John D. Papenfus

July 10, 1929 ~ January 3, 2021 (age 91)


Verona – John D. Papenfus, age 91, passed away on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at Noel Manor in Verona. He was born in Milwaukee, WI on July 10, 1929, the son of Harry and Esther (Ehlers) Papenfus. John graduated from Rufus King High School in Milwaukee. He was an Alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning his master’s degree in Civil Engineering. John was a member of Tau Beta Pi, the oldest engineering honor society, being initiated through the Wisconsin Alpha Chapter in December of 1950. He was a charter member of the Vagabond Ski and Social Club, a member of Kingo Lutheran Church in Shorewood, partner at Graef Engineering in Milwaukee and was active in the Milwaukee Historical Society. John and Peggy enjoyed traveling all over the world together. He enjoyed playing basketball and volleyball and received a gold medal with the Senior Olympics in his 80’s in volleyball. John was also an avid Badger fan and a lifelong Packer fan. 

John is survived by his wife, Marguerite Papenfus; his two daughters, Heidi (David) Walaski and Trina (John) Ford; grandson, Steven John Walaski; his sister, Jean Psenicka; sister-in-law, Myrna (William) Ebert; and many nieces and nephews who he had a profound impact on. 

He was preceded in death by his sister, Joan (Donald) Johnson. 

The family appreciates the kind and compassionate care provided by staff at Noel Manor in Verona and Heartland Hospice.  A memorial service for John will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in John’s name to Bethesda Lutheran Communities in Watertown, WI at

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