Kathryn M. (Papai) Spillman

November 3, 1915 ~ February 21, 2019 (age 103)


Kathryn M. Spillman, 103, of 2531 Creek Rd. New Waterford, Ohio died Thursday, February 21, 2019.

She was born November 3, 1915 in Akron, Ohio, daughter of the late Stephen and Juliana (Peck) Papai.

Kathryn attended her first eight grades in a one-room school in Carroll County, Ohio. She was a 1934 graduate of Dellroy High School, also in Carroll County. In 1962, she received her BS in Education from Youngstown State University, earned her MS (Reading Specialist) from Westminster College in 1972 and her Library Certification in 1973 from Kent State University.

Kathryn taught third grade at Crestview Elementary in New Waterford for eleven years and was the school librarian for fifteen years.

She was an elder in the New Waterford Presbyterian Church as well as Past President of the Presbyterian Women’s Organization of the church, a 4-H Club leader for ten years and for a time was on the Campfire Girls Board.

During her teaching career, Kathryn was active with her civic, social and professional memberships, including the Association of School Librarians, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International (Past President,) International Reading Association (Charter President and Life Member,) Young Authors Conference (Chairman for ten years,) the Columbiana Reader’s Guild (Past President,) Columbiana County Historical Society and the Columbiana-Fairfield Township Historical Society. Additionally, she conducted in-service workshops for Columbiana County as well as the State Department of Education and authored articles for publication in Ohio Reading Teacher and other local education papers.

She kept busy in retirement with the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, Columbiana County Retired Teachers Association (Past President,) Learning In Retirement (LIR,) at Youngstown State University, Ohio Cultural Alliance (OCA,) Elderhosteling and lots of traveling.

She was a recipient of the International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award for her work and, with the help of volunteers, Kathryn established the elementary library. Additionally, Kathryn received a Martha Holden Jennings grant for an original operetta she wrote, directed and presented to the community by the third-grade classes of Crestview Schools.

She is survived by a daughter-in-law, Rita E. Spillman; three grandchildren, Erik (Monica), Ann (Eric) and Elisabeth; three great grandchildren, Cecilia, Charles and Jackson, and her brother, James.

Kathryn was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald, her son, Glenn, and her siblings, Michael Papai, Stephen Papai, Carl Papai, Nancy Deverman, Julia Atwater and Dorothy Binder.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at the Warrick-Kummer-Rettig Funeral Home, Columbiana.

Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the funeral home.

Burial will be in New Waterford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Crestview School Alumni Association, Hospice of the Valley or a charity of your choice.

Family and friends may view this obituary and send condolences at


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March 9, 2019

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Warrick-Kummer-Rettig Funeral Home
28 North Main Street
Columbiana, OH 44408

Funeral Service
March 9, 2019

12:00 PM
Warrick-Kummer-Rettig Funeral Home
28 North Main Street
Columbiana, OH 44408

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