Arthur Papenfus
1930 - 2020
Aspen Mortuary - Lakewood
1350 Simms Street
Lakewood, CO
Papenfus, Arthur C.
June 21, 1930 - July, 22, 2020

The family of Arthur C. Papenfus Jr. is saddened to report his passing on July 22, 2020. Art celebrated his 90th birthday Father's Day June 21st earlier this year. Art, also known as "Mr P" or "Happy Pappy" to multiple generations of Golden High students, was born in 1930 in Milwaukee, WI to Arthur C. Papenfus and Estelle Ciehanowicz. He attended Bayview High School in Milwaukee, WI and received a B.S. in biology from the University of Milwaukee.
Following graduation, Art trained with the 10th Mountain Division and served with the Counter Intelligence Corps stationed in Gratz, Austria. After being honorably discharged, he returned to the United States and worked for the US Forest Service in Northern Idaho to help pay for a Master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO.
In 1956, Art returned to Milwaukee and married Esther Naujock, his wife of 64 years. Art and Esther moved to Colorado and eventually settled in Golden where Art taught biology at Golden High School for more than 30 years. During his tenure at Golden High, he helped coach the football program, track teams, led many key club camping trips, and dreamt up adventures in Colorado and beyond. A lover of nature, teacher to many, and friend to all, Art is survived by his wife; Esther, children; Kurt (Joanne) Papenfus, Janet (David) Brull, and Erich Papenfus, and four grandchildren, Andrew and Stephan Papenfus and Gabe and Amelia Brull. A private graveside service will be held on Tues. July 28, 2020, at the Golden Cemetery. As soon as the COVID-19 crisis is over we will have a celebration of Mr. P's life and we will let you all know. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Golden Kiwanis Club Foundation: Art Papenfus Scholarship Fund at PO Box 562, Golden, CO 80402.

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Published by Denver Post from Jul. 26 to Aug. 2, 2020.
Graveside service
Golden Cemetery
, CO
Funeral services provided by:
Aspen Mortuary - Lakewood
Sponsored by The Denver Post.
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9 Entries
Please accept my sincere condolences dear family and friends. May prayers strengthen you and memories comfort you. And may you find hope and comfort in God our Father, who loves us, comfort your hearts and "make you firm". (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17).
August 1, 2020
August 1, 2020
Art was one of the happiest people I’ve known. He was always excited to talk about a range of subjects, from his baking results to events to beer. He supported Esther in her work at Foothills Art Center through some trying times. The community will sorely miss Art.
Janine Sturdavant
July 29, 2020
So sorry to hear of Mr. P's passing. He was the heart of that strong science dept at GHS in the 70's and so many of us that were exposed to that group went on to careers in what's now called "STEM". It was no accident. He inspired so many of us to either practice or teach in the sciences. But he was more than just a teacher. His student's also knew the friendship of an adult they respected. On the (not often enough) times my fellow GHS alums chat, Mr P still comes up every time, and we still smile. He'll be missed! Peace to you and your family.
K. Hadsell
July 27, 2020
Art was a wonderful person and teacher. I got to know Art after I was hired to be the Principal of Golden HS. He introduced himself to me at one of the many gatherings I attended in my first year as Principal. It was the beginning of a long and wonderful relationship. Art loved teaching and especially teaching at Golden High School. He talked at length about how much he enjoyed working with young people and how much he enjoyed the people, teachers he worked with. After retiring he became active in many of the organizations in the City of Golden. He always had a smile and great laugh. He would surprise you in many different ways. One Saturday morning my doorbell rang and there was Art. He wanted to share some old articles and memories of Golden High School with me. I don't know how he found me but there he was with a smile and a ton of articles and memories to share with me. It was not the last visit at our home with Art. Art also had a passion and love of his German ancestary. He would talk about his love of German music and food. He also shared about his trip or trips to Germany.
I was sadden to hear of Art's passing but then I remembered all the good times and conversations we had. Those memories made me smile. Art will be missed but he will always be remembered.
mike murphy
July 27, 2020
Very sad to hear of Art's passing. He was a wonderful person who was full of passion especially about teaching and teaching at Golden High School. I met Art after I became the Principal at Golden HS in 2000. He loved teaching and working with kids. He had the personality to attract kids and adults to him. He was outgoing and loved to talk with you. He came to visit me shortly after I became principal and shared numerous stories about GHS and teaching. He made me smile and laugh. Over the years we became good friends and he would continue to share stories about his teaching, his work with different organizations in Golden and his love of Golden. Also he loved his German heritage and shared music and stories about his up bringing. Art believed in people and especially young people. I know his family will miss his smile and caring personality and I am sure that there are many in Golden who will miss him. My thoughts are with the family but also my memories of Art make me smile. He was one of a kind.
Mike Murphy
Retired Golden High School Principal
mike murphy
July 26, 2020
Mr. Papenfus was my biology teacher in high school and I remember him very fondly. He was a great favorite of all my classmates at Golden High and those of my younger brother Buck and my little sister Roma Ann. I visited with Mr. Papenfus and his lovely wife last year with brother Buck and we had a wonderful time reminiscing about those school days of old.
Our sincere condolences to Mrs. Papenfus and to their children and grandkids on their sad loss.
Sandy McPherson Whitehouse
July 26, 2020
I have so many memories of Art during the Foothills Art Center years.He made the best strudels and he loved when I told him that! My sympathy to my dear friend Esther and the kids and grandkids.
Cathy Stiers
July 25, 2020
Kurt, sending sympathy and prayers to you and your family .

Mr. P was an unforgettable person and teacher. He is fondly remembered by all of us GHS graduates.

Wishing you peace and comfort and this difficult time.

Mary Beth Hebert-Amelon
Mary Beth Hebert-Amelon
July 25, 2020
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