September 14, 1923 ~ August 29, 2022

Born in: Sicily, Italy
Resided in: Torrance, California

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Frances Papia, age 98, a remarkable person who touched so many lives.  Frances was born in Sicily in 1923 to Josephine and Joseph Mortillaro. She immigrated to this country with her husband, Destrino Papia, and her two children in 1955 in hopes of making a better life for their family. Unfortunately, she was widowed nine months later, left stranded in a strange country with only a first-grade education and two young children to support. Accustomed to hard work, she often worked two jobs, as a seamstress during the day and doing laundry at night. After her retirement at age 75, she enjoyed spending her days babysitting nine great-grandchildren.  Besides her family, she loved cooking, sewing, gardening, crocheting, and attending daily Mass.

Predeceased by her husband, Destrino, she is survived by her children: Angela Hersey (Mel), and Joseph Papia (Lynn); her grandchildren: Sue Hersey Williams (Joe), Diane Sanka (Allen), Tana Sherrick (Chris), Jennifer Guevara (Jamie), Brian Papia; and ten great-grandchildren: Alexandra Dreyfus, Shelby Williams, Morgan Browning (Carter), Alyse Sherrick, Forrester Sherrick, Meghan Sherrick, Wendy Sanka, Kai Guevara, Kaylani Guevara, and Caiden Guevara.

In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude’s Hospital will be appreciated.




Viewing: September 8, 2022 4:00 pm - September 8, 2022 7:00 pm

Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions - Rice Center
5310 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503


Rosary Service: September 8, 2022 5:00 pm

Lighthouse Memorials & Receptions - Rice Center
5310 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503


Service: September 9, 2022 10:00 am

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church
320 Massey Street
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254


Graveside Service: September 9, 2022 12:00 pm

Holy Cross Cemetery
5835 W. Slauson Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230


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  1. candle 3Much love to you always nana. Thank you for the gift of your family for many generations to come. Love Jamie

  2. candle 7Aunt Francis was a wonderful person and will be deeply missed. Our deepest condolences. Love Amelio & Maria Notardonato and Family

  3. My actual time spent with this beautiful soul was slight, but I felt like I knew Nana through all of jen’s stories. They were filled with laughter and tons of love. Nana will be greatly missed. Sending love and hugs to all including our new angel above.

  4. candle 7Dear Frances. Thank You so much for your love ❤️ kindness treating me like family. I will always remember keep you in my heart! We enjoyed many happy times together and some sad.
    Thank You for being a special part of my life.
    I will miss you.. Rest In Peace

  5. candle 7Aunt Frances had a kind and generous heart and we all enjoyed whenever she came to visit her Nieces and Nephews in Chicago. She made the best dry olives and zucchini bread she will be deeply missed. Our condolences to the entire Papia family.
    Love Aggie and Joey

  6. candle 1I remember her with such kindness and a wonderful person to be around with. Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole Papia family.
    Melissa Ortiz

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