Natalie Papaila

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Papaila, Natalie Natalie Papaila, 88, affectionately known by her family as "Baba", died peacefully on April 20. She is preceded in death by her husband and the love of her life for 60 years, John Papaila. She is survived by her adoring children Olga & Michael Ruff (Dallas), John & Shell Papaila (Sherman), Nadine & Russell Nais-bitt (Friendswood), and by her 8 beautiful grandchildren: Ashley & Tyler Hollmig; Alexa, Harrison, & Griffin Papaila; Anita & Toby Barton, John David, Joshua, & Josiah Naisbitt. The birth of her great grandson, Thatcher Hollmig, just days before she passed brought her immense joy. She is also survived by her sister, Zora Dukovich, and by her brother Sylvester "Sweetie" Saula. Natalie was born in Johnstown, PA on August 5, 1923. She earned her degree in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her love of foreign travel began when she completed a semester of studies at the University of Mexico in Mexico City. She used her language skills to teach Spanish at Pitt and later became an ESL teacher in the public schools. Although petite in stature, there was nothing tiny about Natalie's lively, loving, and enthusiastic personality. All those who knew Natalie were inspired by her infectious zest for life, her passionate and matriarchal love of family, her generous spirit, and boundless energy. Her gift of hospitality went way beyond her excellent culinary skills to include a knack for making strangers feel at ease and totally welcome. She was a devoted Christian and a longtime member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The Trisagion prayer & visitation service will be on Tuesday, April 24, at 7 pm with the funeral on Wednesday, April 25, at 3 pm, both at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 13555 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, TX, 75240. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church or Austin Street Shelter, P.O. Box 710729, Dallas, TX 75371.

Published in Dallas Morning News on Apr. 24, 2012