Joseph Kay Papenfuss

1934 ~ 2021

Obituary Photo for Joseph Kay Papenfuss < >


Dec. 10, 2021
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
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    Dec. 11, 2021
    10:00 AM
    2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
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  • Joseph Kay Papenfuss, 87, of Salt Lake City, UT, passed away peacefully in his home on December 6, 2021. Joseph was born on April 17, 1934, in Brigham City, UT, the youngest child of Curt Papenfuss and Catherine Willes. His family moved shortly thereafter to St. Ignatius, MT. Upon high school graduation, Joseph served in the US Army, and then served an LDS mission in Australia. On May 29, 1959, he married his sweetheart, Irene Casper, in the Salt Lake Temple.

    Joseph had a passion for learning and was an avid reader. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in mathematics. After graduating, he worked in the scientific research program at Hercules as a computer programmer, while also working on his MBA from the University of Utah. After graduating, he taught at the university for two years. Following this, he moved to Bloomington, Indiana to pursue his doctorate in business from Indiana University. Throughout his career he taught at several institutions and retired as a Professor of Management from Westminster College in 2000. He was an excellent teacher and a great source of knowledge.

    Joseph was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He had a deep love of the gospel and was a scholar of the scriptures. Throughout his life, he served wherever he was needed, including in bishoprics, in the high council, and as a gospel doctrine teacher. He also served several service missions for the Church.

    Joseph is survived by his children Carla (Ned) Bennett of Blackfoot, ID; John (Shauna) Papenfuss of Hooper, UT; Rebecca (Todd) Peters of Syracuse, UT; Rachel (Darin) Fox of Murray, UT; and Mark (Pamela) Papenfuss of Star, ID. He loved his 20 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren dearly. He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Casper Papenfuss, and their son Craig Joseph Papenfuss.

    Services honoring Joseph’s life will be held on Saturday, December 11, at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary in Salt Lake City, UT. A viewing will be held at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary from 6-8pm on Friday, December 10, and from 9-9:45am on Saturday, December 11. The funeral service will begin at 10am. Interment will be in the Sandy City Cemetery following the service. The recorded service may be viewed by clicking on the "Watch Services" button above. The graveside dedication and military honors can be viewed at


    It was a pleasure to have known Joe Papenfuss. We have happy memories of attending his Sunday School lessons, observing him walking frequently, and enjoying his company in our home for the Singles' Family Home Evening. We remember his wife Irene with fondness. Joe's quiet attendance on the back row of our chapel will be missed. We send our love to his family and pray they will find peace.

    - Gordon&Kathie Gygi

    Sorry I missed the funeral. I developed a cold and felt it best I did not share it. My prayers and thoughts go to his family and friends for this short time we will be parted physically from him. I am sure he'll occasionally visit to check up on us. What a great guy. He always wanted to know what I was up to and how my family was. He didn't just do lip service but kept track and remembered what I had told him in prior conversations. I loved his humor and his warm smile. I'll miss you Uncle Joe. I know you are having a great time now with your wife and son and so many others that have passed.

    - Keith Casper