Thomas G. Papps                Inducted 2014 - Class of 1949

From the "old neighborhood" that lined Stickney Avenue, Thomas united himself with many of the friends that followed each other throughout Hamilton and Woodward High School. To keep in touch, Thomas makes it a point to gather together, once a month, for lunch with his community of classmates: Richard Perry, John Rehkoph, Gene Cousino, Richard Tiller, Joanne Konop, John Nowak, Donald Sampson, Mira Slichcinski, Susie Ignatowicz, Richard Pasquinelly, Ted Rokicki, and Nancy Hartier to relive the old memories and revel in their current accomplishments.

Thomas credits several Woodward teachers for fostering his education: "Edith Murphy for opening his eyes to the importance of history, Mrs. Hazel McManamon for explaining the significance of literature, and Marie Ersig who advanced and encouraged his natural writing ability." As an aside, Thomas also mentions Mr. Sheline for giving him the "BB" nickname.

Along with the mass meetings in Woodward's auditorium and pep rallies in the gym, Thomas 

remembers another incident that shaped his discriminating sense of "right and wrong." As editor of Woodward's student newspaper, the Tattler, Thomas wrote an editorial asking for an accounting of the monies raised by the student magazine sales. For the first and last time in Woodward's heritage, instead of being praised for his initiative, Thomas was suspended for five days and given a "B" grade.

After graduating with his Law Degree from The Ohio State University, Thomas's keen sense of duty kept him in good stead as he made his way through Korea and the military court system with the 728th MP Battalion. A very well-defined sense of justice has guided Thomas throughout his career in the legal profession. Thomas's courtroom experience has taken him through Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Greece, culminating in an appearance before the United States Supreme Court.

Thomas best defines his legal career in his own words. "I had tasted poverty as a youth and knew the difficulty that a poor man had for justice, I did not charge young people or very old people; and never charged anybody an amount that would hurt him or his family."

Thomas married his wonderful wife, Lottie, and together they have a daughter, Maria, who is a chemical engineer, and a step-daughter, Joanne, who is a clinical professor of neurology in Indiana. Thomas has written and published two books: the first, EIGHT REASONS FOR DIVORCE, and second, GOD WORE GLASSES. He has also been published in the Naval Academy's magazine NAVAL HISTORY and is awaiting publication in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology.

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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