Obituary: Tom (Gummy) Papez

Born March 24, 1916, in McGill, Nev., to immigrant parents Lucy Cvitkovich and Mike Papez, Tom (Gummy) Papez passed peacefully at Sierra Place retirement home Jan 4, 2011.

Tom attended McGill Grade School and White Pine High School. He married the girl across the street, Catherine DuBravac and had one daughter, Joan.

Tom worked for Kennecott Copper Corporation as a young man in McGill. In the middle 1940s Tom moved his family to Duck Creek Valley where he ran the company fish hatchery. He loved every minute of his time in Duck Creek. After the company closed the hatchery the family moved back to McGill where Tom again went to work at the smelter as a brick layer.

After his wife Catherine died in 1957 Tom sold the house in McGill and moved to Reno. He worked in Reno for several years and decided to look for work elsewhere. Tom moved to Honolulu where he continued and ultimately retired from the masonry trades. It was there he met Annie Whitney Austin. They married in Carson City on Aug. 19, 1972, and spent many happy years both in Honolulu and Reno. Upon his retirement the two moved back to Reno for good along with Gus, their long-haired dachshund. Annie passed away on July 23, 1997. Gus and Tom kept each other company in the Lander Street home. Several years after Annie passed, he met a neighbor, Fran Sheetz and they enjoyed several years of companionship.

Tom moved to Sierra Place retirement home in Carson City in February 2009. The residents and staff at Sierra Place made Tom's last year's very enjoyable. His family is very thankful for their kindness and care.

Tom loved Nevada and was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt and fish and later in life enjoyed traveling around the countryside. "Gummy" always had animals around including his horse Partner and his beloved dogs. Tom also enjoyed bowling and all sports in general. Later he became interested in stained glass and made many beautiful pieces in his basement.

Tom was a life member of the Ely Elks Club, Croation Fraternal Union of America and the Bricklayers Union. More than anything, Tom enjoyed his family very much.

Tom was the second oldest of seven children and was preceded in death by his parents Lucy and Mike; wife Catherine; wife Annie; brothers Steve and Louis Papez; sisters Amanda Gilbert, Kathy Sullivan and Ann Ursini. Tom is survived by sister Rose DuBravac of Portland, Ore., daughter Joan (Gary) Andreas of Carson City, stepson Bill (Gretchen) Austin of Petaluma, Calif., grandchildren Bret (Dani) Andreas of Carson City, Lisa Andreas of Reno and great-grandchildren Adam and J.T. Sanders, Ashley and Nick Andreas; step-grandchildren John (Debbie) Austin of Lynwood, Wash., Steve (Dana) Austin of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Carter (Heidi) Austin of Los Angeles, Calif.; nephew's Nick Dubravac of Portland, Tom DuBravac of Portland, Jerry Gilbert of Emmett, Idaho, Michael Gilbert of Paris, France, Ray Gilbert of San Diego, Calif., Dan Papez of Ely, Tom Papez of Reno, Jon Papez of Park City, Utah, Terry Ursini of Southern Nevada; nieces Lynn Sievert, Cindy Yenick, Mary Berg and Julie Papez of Reno; Janet Kafel of Yreka, Calif., Vicki Bustos of Las Vegas, Linda Birch of Redding, Calif., Helenann of Sparks and Marjorie of McGill.

"Gummy" will be missed by those whose lives he touched.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday Jan. 15 at the chapel at St. Teresa of Avila church in Carson City.

A celebration of Tom's life will be held immediately following the service at the church hall.

FitzHenry's Funeral Home is trusted with the arrangements.


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