Colleen Alexandra Wilson-Pappa

March 16, 1964March 3, 2022
Obituary of Colleen Alexandra Wilson-Pappa
The world lost a brilliant, kind, charitable, compassionate, humorous & beautiful woman on March 3, 2022, with the unexpected death of Colleen A. Wilson-Pappa, 57, after a series of heart attacks. She had been suffering from auto-immune issues, Sjogren’s, Raynaud’s & other unidentified ailments, but there were high hopes that a visit with Mayo Clinic specialists next month would yield answers on how to manage these matters. Colleen was born March 16, 1964, in Pacoima, CA, to Paul Haislip Wilson and Catherine Beatrice Gibson. She moved to Las Vegas in the early 1970s and was raised by her single mother, who struggled financially and received little support from Colleen’s father, and they moved often. Colleen attended at least 5 local elementary schools and Roy Martin Junior High. She took a city bus to Bonanza High School, where she graduated in 1982, was class valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar. She attended the University of Missouri, where she joined Alpha Chi Omega. She was an active leader with the local chapter. She loved Mizzou and her sorority but her mother’s health issues prompted her to leave. Colleen later graduated from Cal State University, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in business administration/finance and earned an MBA from UNLV. She worked in Southern California doing financial analysis, budget and financial statement preparation, personnel administration and contract negotiation. Colleen was then hired by the Clark County Building Department in October 1993 and was honored to be selected for the 5-member “Delta Team” to analyze and redesign the land development review process. In July 1998 she joined Clark County Administrative Services and became a management/legislative analyst. She lobbied on behalf of the County during two successive legislative sessions in the halls of the state capitol building. In October 2001, she was named an assistant planning manager for Clark County Comprehensive Planning before joining the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association as director of government relations in February 2002. Colleen rejoined the County in August 2003 and would remain there until May 2007, resigning to be a full-time mom. It was a completely selfless act because Colleen really loved working with people at the County and her daughter benefited tremendously from her love, care and stimulation of her young mind with lots of activities, sports, Girl Scouts and the like. Colleen met her husband, Erik Pappa, on March 9, 1994. Then a newspaper reporter, he was investigating County Commissioner spending when he ran into Colleen at a County facility. She recognized him as a fellow 1982 Bonanza grad, and, smitten, he asked her out for drinks that night. They traveled to Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland, where Erik proposed on the grounds of Glengarry Castle. They married on Dec. 28, 1996, at St. Francis de Sales Church. They welcomed a daughter, Katherine (“Kae”), almost 10 years later. They enjoyed traveling and visits included Italy, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Mexico, Quebec, Vancouver, Hawaii, Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The family also enjoyed outings together and gathering with friends and relatives. Colleen herself enjoyed reading, logic puzzles, cooking and lunches with friends. Colleen was involved in numerous professional and volunteer and charitable organizations and personally worked on behalf of children, the disabled, animals and those in need. When Kae was a child, she volunteered in the classroom and helped teachers with individualized instruction and provided general assistance. Colleen recently served on the CCSD zoning advisory committee. When she passed, Colleen was working on a master’s degree in nutrition so that she could enjoy a second career helping people and was only a few courses away from completing that degree. Colleen even talked about living her dream of joining the Peace Corps. if doctors could manage her health issues. They did not do so, her years were cut short, and the community and those who came to know her smile, warm spirit, generosity, wit and intelligence know what her loss means to a great many people. Colleen is survived by husband Erik, daughter Kae, sister Kerry Anderson, nephew Ryan Anderson, nieces Shannon Visser and Mia Emerson, sister-in-law Michelle Pappa, mother-in-law Henny Morse, brother-in-law Jon Anderson and sisters-in-law Roberta Anderson Good, Mary-Catherine Anderson and Laura Anderson Freedman and their families. A viewing will be held at Palm Cheyenne Mortuary (7400 W. Cheyenne Ave.) Sunday, March 13, noon-2 p.m. with services at 2 p.m. All are welcome. . A visitation for Colleen will be held Sunday, March 13, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at Palm Cheyenne Mortuary, 7400 West Cheyenne Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89129, followed by a funeral service from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Wilson-Pappa family.

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Sunday, March 13, 2022


Sunday, March 13, 2022

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