Sharon was born to Katherine (Marasco) and Jim Papian on January 29, 1943, in Des Moines.
A graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, Sharon earned a music degree from Drake University and a master of music performance from the University of Indiana, as well as a fellowship to the Juilliard School of Music’s Professional Studies Program in opera. A performing artist for nearly 15 years, she was a member of the New York City Opera in the early ‘70s. She taught at and directed opera programs at universities in South Dakota, North Carolina, and Tennessee until becoming the executive director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University in Mississippi in 1995. Sharon served in the same executive capacity for the fine arts facility at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, from 2001 until retiring in 2008.
In retirement she volunteered as a reading tutor for the Women’s Center of Jacksonville and helped new immigrants develop interviewing skills in a program sponsored by Catholic Charities.
Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5711 SW 9th Street. Family will greet friends starting at 9:30 a.m. at the church until Mass begins.
Sharon is survived by: her sister Donna, her husband Gary and their children Erik and Nicole, Nicole’s husband Jed and their son Will; her brother Jim, his wife Ande and their son Chris and his wife Katherine; and her brother Steve, his wife Kate and their children Anthony and Nora.
Sharon’s family is deeply grateful for the kind care provided by Dr. Tom Buroker and his staff and Dr. Michael Mosley and the staff at Kavanagh House.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Kavanagh House of Des Moines and Catholic Charities of Jacksonville, Fla.