Eugene “Gene” Pappenfus, a resident of Little Falls, passed away Friday, July 13, 2012, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, July 16, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls, with Father Nicholas Landsberger officiating. Burial was at St. Mary’s Parish Cemetery in Little Falls. Military Rites were conducted by Little Falls American Legion Post #46 and VFW Post #1112.
Gene was born June 13, 1922, in Sauk Rapids, to the late Tony and Sue (Backus) Pappenfus. The family moved to Little Falls in 1925, where Gene attended elementary school at St. Aloysius and graduated from Little Falls High School in 1940. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 and served honorably in the European theater during World War II, entering at Normandy on “D + 3”. He returned home to marry his high school sweetheart Margaret LaFond, Feb. 12, 1946, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Little Falls. The couple shared the next 66 years of their lives together. They raised three children and countless black labs. Gene took the reigns of the family-owned business, Pap’s Sport Shop in 1947, until he retired in 1985. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 3rd Degree Knights of Columbus, life member and past commander of the American Legion, VFW, Little Falls Exchange Club, serving as local club president and state president, was co-founder of the local Ducks Unlimited chapter and actively involved in many other conservation organizations. One of his treasured memories was sponsoring and playing on a championship city league softball team. Gene and Margaret were recipients of the “Book of Golden Deeds” Award, attesting to their commitment to the community. Gene was an active member of St. Mary’s Church in Little Falls. Dad enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, camping, cribbage and athletic events and he instilled in his children and grandchildren a love and respect for the outdoors. Counted among his closest friends were the group known as the “Orr House Gang” and their friends and neighbors in Texas where they spent the winters after they retired.
Gene is survived by his loving wife Margaret; son, Tom and wife, Ruth; daughters, Paulette Pappenfus and Mary Kistler, all of Little Falls; grandchildren, Christopher Pappenfus and wife, Allison (Ryan, Brendan, Micah) of Mankato, Merilea Osterlund and husband, Joel (Jeremiah, Anna) of Mahtowa, Jeremy Pappenfus and wife, Jessie (Laelia) of Whitefish, Mont., and Tasa Leikvoll-Heilman and husband, Ryan (Roan) of Columbia Heights.
He will be dearly missed by many friends and business acquaintances.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Bob.
Pallbearers will be Ryan Heilman, Joel Osterlund, Bert Lapos, Stan Christenson, George Heroux, Dr. John Beaty, Jack Peck and Steve Ethan.
Shelley Funeral Chapels