James C. Papenfus

East Tawas, Michigan
January 12, 1941 - January 26, 2020


Tawas United Methodist Church
Saturday, February 1, 2020
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Service Location

Tawas United Methodist Church - Tawas City, Michigan


Saturday, February 1, 2020
1:00 PM

Obituary Notice

James C. Papenfus

Age 79, of East Tawas, MI passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at Nottingham Place in Midland, MI. Our hearts are saddened but we find comfort in knowing he no longer suffers. Jim was born on January 12, 1941 to Charles and Myrtle Papenfus. He was a two sport athlete achieving All-MIAA status in baseball in 1962 and 1963. Jim was later inducted in the Hall of Fame at Albion College for both baseball and basketball. After graduating from Albion, Jim worked as a teacher, coach and athletic director. He started his career in Burton Atherton schools in 1963 and moved to Tawas in 1968. In 1995 he left the education field to pursue Jim Papenfus Builders. He loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing, golfing, snowmobiling and sailing. Jim is survived by his wife Diane, daughter Kelly (Jerry), daughter Kristen, son Kurt and son Kraig. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren, Danielle (Adam), Brooke, Shannon (Josh), Lane (Chelsea), Katelyn and two great-grandchildren, Charlie and Anna. The family will receive friends on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 11:00 am until the time of the funeral service at 1:00 pm at the Tawas United Methodist Church. The interment will take place on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm at the Crestview Cemetery in Roscommon County, MI. Memorials may be directed to Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047 and you may offer condolences at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com.


Lewy Body Dementia Association
912 Killian Hill Road S.W
Lilburn, GA 30047


Crestview Cemetery


We are so saddened by Jim’s passing but so thankful he is now at peace. Jim & Diane have been friends & colleagues of ours since we moved to the Tawas Area in 1971. He was a much loved part of our group of close friends who taught together at Tawas Area Schools. I taught across the hall from him his last few years before retirement & it was always fun to see his students genuinely enjoying his class! Jim was a true gentleman & will be missed!
— Betty Look
... a good man and a major part of the lives in literally hundreds of his students. Thoughts and prayers for his family. RIP Mr Papenfus
— Tom Macmurray
Dear Diane & Family,

Scott & I were so saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. Although the past year has been heart wrenching for all of you and he is now at peace, it still doesn’t stop your heart from hurting. Jim was a very kind man who loved his family. Hang on to all the memories & cherish them forever. Sending prayers of comfort and lots of love. 🌷

With Deepest Sympathy,
Scott & Diane Weisinger
— Scott & Diane Weisinger
So sorry for your loss. Prayers for all and peace in knowing that his suffering is over. Keep your memories close to your heart and he’ll always be with you.
— Kathy Schreiner
DearDiane&family,so sorry to hear of Jim passing away.Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
— Del&Bobbi Waterman
Diane & family,
We were shocked & saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. The memories we share over the past several years will always remain in our hearts. Please know that we send our love, thoughts & prayers to you all throughout this difficult time!
Gary & Carol Siderman
— Gary & Carol Siderman
I’m so pleased that I was able to reconnect with Mr. Papenfus when he and my mother were at Tawas Village. We had several good conversations about Tawas High, traveling in Europe, his disease, and how my life was going. He had good memories then. My condolences to all of his family and friends. RIP my friend...
— Debra Harwood
Sorry for the loss of Jim. I want to extend my sympathy to Diane and the whole family. Please know my entire family sends their condolences. Hoping for God's peace during this difficult time
— Uncle Ted
— doug stephenson
Thinking back over the years to my days playing basketball for Coach Papenfus I appreciate more and more his patient style of dealing with his players and his ability to stay calm and level headed in any situation. I think about him often and am very thankful for his impact on my life. He will be greatly missed.
— Gary Libka
Diane and family,
We we so saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. We have great memories of him. May God fill you with His peace and comfort as you celebrate his life. God bless you all.
— George and Janet Fishel
Diane and Family,
Sending prayers for these sad and difficult days. Praying for comfort and strength for all of you as you share your many wonderful memories of your lives with him and all who loved him. Our deepest sympathy! Rob and Sandy Pelton
— Sandy Pelton
Diane, Kristen and family,
So sorry for your loss, Jim was so much fun and easy going, always a great sense of humor, many great memories of the Tawas Lanes softball team, condolences
— Greg Brown
Sorry to hear of the passing of your
Dad. Thoughts and prayers to you all
— John Wiese
We will miss his smile and hugs after church. We seemed to always seek each other out, the Falkers and The Papenfus’s just talking and laughing and sharing. We have been missing him for a long while, but this time we know he is really gone. We will
catch up with him someday again. Just gotta believe!!
— Karlene Falker
Blessings to Mr Papenfuse and his family! I had Mr Papenfuse for two years. My senior year, the third week of school he pulled me aside and had a good, firm conversation with me. I had more respect for him after that chat!
— Julie Loy
I remember my dad talking about Pappy when I was young ... then I had him for a teacher! Had to remember not to use his nickname at school! Haha! I was a senior in World History with a bunch of sophomores and the amount of freedom I had during that hour was awesome thanks to Mr. Papenfus. Good memories of a good teacher! Praying for the peace that passes all understanding for Diane and family.
— Julie (Chapman) Rolffs
RIP Mr. Papenfus, so thankful you were once my teacher. Such a good man. Thank you for teaching so many of us over the years and doing it so well. Sincere condolences to your family and all whose lives you impacted.
— Kathy Romeo
Diane, and family. I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing but at the same time know that he is no longer suffering. RIP Jim, you will be greatly missed.
— June Scott
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, Many happy memories of Mr. Papenfus as a teacher, coach and friend. You will be missed.
— Mitch and Barb Lenczewski
So very sorry for your loss, he was loved by many!
— Evie Sventko McIntire
Diane, Rhonda and I are so Sorry for your loss, He was a wonderful man, Coach , teacher and friend. He will be greatly missed, may God give you comfort and peace , love you Jeff and Rhonda Hemphill
— Jeff Hemphill
Diane and family: So sad to hear of your loss and the hardship Jim had to go through over the final stages of his illness. Many kindnesses were extended to me by you, Diane, and Jim as a young person but even more in recent years, during summertimes spent in Tawas, with my own family. Whether asking Jim for construction advice, chatting over a cocktail at TBYC or a chance meeting at the grocery store, Jim's generous personality and warm greeting were a constant. I'll always carry fond memories of both Jim and the Papenfus family. I ask God to bless Jim, Diane and the entire family.
— Lee Starling
Dear Diane and family-

We were so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. So many good memories going back many many years! He always had a positive approach in difficult situations and was a gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. With deepest sympathy-
— Dan and Deb Barry
Diane and family----I am so sorry to hear about Jim but I know he is now in a better place. Although we have not seen each other in several years, I think of all of you often. My prayers to all of you
— Joe Wakeley
So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. I am proud to call him coach even after 40 yrs. it could make him smile. I will miss you.
— Tom Lee
I am so sad to know that Jim,my favorite cousin, has passed. As kids we were pretty close,but years,work,and life got in the way.
I understand the past couple years have been very difficult and how you all have suffered.
Please accept my sympathy to all the family,and prayers for your peace and comfort.
— MaryJane Schofield
Mr. Papenfus touched so many lives as a teacher at Tawas Area High School. Our hearts go out to his family.
— Dave and Deb Mielock
Dear Dianne and family, so sorry for loss. Jim was well loved and respected in this community! Prayers for peace and comfort as you go through this difficult time.
— Sandy Brockenbrough
Diane & family, we are so sorry to learn of my hero cousin's passing and his condition leading up to it. When I say hero, I mean it. Jim was 8 years older than me and I longed to be a basketball player in his vein. Not only was he good (first team all-state center his senior season), he was such a kind person. Whenever the Vance family (Myrtle's maiden name) were gathered for the Christmas day festivities that his folks hosted in most years, the male cousins would end up in the high-ceiling garage playing indoor basketball where he had long helped hone his skills. I would tag along and Jim always gave me a part of the game, taking me on his side as we played 2-on-2 with Bob and Jack. The way I remember it...we won. In later years, while I never reached Jim's lofty heights as a player, he was always an inspiration for me. I even bragged about knowing him and being related to him.
The years passed and we really only saw each other at occasional family gatherings and funerals. This sad news of his departure has me affected in your grief. I truly regret never telling him how much those early kindnesses and inclusion meant to me. Hopefully my joy was evident at the time. I now tell myself that a perceptive Jim Papenfus probably knew it all along.
Sincerest condolences,
Art & Cindy Wakeley
— Art Wakeley
Mrs. Papenfus and Family,

You have my deepest sympathy. I am very blessed to say that I had Coach as my coach, teacher and friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
— Tim Fox
We are so sorry for you loss. He will be missed.
— Janet (Phelps) Anderson
I remember having your Dad as one of my teachers in high school! He was a great man and will be missed by many... So sorry for your loss! Sending thoughts and prayers your way!
— Janet Tenbusch
Diane and family, Jim was one of my favorite teachers in high school. He was very kind as a teacher and as a man. My son also had him for a teacher! This shows his dedication as a beloved teacher at Tawas Area H.S. - educating many local family members for 2 generations! You both together, Diane, were such a special couple. God Bless. Love & prayers, Marsha (Kitchen) Kerr & Janice Kitchen (my sister)
— Marsha (Kitchen) Kerr
Diane: Condolences to you and your family. Jim was someone I and all my peers looked up to and respected. He was everyone's hero in Roscommon. Beyond being an outstanding athlete, Jim was just a damn nice guy who treated others well and knew how to enjoy life. He had a lot to do with me going to Albion College, and I am grateful for that. I'm sorry I didn't know about the service and burial.
— Butch Cornett
One of the better teachers I had in high school. I remembered, and used, his style many times in my own teaching career.
Kurt and Kristen- thinking of you. He was one of the greats!
— Chad Robson, Rogers City

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