Beverly Papai

August 31, 1949 - February 17, 2024

Beverly Papai, age 74, passed away February 17, 2024. She was born August 31, 1949 to Clarence and Dora Mae Daffern.

Born and raised in Amarillo, Texas, Beverly attended West Texas State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1972. With an opportunity to further her education, Beverly moved to Michigan the following year to study at Wayne State University. Receiving her master’s degree in medical science, she became extensively involved as a member of the Medical Science Liaison Society, as well as an Institute Gerontology fellow.

After several years in Michigan, Beverly would have a chance encounter to meet Joseph Papai through a mutual friend. The two clicked almost instantly and married on April 3, 1976 in a beautiful ceremony and reception attended by close family and friends. Their life together was truly special, as they created countless memories both in their community and afar. They enjoyed traveling, especially to Washington DC, Traverse City, the Southwest region of the United States and most of all to visit family in Texas. Joe supported Bev in all her endeavors, as she supported him with his, both in his professional and personal interests, particularly with his involvement in the Studebaker Club.

Over the course of 31 years, Beverly worked in various capacities with the Farmington Community Library, holding several positions until her designation as Director in 1985. Throughout her career, she was a noteworthy management consultant for the United States Office of Education and the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio as well as an officer with the American Library Association. She held membership in many organizations, including on the Board of directors for the Michigan Consortium, Oakland Literacy Council, Library Trustee of Michigan, White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services and was founder, treasurer and fiscal agent for METRO NET Library. She was also a member of the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland County, the Commission on Children, Youth and Families, the Multiracial Community Council, Chair Education and Training Committee, League of Women Voters of Michigan, Farmington Exchange Club, and Council on Resource Development.
Beverly was the recipient of a number of honors including the ATHENA Leadership award, Chairperson’s Rainbow award, Special Recognition award from Oakland County, Amarillo Public Library and Friends Group fellow awards. She also received accolades given under her leadership with the American Library Association including the Loleta D. Fyan grant and Library of the Year award.

Upon her retirement in 2004, Bev left a legacy of leadership and exceptional professionalism. Her expertise and creativity led an extraordinary growth within the Farmington Community Library’s use and services. Her dedication didn’t stop upon her retirement, as she remained passionately involved as a volunteer and consultant to multiple libraries. Additionally, she spent her time during retirement as an adjunct professor with the Wayne State University School of Information Sciences for many years.
Besides her professional career, Bev had many personal passions in life as well. She loved art and history, reading anything that could further her knowledge, gardening and creating new adventures with Joe. She never met an animal she didn’t love and immediately treat as her own. Any wildlife that made their way to Bev’s home were provided a warm welcome along with a generous meal, especially the neighborhood cats. She was genuine in all her regards and never talked down upon others. Her humor and enthusiasm made her a welcome presence to all who knew her. Having a chat with Bev was always met with authentic curiosity. She was well prepared in other’s interests by doing her homework, researching topics and learning all she could prior to having discussions with friends and strangers alike. She spoke with an eloquence and knowledge that was truly unmatched. She was blessed with a remarkable ability to lift up the spirits of those who surrounded her. Bev’s many talents, effortless intellect, infectious laugh and kind sincerity will be deeply missed by all her knew and loved her.

Beverly was the beloved wife of the late Joseph Papai, Jr. for 47 years. Dear sister of CR Daffern and the late Troy Daffern. Beverly is survived by four nieces and nephews.

A private committal service will be held on Wednesday, February 21st, 2024, as Beverly is laid to rest in Highland Cemetery in South Bend, Indiana.

Memorial donations in Beverly’s name are appreciated to the Michigan Animal Rescue League.

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