Obituary: Sophie Papes, 91, of Free Soil.

November 17, 2020

Sophie Papes

Sophie Papes, 91, of Free Soil.

Sophie Grace Papes, 91, of Free Soil passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, November 14, 2020.  Sophie was born on October 10, 1929 in Scottville, the daughter of Anton J. and Sophia (Baltusitis) Evanauski and graduated from Scottville High School with the class of 1947.  On June 2, 1951 she married John Charles Papes and they celebrated 38 years together before John preceded her in death on December 10, 1989.  Sophie was also preceded in death by her parents, her brothers and sister John, Peter, and Frank Remeika, Nellie Driza, and John Evanauski.

Sophie work several years at Star Watch Case in Ludington and Stokely’s Cannery in Scottville.  After retirement she would help out at Needlefast Evergreens in Ludington during its busy season.  Aside from her family, which was her greatest love, Sophie kept herself busy crocheting, gardening, playing bingo, cooking large meals that could feed an army – all from scratch without written down recipes, or if you were driving by her home on North US 31 you would often see her out mowing her lawn.  When John was alive, they raised dairy and beef cattle together and Sophie was very proud that their milk was contracted out to Dean’s Milk in Evart, a high standard in the industry.  Always well dressed for any occasion, Sophie enjoyed shopping trips to Traverse City with her daughter looking for the great bargains in clothing and dresses.  She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the St. Rose Altar Society in Custer, was a previous member of St. John Cantius Church and St. Theresa Rosary Circle in Free Soil, and St. Jerome’s Church and St. Helena Altar Society in Scottville.

Sophie will be greatly missed by her children, John Papes Jr. (Pat)  and Ann (Robert) Banwell, both of Fountain and Alice (Michael) McDonald of Grand Haven; her grandchildren John (Beth) Papes III, Andrew Papes, and Robert (Jenna) Papes; her great-grandchildren Griffin Papes, Delaney Ellicott, Madeline Papes, and Mila Papes; her brother-in-law Alex Papes of Free Soil; her sister-in-law Dorothy Papes of Ludington; her best friends and special nieces and nephews Tony Driza, Karen Prickett, Ron and Cookie Evanauski, Dan and Pit Remeika, and Jim and Deb Driza, along with several additional nieces, nephews, cousins, and great friends.

Sophie’s family would also like to recognize the Stakenas family, Rosie Meli, and Carol & Doug Miller for their friendship and help in “keeping an eye” on their mother.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Sophie at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 20 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer with Rev. Daniel DePew as celebrant.  Burial will follow at St. John Cantius Cemetery in Free Soil.  Friends may meet with her family for a time of visitation on Friday morning from 10 a.m. until time of Mass at the church.  All those attending are required to wear masks and practice social distancing while inside the church.  Those who wish to remember Sophie with a memorial donation are asked to make it to her family and they will decide which organization the donations will be distributed to after the services.

Please visit Sophie’s memory page at to leave a tribute or memory of Sophie for her family, or to light a candle in her memory.

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