The gratitude Papa holds for the Orioles, who gave him what amounted to an economic start in life, is something that comes through in conversation, although he reluctantly adds, "I just wish I could have done more and accomplished something for Baltimore." Now, at age 56, he lives in Shelton, Conn., is chairman of the parks and recreation commission and has twice been elected as a Republican alderman by the voters.
His wife of 33 years, Jane, teaches in the school system. The Papas have four children, all college-educated. Son John graduated from Xavier University with a degree in finance; David, an alumnus of Providence College, is a CPA with the Olin Corp.; daughter Lisa graduated from Southern Connecticut with a degree in psychology and is studying for a master's, and the youngest, Karin, 22, has an English degree from St. Anselm and is to work as a volunteer for the next year in London, under the auspices of the Catholic diocese, to assist the blind and underprivileged.
"Our children have brought us a lot of pleasure," Papa said. "As parents we are deeply proud of them. They never caused us any trouble and always accepted responsibility. We have a grandson, John, which means there have been four boys in four generations of our family carrying the name John. My father lived long enough to see him, which makes me happy to realize that."