Thomas Nicholas Pappas

WINLOCK, Washington

Jul 30, 1936 – Sep 1, 2019 (Age 83)


July 30, 1936
September 1, 2019
WINLOCK, Washington


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July 30, 1936 ˜ September 1, 2019

Dr. Tom Pappas, age 83, died on Sunday, September 1, 2019 at Americana Rehabilitation Center in Longview, Washington. He died of natural causes and fell asleep listening to classical music when his heart stopped.
Tom was the youngest child born to John and Despina Pappas, in Detroit, Michigan, immigrant parents from Greece. It’s a miracle he even lived because he was born feet first, a theme that would play out for most of his life. Also, the umbilical cord wrapped around this neck and the delivery doctor called a “garbage can” baby. He was stillborn, but his father, John Pappas asked if he could try breathing into his lungs and slowly but surely Tom started breathing on his own and lived to tell the story many times. Despina gave him life and John saved his life.
Tom’s teaching career started at Country Day School and Detroit Bible College in Detroit, Michigan. He went on to excel in speech, debate and ultimately went to Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in History and Political Science. If that wasn’t enough, he continued his education earning a Ph.D from Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan.
Dr. Pappas accepted a teaching position at Anderson College (now University) in Anderson, Indiana. He was known as a creative and gifted professor who could inspire and captivate with his witticisms and intellectual prowess. He made history come to life. He inspired many of his students to also become teachers. He started the Intercollegiate Debate Team and the Tri-S Student Travel Program. He was greatly revered by his students and colleagues. He was at Anderson College for nearly two decades and then accepted a position as Dean at Warner Pacific College, Portland, Oregon. After Warner, he worked for Concordia University, Portland, Oregon and helped smaller colleges define their programs and attract students. Dr. Pappas was appointed Dean of International Studies at Hope International University in Fullerton, California.
In retirement, he taught Art History at the Art Institute of Portland, Oregon and Sterling Academy. He was also assistant to the President for Global studies at Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana.
There is not a blue passport that could rival his. Dr. Pappas’s vast travel experiences took him all over the world. He loved to wander through the world letting the possibility of adventure be his tool of navigation. His travels to the former Soviet Union resulted in being expelled since he was not one to be silenced. He also traveled throughout Europe, Japan, China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Greece. He was an exceptional lecturer and his students still talk about his lectures and mannerisms.
He was the baby of the family and was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Evelyn and Edward ”Eddie” Pappas.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Gloria Pappas; daughter, Constance Pappas (son-in-law Gene Halverson); along with nieces and nephews in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Massachusetts.
Never one to miss the start of another school year, Dr. Pappas will be continuing his lectures in the great beyond. Office hours by appointment. Rest in Peace.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Park Place Church of God, 501 College Drive, Anderson, Indiana on October 20, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
Donations can be made to Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana or Community Hospice in Longview, Washington.
Please sign his guest book @

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Guest Book

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Dear Tommer,

It’s been a year you are away from us, but we never forget the laughters , love , caring you brought to our family. The most important thing you worked so hard in Shenzhen University in order to get Christina and Larry Pappas to join with you here in Los Angeles. Following you all the way to USC campus, you said I was your greatest product as a teacher working at LAUSD.
Never forget our first meeting as your interpreter, “ Christina, What’s your dream? “

Dear Gloria and Connie, I was once Dr. Pappas' office assistant at Anderson. Yes, I graded papers but I also watched Connie at your apartment while Gloria took classes. I traveled in that first over seas trip that he lead for 2 months. Awesome teacher and gentleman.

Dear Gloria,
I am so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. I believe I met Tom on at least two occasions, and each time I recognized he was a man with stories to tell. He had such a twinkle in his eye, and an extraordinarily rich life to accompany it.

Thinking of you and your family.

Toni Johnson

In loving memory of my dear Uncle Tommy.

Dr Pappas was a friend, a mentor, and a blessing to me with a twinkle of motivation mixed in.He has lead me to a "not giving up" mastery in my life. With is inspiration and my promise, I am still trying to get my teachers license even after my hardships I still take that path. I will always be talking to him while he guides me from above. Bless you Dr Pappas and you will always guide me through life. Your in my heart forever.
Your student and friend,
James Oliver

Praying for blessings and love to surround the Pappas family.
~Sharon Kremiller Miller

Our condolences to you Gloria and Connie. "Uncle Tom" was very special to me. I liked that he took me down to the Financial Center to learn about the stock market back in late 1970's at WPC. I liked how he shared warmed Vernors with our family. I remember having a cook-out at your house in Anderson using newspaper. With love, Julie & RJ Jackson and for the Fritzlers. Tom sure loved my dad Gil Fritzler. God Bless You!!!

Gloria, so sorry to learn of Tom's passing. To say he was larger than life is a great understatement, as you know. He made a significant and lasting impact on Anderson University, for which we're all grateful. Blessings, John Pistole

Tom was the brother-in-law of my cousin Eunice who was married to Tom's brother Ed. Before Tom and I were married I would go up to visit my cousin and Tom and I would get together, I would sit in on some of his lectures on days he would teach, and then we would go out for lunch. We had many great times together because of his fantastic wit and humor-those were such great times!! His memory will definitely be eternal in my heart!!