Mary Ellen Papciak

Mary passed away at home peacefully on Feb. 25, 2014. She was born in 1963 to Martin and Laura Cole in Phoenix, Ariz., and moved to Hampton, Va. in 1965. She grew up in the Fox Hill area where she made the first of her many life-long friends.

She began a career in retail in Hampton and managed stores in Wilmington N.C., Boone, N.C., and Richmond, Va. While in Richmond, a blind date was arranged by her friends and a year later she and Joe were married and moved back to Hampton.

She began her career with Mary Kay Cosmetics and soon afterward became a director. A job move for Joe took the family to northwest Florida to the city of Lynn Haven where she lived for 15 years before finally settling in the Seabreeze community in Seacrest in 2010.

Mary loved family, life and people. She loved exercising and was certified to teach both spinning and yoga. She loved watching sunsets on the beach and rarely missed them. She enjoyed strolls on the beach, walking Petey around the block, and riding bikes through the neighborhood. She adored her ladies in Mary Kay, her friends at Balance Studio, and the yogis of the Third Eye. And mostly she loved God and worshiping Him with the community at St. Rita Catholic Church.

She is survived by her devoted husband, the love of her life, Joe Papciak, and son and greatest gift, Joseph Michael and his wife, Eden and her granddaughter, Meriella expected in March. She will be lovingly remembered by her mother, Laura Cole; brother, Tom Cole; sister, Janie Wiesen and her husband Ray; sister, Susan Cole; and sister, Virginia Spaetzel and husband, Mike. She will always remain in the hearts of her mother-in-law, Tomoe Papciak; sister-in-law, Debbie Serge and husband Rick; sister-in-law, Karen Papciak; nephews, Dave, Evan, Stephen, Ricky and wife Gina, John, Tom, and Mark; and nieces, Sarah, Elizabeth, Meghan, and Sherry. She is also survived by her faithful dog and companion, Petey.

She was preceded in death by her father, Martin Cole, and brother, Mike Cole.

The family is thankful for the compassionate care provided by Dr. Mose Hayes and the staff at Sacred Heart Oncology, the staff of Emerald Coast Health Care, and Dr. John C. Chaney and staff. And special thanks goes to our neighbors and friends, Donna, Susie, Martha, Deena, Sharon, Kelli, Rebecca, Sue, LaRhonda, Patti, Terri, Lori, Gayle, Mollie, Debbie, Becky, Jeanette and many more for all their help and support.

A mass will be held for Mary at 11 a.m. March 6 by the Rev. Ted Sosnowski at St. Bernadette Parish, 1214 Moylan Road in Panama City Beach. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary’s memory can be made to Alaqua Animal Refuge, 914 Whitfield Road, Freeport, FL 32439 or Emerald Coast Hospice, 421 Oak Avenue, Panama City, FL 32401.