At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kalamazoo Humane Society
4239 S Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A woman who was truly beautiful on the inside and out, Marcella Papineau was a blessing to everyone she met. Her first thought was always of others, and her faith was easy to see. Marcella was the matriarch of her family and lived to make even the ordinary days extraordinary. She took her roles as a wife, mother, and homemaker to heart, but nothing could have prepared her for the joy she would find in becoming a grandmother. Marcella was resourceful and frugal while also working hard in everything she did whether at home or out in the workplace. As her family and friends can attest, she had a soft spot in her heart for animals as her home was open to whatever stray her children brought home. Although she will be deeply missed, Marcella’s memory will remain a lasting treasure for years to come.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, which made the unemployment rate soar, and things only went from bad to worse when a drought covered the nation’s heartland for nearly two years. Amidst these challenging days, Walter and Marcella (Hopp) Chapleau were filled with great anticipation as they were awaiting the birth of their new baby as the cool winds of late fall held the city of Chicago, Illinois, firmly in its grip in November of 1938. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Marcella E. drew her first breath on November 15th. She was born and raised in South Chicago, joined in her family by her older brother, Robert.
In many ways Marcella was a young girl of her generation. She was a Girl Scout and was president of the Four Aces Fan Club. Marcella was a student at local schools including St. Basil Elementary and Calumet High School where she was popular among her peers and had many friends. She was a lifelong animal lover who particularly loved horses. Marcella went on to graduate from high school in 1956.
New and exciting changes were in store for Marcella when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was Arthur Papineau, and they met when she was hired as a typist in his department at IBM. When he caught wind of the fact that she had just recently broken up with her boyfriend, he seized the opportunity to ask her out. They had their first date on September 26, 1956, and life was never the same for either of them again. Marcella was smitten with his sense of humor and smooth dance moves, and it wasn’t long before the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Marcella and Arthur were married on March 2, 1957, at St. Thomas Moore Church in Chicago when she was just a young girl of 18. The newlyweds set off on a honeymoon to Vermont.
Soon after returning, Marcella and her husband discovered that they would become parents. Together they welcomed three children including Mark, Christina, and Kerrie into their hearts and home. Marcella worked part-time in the banking industry, but much of her focus was at home as Art worked several jobs to support the family. She loved kids and pets, too, as she always allowed the kids to take in whatever strays they came home with. Marcella was a devoted mother who lived to nurture her children. With limited funds, vacations were not really possible, and although money was tight Marcella always went over and above to make sure that Christmas was special and usually a big production. Getting everyone Christmas ornaments was a tradition that she kept for many years.
Marcella was one to keep busy. In addition to working in the banking industry, she worked for card stores including Don’s Card Hut. This was great since she loved receiving and sending cards, which she did all the time! Marcella liked shopping at Kohl’s and going out to lunch with the girls from church with Olive Garden being one of her favorite places. It was also tradition to head out for breakfast after church every Sunday. After retirement, she and Arthur did some traveling, usually to visit family, and in 1990 they moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to be closer to their daughter, Chris, and her new family as it was just so hard to be far away from their grandchildren. Once in Kalamazoo, Marcella became very involved with St. Catherine and their Christian communities until the very end of her life. She looked forward to the annual girls shopping trip to Chicago to see the lights and just spend time with the girls. Attending shows at Miller Theatre with church friends was also a favorite. Marcella loved music, mainly country music from Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert, and earlier in life she was a Neil Diamond and Englebert Humperdink fan.
In 2005, Marcella was deeply saddened with the death of her beloved husband. Her German Shepherd puppy, Abby, became even more important to her during this time. Abby was truly Marcella’s best friend and her constant companion who brought her great comfort. Marcella and Abby loved heading out for long walks to the park. When relaxing, she could often be found reading, usually true crime novels and historical fiction. It was just a couple of weeks ago that Marcella’s health began to decline.
Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Marcella Papineau lived each moment to the fullest while holding her loved ones near. She was never one to worry about building wealth or gaining possessions, rather, she focused her days on nurturing and caring for those around her. Marcella was guided by an unwavering faith, and she offered unconditional love to everyone she met. She could be so funny, and her zest for life was contagious. Deeply loved, Marcella will never be forgotten.
Marcella E. Papineau, of Vicksburg, died on April 2, 2015 at Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo. Marcella’s family includes her 3 children: Mark (Gina) Papineau, Christina (Lawrence) Kosiba and Kerrie (Richard) Gehl; and 8 grandchildren: Brittany, Paisley, Autumn, Scott, Bradley, Daniel, Amy and Christopher. Marcella was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Papineau in 2005 and by her brother, Robert Chapleau. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, April 7, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow in the church hall. Burial will take place at a later date at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Marcella’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kalamazoo Humane Society. Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 375-2900