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Robert F. Papaik

Robert  F. Papaik, 92, of Waterloo, IL, died January 26, 2020, in Waterloo, IL. He was born July 16, 1927, in Detroit, MI.

He is survived by his children Michael J. (Phyllis Early) Papaik, Shirley (Thomas) Barton, Lynn (Bill) Saunders, and Karen (Alan) DeCock; grandchildren Jacquie (Rick) Massey, Jennifer Moehlmann (Olin Medley), Robert (Ashley) Slife, Brian (Nelda) Saunders, Brad (Tonya) Saunders, Brett (Kimberly) Saunders, and Breann Saunders; great grandchildren Kailyn Marie Massey, Desirae Rose Massey, Faith June Massey, Meara Saunders, Charlize Saunders, Patton Saunders, Alicia Saunders, Alina Saunders, Liam Saunders, Settera Saunders, Brad Saunders, Santana Saunders, and Madeline Jane Slife; sister Nancy (Bob) Holt; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Reggie and Nancy Love; nieces; nephews; and cousins.

Robert is preceded in death by his wife Beryl June Papaik (nee Love); parents Frank and Mary Papaik (nee Smith); brother Harold Papaik; and sister Janet (Bill) Rice.

Retired Master Sergeant: 31 December 1973 from USAF. Served 26 years with Honorable Discharge; Retired: 1 May 1989 from Grossman's Building Material Store as a District Manager, West Coast Division after 17 years service.

Military Service - World War II, served with Army Air Corps with service in McDill AFB, Florida, Sonderstrom, Greenland, and McGuire AFB, NJ, Service was from October 1945 to November 1948.

Enlisted in USAF in December 1950, served during Korean War, while stationed with USAF at RAF Wethersfield, England, supporting the Berlin Airlift.

Served 3 years at Area 51, during Research and Development of the SR 71, working closely with the CIA and Lockheed in Las Vegas, Nevada, while the project was classified "Top Secret", during the Vietnam conflict. Then serving with the USAF at Spangdahlem, Germany for 3 years. Finishing his last 4 years of  26 years of service at Travis AFB, California, retiring on 31 December 1973.

As an expression of sympathy the family prefers memorial contributions to: 
Monroe County Humane Society - Helping Strays or American Heart Association

Funeral Mass:
1 PM Saturday, February 8, 2020 at SS Peter & Paul Church in Waterloo, IL
Father Von Deeke officiating

A Celebration of Life will be held immediately following at Oak Hill
With Military Honors at 2:30 PM


To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Papaik, please visit our flower store.


i remember when you used to poke me in the arm to get my attention and your smile made me laugh all the time I love you great grandpa -faith

faith Mar 15 2021 12:00 AM

We owe our way of life ... because of patriots like Robert
Thank you ... to him and his family

Dennis Killy Feb 2 2020 12:00 AM

Thank you Dennis.

Shirley Barton Feb 2 2020 12:00 AM

Thank you Judy. Love to your family

Shirley Barton Feb 2 2020 12:00 AM

Thank you Bonnie! Dad really loved the people at Legacy!

Shirley Barton Feb 2 2020 12:00 AM

What an amazing man! We were so lucky to have known him and Aunt Beryl! Mom and Robert were such a pair...loved teasing each other. She would just light up when he was around. Thank you Mike and Shirley for bringing your Dad here to visit Mom. It meant so much to her and enabled us to share a bit of this One-of-a-kind fun. Wonderful parents make Wonderful families. xo Judy Freeborough and family

Judy Freeborough Jan 28 2020 12:00 AM

You will be missed every day Dad. I was blessed to have you and mom as my parents.

Shirley Jan 28 2020 12:00 AM

Bob was such a character, very loved when I worked at Legacy Place. I send my sympathy and prayers.
Bonnie Grohmann

Bonnie Grohmann Jan 26 2020 12:00 AM