Peter Phillip Papandria, age 89, was born on September 22, 1921 in South Bend. His parents were Peter and Rose (Bamber) Papandria Sr. Rose had brought four sons to the marriage (John, Bill, Jim and Louis Bamber) and Peter added three children, Sam, Rocco and Josephine Papandria. Together they had five other children, Tony, Pete Anna, Jenny and George. Peter remembered his childhood fondly, especially with his siblings and friends as playmates in the “Little Italy” area of South Bend. He attended Central High School and on June 23, 1945 enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
During his service years, he received basic training at Biloxi, MS Radio Technology at Scott Field, IL, and Radar School at Fort Myers, FL. From February 1943 until June 1944 he trained in air guidance at the Myrtle Beach Air Base. In June 1944 he shipped out to England, assigned to the 453rd B-17 group. He earned the rank of Sergeant during his time there. He enjoyed the English stay very much and was privileged to be in London on VE Day. In June 1945 he returned to the States and was assigned to Buckingham Air Field in Ft. Myers, FL. He received an Honorable Discharge on October 20, 1945 from 2132 Army Air Force Base Unit, Maxwell Field, AL.
Following his return to South Bend, Pete completed some College pre-requisites in Math at Central High while working nights at Studebaker Corp. In the fall of 1946 he enrolled in the Electrical Engineering course at Tri-State College (now Trine University). After his graduation in 1949, Pete worked for a short time at Bendix and then began as an engineer with American Electric Company in South Bend. He remained with AEP for 34 years, retiring in 1985.
On September 13, 1952, Pete married Mary Emily “Emmy Lou” Egry in Holy Cross Church, South Bend. She preceded Peter in death on June 6, 2009.
Survivors include their four children, Margaret Rose (Patrick) Madden of Oklahoma City, OK, Joseph Peter (Michele Kochmar) Papandria, Mary Madeline Papandria and John Robert (Ruth Tieken) Papandria, all of Indianapolis, five grandchildren, Nick (Jessica) of Muncie, IN, Elizabeth, Cameron, Emily and Ryan Papandria all of Indianapolis, and one great granddaughter, Vivian Papandria of Muncie, IN, brother-in laws, James (Nellie) Egry of California and Daniel F. O’Riley of Indianapolis, nieces, Diane (Shawn) O’Riley Gudat of Indianapolis and Josephine “Sissy” (Wib) Elliot of South Bend and nephews, Dennis and James O’Riley of Indianapolis, Dennis (Jinny) Bamber of Cassopolis, MI, Anthony Papandria Jr. of Peoria, IL, Robert Papandria of Indianapolis , David Papandria of Connecticut and many other nieces and nephews to numerous to mention.
Peter is preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Sam and Rocco, sister, Josephine Bamber, and nephews PJ and Jim "Butch" Bamber.
Pete was a long time member of Christ the King Church, taking a major role in many of the parish’s charitable activities. He also belonged to the Knights of Columbus, #553, and for many years drove monthly to Westville to visit with the inmates. He contributed many hours to the fund drive for the new seminary at Notre Dame and to the building of St. Joseph High School.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 17 at Christ the King Church. Friends may visit with the family from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Palmer Funeral Home – Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN 46635 where a rosary will be said at 4:00 p.m.
Contributions in memory of Peter Phillip Papandria may be made to Hannah & Friends, 51250 Hollyhock Road, South Bend, IN 46637 or to Logan Center, 2505 East Jefferson Blvd., South Bend, IN 46615. On-line condolences may be sent through, www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.