Rudolph “Rudy” J. Papa

Bethalto | Thursday, August 28 2014

Rudolph “Rudy” J.  Papa, 77, passed away Thursday, August 28, 2014 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St Louis, MO with his family by his side.   

He was born on September 1, 1936 in Madison, IL, the son of John and Helen (Zarr) Papa. 

He married his college sweetheart, Jacqueline Kintzele on September 14, 1957. She survives.

Rudy had a diversified life.  He worked for 33 years at the Bethalto School District and it was important to him to be known as an educator. He loved each and every one of his students and could remember their names long after they left his classroom.  He loved meeting up with them and announcing “It’s a sixth grade reunion”.  He also had a long career in politics. He served the village of Bethalto for twelve years as a board member.  He was elected to the countyboard in 1982.  He became the county board chairman, elected by his fellow board members in 1996.  He retired from public office in 2001.   He was a member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church.  He was member of the Knights of Columbus where he was a 3rd Degree Knight and had been a past Grand Knight and he was a past member of the IEA and the NEA. He was a man dedicated to serving others.

He served on the State of Illinois Community College Board, curator of the Bethalto Museum, Wood River Township Highway Commissioner, precinct committeeman, baseball coach and he was a history buff.  He loved the game of golf, playing his harmonica, his swimming pool, walking his dog, “Smoochie”, flowers and butterflies, all local sports, music and dancing, especially rock and roll. Most of all he loved his grandbabies/granddogs and always had a gold dollar for them.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by five daughters and their spouses, Diana Williams, Jill (Brad) Sauls, JoEllyn (Kent) Patterson, Beth Papa and Mary (Oscar Nuncio) Papa; seven grandchildren and their spouses, Ashley (Eric) Anderson, Paige Williams, Jim and Joe Sauls, Ben and Andrew Patterson and Bailee Tanney; two brothers and their spouses, John (Louise) Papa and Larry (Sue) Papa and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Bob, George, Frank, Bill and Joe.

Visitation will be from 1 to 5 pm Monday, September 1, 2014 at Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home in Bethalto. 

A funeral Mass will be at 10:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Bethalto with Father Tom Liebler officiating.

Burial will follow at Rose Lawn Memory Gardens in Bethalto. 

Memorials may be made to the Bethalto Museum, School of Education, SIUE or Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church.

Online condolences and guestbook may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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