Melissa Pappas Pappas

Profile Updated: May 19, 2020
Residing In: Brighton, MI USA
Spouse/Partner: James M. Pappas
Profession: Technical Writer, Kalitta Air, LLC
Children and grandchildren: All our kids have/have had 4 legs (all rescued German Shepherd Dogs and one thoroughbred horse).
What have you been up to since you graduated?

YES, please feel free to still call me Missy, and, NO, I'm not dead yet (why did I suddenly think of Monty Python?)

It was terrific seeing so many of you at the reunion. There were so many more of you who I somehow missed seeing. Some of you definitely have aging pictures in your attics, because you sure don't look a day older. I hope to see everyone at the next reunion!

After NEHI, I went to FSU. Was lucky enough to go on the London program in 1972. What a kick travel around Europe and get school credit.

After FSU, I stayed in St. Pete for a couple of years working for a law firm (one of those multiple-name ones) trying to decide if I wanted to go into law. Then I moved to Palm Beach and worked in hotel/restaurant business.

I always wanted to live in Atlanta, so I moved there in 1981. I worked for a major hotel chain, a legal firm and in management consulting. In 1985, I met my best friend and husband, Jim. We celebrated our 32nd anniversary on Aug. 2nd.

Jim and I were in the thoroughbred horse business for several years. Of course, we kept our day jobs. (Jim had 30 years with Northwest Airlines and I was still working for a management consulting firm.) That business is one of extremes. Highs are very high, and lows are hideous. If you ever want to make a small fortune in the thoroughbred business all you have to do is begin with a large one. Since we did not start with any kind of fortune...

We moved to Michigan (Hamburg Township is approx. 15 miles north of Ann Arbor) in 2003. Since then, Jim's retired from Northwest and I from consulting. We both work for Connie (The Bounty Hunter) Kalitta. Yes, that Connie Kalitta, the famed drag racer. We, however, work for his airline - Kalitta Air. We are a freight/cargo carrier flying 747s around the world. At present we have 20 planes. We have flown Shamu, the giant ray in Atlanta's aquarium, hundreds of head of cattle and horses, and all US Mail going to our troops in the Middle East. It's the best job I've ever had.

Over the years we've adopted 10 German Shepherd Dogs (all rescues). Of those, we still have two - Bear (age 8) and Tara (we THINK about 4). In January of 2017, a lifelong dream came true when we added OTTB (Off Track Thoroughbred) Runaway Wildcat to the family. Wiley ran in 53 races and won $260,000. We are now learning dressage together. He's advanced beyond me at present, so our trainer/coach has started showing him. Hope to catch up soon.

We're avid birders and enjoy traveling in that pursuit. The odd thing is that the most exotic bird we've ever seen was in our own yard. In August 2005, we had a white-eared hummingbird (who hardly ever venture out of the mountains in Mexico) in our front yard. It was the furthest east and furthest north one has ever been documented. They occasionally are seen in SE Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. To have one in Michigan was beyond anyone's wildest fantasy. We had over 250 people travel from all over the US and Canada in our yard to see this bird. What fun!

One day, we hope to retire to Kentucky. With our hobbies (stained glass, painting, etc. for me; bluegrass music, fishing, and trains for Jim) and our menagerie, we figure we'll keep plenty busy.

School Story:

One of my favorite schools stories involves one of the plays we did. It was in the "round," so the audience was right on top of the action. I played a meddling, hoity-toity friend (Muriel) who thinks she sees a "murder" and screams and faints. My baby sister (who was only 5 at the time) was in the audience. When my character screamed and fainted, my sister screamed bloody murder and totally freaked out. Luckily, the scene went to black and I could go console her. Mr. Challener said it was one of the best kudos any of his actors ever got that I faked out a kid. LOL!

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Melissa Pappas Pappas has left an In Memory comment for Peter Smith.
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Jun 12, 2020 at 2:40 PM

Pete and I would sometimes study together. He often came to our house and bring his guitar. He was so easy to talk to and laugh with. I can't help but look back on those days and smile. He was a truly good guy.

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Posted on: Jun 17, 2019 at 11:51 AM

Runaway Wildcat (aka Wiley) won all three classes and Championship in his first ever dressage show.

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Posted on: Jul 30, 2018 at 11:48 AM

My horse Wiley (Jockey Club name - Runaway Wildcat) who ran solely in California.
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Posted on: Jul 30, 2018 at 11:45 AM

Our little family (L-R Jim, Tara, me, Bear)
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Posted: Jul 30, 2018 at 11:46 AM
Our little family (L-R Jim, Tara, me, Bear)
Posted: Jul 30, 2018 at 11:49 AM
My horse Wiley (Jockey Club name - Runaway Wildcat) who ran solely in California.