Bernie Papo, age 81, passed away on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was born on September 11th, 1938 in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Mordy Papo and Eleanor Krause. Part of his cremains will be scattered in Fort Lauderdale and Sarasota, and the remainder will be taken to his daughter in Cincinnati, Ohio to be kept until she has his wife’s ashes, where they will be scattered together.
He grew up in Plymouth, Michigan, attended college, then joined the army, where he was recruited to work in the new field of information technology. He met and married his first wife Sheila while serving in the Army in Indianapolis, Indiana, and had a daughter Monica who he adored and never stopped bragging about. After his divorce he was recruited by a company in Sarasota, Florida, where he found his true calling in mainframe computer software sales. He was extremely successful in his sales career and was frequently the top salesman in the country for his company. He was tapped to become Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a company in San Diego, California, developing strategy and training the sales staff, but his true love was out in the field interacting with customers. He also worked for companies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He and his wife Donna, also in IT, made many lasting friendships in this industry and enjoyed many trips (Hawaii, Santa Fe, Virgin Islands, etc.) as a reward for his sales successes.
Bernie had many good friends throughout his life, and in his last years four were always there for him. Bertha Smith stayed with him during his wife’s surgeries, stayed with her during his surgeries, and was his favorite person to spend time with. She was referred to as his “other” wife. Nellie Forrest comforted him during his wife’s 21-day coma and during other rough times, and she and her family were always there to help with anything. She and her church were praying for him and his wife almost constantly during his last few years and got them through some very tough times. Suzanne Marcello provided help and friendship in many ways. She cooked fabulous meals for them, took care of them on many occasions, gave invaluable advice and guidance, was a pleasure to be around, and shared her family holidays and yorkie Chloe with them. Bernie could be in pain, scared, or depressed and Chloe could always make him smile. They adored each other and she brought pure joy to him and Donna. These four friends made his last few years so wonderful and will be forever cherished.
Bernie fought a long battle with several chronic illnesses and was lovingly cared for by his doctor Richard Sandler, who added many good years to his life, and his Davita dialysis nurse Aby, who cared for him like family. He and Donna always felt safe when he was in their care. His family will be forever grateful to them for their care and love, as well as to Broward Health Medical Center for making an exception and allowing family visitation in the era of COVID.
He is survived by his wife Donna Todd of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, his daughter Monica Roberts, son-in-law Jeff Roberts, and grandchildren Megan and Griffin, all of Cincinnati, Ohio, sister Marty Tharp and brother-in-law Ken Tharp of Fort Collins, Colorado, brother Denny Papo and sister-in-law Jackie Papo of Escondido, California, brother Bill Papo and sister-in-law Julie Stewart of Muskegon, Michigan, and sisters-in-law Dottie Todd Clubb of Glendale, Arizona and Sandy Todd of Stafford, Virginia. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mordy and Eleanor Papo and his brother Bob Papo.
Bernie did not want any kind of service. Please pay your respects by leaving a memory or condolence for his family on the tribute wall on this website.
Bernie often talked about what he would do if he won the lottery. First, split it with Donna so she wouldn’t give it all away. Then give money to Wounded Warriors, his friend Nellie, and Nellie’s church. If you wish, donations can be made in his name to either:
The House of God Miracle Temple, Inc.
2616 East Sutton Drive
Hollywood, Florida 33025
Wounded Warriors support.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate