandchildren who were the source of so much pride and joy to her. She could always be found at their sporting events cheering them on. Claudia was a lifelong Catholic and a member of St. John the Apostle Church.
She leaves behind to cherish her memory her husband, Troy; sons, Troy N. (Jennifer) Pappas and Kevin Pappas; six grandchildren, Drew, Hailey, Tyler, Chase, Jack and Liam; three sisters, Susan (Richard) Schlicht, Cathy (Greg) Hermann and Lori (Bruce) McFarlane; sisters-in-law, Wanda (Wayne) Wilson and Connie (Scott) Martin; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial and celebration of life service will be held at 10 a.m., Jan. 19, at St. Johns the Apostle Church at 1968 Sandbridge Rd., Virginia Beach.
Claudia chose to be cremated and will be laid to rest next to her best friend, confidant and mother-in-law Betty Wright in the family mountain top cemetery in West Virginia on a beautiful day in the spring.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in her name to the Susan G. Komen or MDS Foundation to help find the cure.