Cover photo for Barbara Lou Papa's Obituary
Barbara Lou Papa Profile Photo
1937 Barbara 2022

Barbara Lou Papa

April 16, 1937 — September 1, 2022

Barbara Lou Papa (Breden) of Cranford, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at age 85 on Monday September 1, 2022 after a brief illness at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ.

Barbara (nicknamed Be Be) was born on April 16, 1937 in Elizabeth NJ to Frederick and Agnes Breden (Burgoyne). Her family moved to Roselle, NJ where she graduated from Abraham Clark High. school in 1954. She met her future husband Joseph S. Papa at Abraham Clark in 1951. They were married on July 6, 1957 and remained married until Joseph's passing on April 12, 2020.

She attended Union County College before securing a job as a bookkeeper at the Kraft canning company. She left the work force, electing to be a stay at home mom with the birth of her first child in 1958. She moved her family to Park Terrace in Cranford in 1961, where she raised four boys. She resumed working in 1971, utilizing her typing skills while pioneering a unique work from home arrangement with the NYC accounting firm of Zirkle & Breden. Boxes of accounting files requiring typing would be delivered to Barbara's house. She would set up her typewriter at the dining room table and diligently work several hours a day, taking a break every 20 minutes or so to turn over the Tom Jones record on the turntable. Barbara passed on her eclectic love of music to her four boys.

Barbara's husband Joe was the brawn, standing over six foot tall and 220 pounds but Barbara although relatively quiet and shy by nature was the family force. She taught her children to respect elders, treat everyone equally and be honest at all times, her creed was 'do the right thing, not the easy thing.' I would see her swell with pride when in her later years she would have a visit from an old friend and they would tell her how wonderful her boys were. However, if you messed with her boys you were unleashing someone that would strike fear in you. This demonstration of love and protection was with her to the very end. Every child should be blessed knowing this level of love.

In retirement, Barbara enjoyed trips to Atlantic City with her husband Joseph and spending time with her children and extended family.

Barbara is survived by her son Joseph and his wife Joanne, son Kevin and his wife Lisa and sons Mark and Ron. Also, her grandchildren Rachel, Vanessa, Joseph, Jessica, Daniel, Julianne, Justin, and Brian.

She was predeceased, by grandson Jonathan, brother Ronald Breden and Sister Marilyn (Shamon).

There is no service planned at this time. However, the family is quite certain that a celebration began last night that included Barbara and Joseph dancing the jitterbug to their favorite music.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Lou Papa, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Unknown Location


Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 35

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree