In loving memory of

Lyle "Slats" Papenfuss
December 28, 1942 - March 2, 2021

Lyle "Slats" Papenfuss, age 78, passed away on March 2, 2021 at Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield, MN.

He was born on Dec. 28th 1942 to Howard and Winnie (Greenwood) Papenfuss of La Crescent, MN. Slats attended La Crosse Central High School where he was named to the AP All-State Basketball First Team in 1960. He was also selected to go to Boys State in MN. He then attended Winona State College where he was a four-year starter in basketball and member of three Warrior NAIA college world series baseball teams. He was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.

It was while attending Winona State that he met Inger-Lise (Lise) Fineid in of all places, the library. They would marry on August 3, 1963 at St John Lutheran Church in Kasson, MN. Slats is survived by his wife - Lise, daughter Lynn Graham, and son Lance Papenfuss all of Rochester, MN, brothers Richard "Dick" (Mary) Santa Fe, NM, and Larry (Dawn) Moorhead, MN, as well as, grandchildren, Cole Graham, Tore Papenfuss, Jack Papenfuss, and Brodie Papenfuss. He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, Tore and Signe (Nordkvist) Fineid, son-in-law,
Alan Graham, and by grandson Connor Graham.

Slats began his career in the insurance business with Federated Insurance in Owatonna MN. He credited the early training and friendships he made there with his later success and for preparing him to take on a partnership in the C. O. Brown Agency in Rochester spanning 37 years. Slats was truly a gentle man, his friendly manner and easy smile combined with a strong work ethic and competitive nature made him a well-liked and highly successful businessman. These same traits enabled him to form many lasting friendships among his teammates, classmates, colleagues, and customers.

Over the years he would serve on numerous boards for both businesses and charities. He would continue his athletic pursuits competing on fast pitch softball teams and basketball teams well into his 40's. He also loved coaching youth basketball teams and watching "his boys" go on to success in high school and college careers.

An avid sports fan, he especially enjoyed attending the Quarterback Club meetings in Rochester and cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Once, he even wrote a letter to Packer GM Ron Wolfe and was astonished when he got a personal phone call back from Mr. Wolfe addressing his concerns. But his greatest joy came from spending time watching grandchildren swim, fish, and play sports.

Slats enjoyed music and always had his favorite radio station tuned in. Slats and Lise loved spending time at their home in Lake City, often with friends, but especially together on the water and taking excursions on the boat. They were blessed to be able to travel, spending numerous winters in Florida, and making several trips to Norway.

The family wishes to express their appreciation to Chosen Valley Care Center, Hospice, Palliative Care, and Visiting Angels for their care and support.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Hospice or one's charity of choice.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at Bethel Lutheran Church, 810 3rd Ave SE, Rochester, MN 55904.Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. A private burial was held at South Zumbro Lutheran Cemetery.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Papenfuss family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit


Rollie and Mari Wussow wrote on Mar 13, 2021:

"Lise, we are names out of our mutual Winona State past and we recall those happy times seeing the young love you and Lyle had for each other. As a Daily News sports writer and WSC's sports information director at the same time, I covered Lyle's talent in both baseball and basketball. He was a class and honorable guy; never one to criticize an opponent even when I'd try getting a quote to heat up a story based on what I saw. You and he obviously have wonderful memories...recall them frequently with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart. Mari (Kaczrowski) and Rollie Wussow, Bernalillo, New Mexico"

Shawn Moyer wrote on Mar 12, 2021:

"Dear Lise and family, Sorry to hear the passing of Slats! He was a great guy to talk to when I took care of your lawn and snow in Lake City! I will miss his great visits while I still take care of your lawn and snow in Lake City! I offer my prayers and condolences to you all during this time!"

Jim and Gaylene Ryan wrote on Mar 8, 2021:

"Dear Lise, Jim and I are sending our Condolences on the passing of your Dear Husband. Although, it was just once that we met him as you were 'remaking' your townhome in Salem Point he made such an impression on us. Please know we have you in our thoughts and prayers and may you keep those precious memories close to your heart. We are at 180 Salem Point and hope we can be of any assistance in the months to come."

Donna Anderson. wrote on Mar 8, 2021:

"Dear Lise, I an Donna Anderson and want to share my deepest Sympathy to you and your family. Your parents were such good Friends of and your Mom sang with me with the Bethel gals at Nursing Homes many summers. You always have been so lovely. and beautiful!!"

Janet and Larry Johnson wrote on Mar 8, 2021:

"Lise, you and your family have our deepest sympathy. We wish you well. Janet, (Lawrence) and Larry Johnson "

Tammy (Madson) Holtorf wrote on Mar 8, 2021:

"Dear Lise and family, we are so sorry to hear that Slats passed away. We enjoyed bumping into him on occasion at the Marina in Lake City. He always had a cheerful smile and a kind word. We will keep you in our prayers. Dave and Tammy (Madson) Holtorf"

Sharon Goede wrote on Mar 7, 2021:

"Lise and have my sympathy in your loss. I got to know Slats through my husband Dave (Fudd) Lots of Basketball chats between the two guys...Met you at WSU... hold onto your many many memories...."

Bruce Walters wrote on Mar 6, 2021:

"Lise and family, Lyle was the "post child" for the "good guy" label. He was well liked in high school and always kept his cool on the basketball floor. He showed that nice guys can finish first. Loved the guy. He was the best. You and Lyle will be missed at our next reunion. Bruce Walters, Class of 1960."

Bill Allaire wrote on Mar 6, 2021:

"As fellow school mates of Slats and Lisa, we send our deepest and most sincere sympathies. Bill and Sandra Allaire"

Dave Raymond wrote on Mar 6, 2021:

"Lyle was a great prince of a person. Always a caring and just a great freind. I enjoyed working with him over the years at C O Brown. He will be greatly missed by all."

Dave Raymond wrote on Mar 6, 2021:

"Lyle was a prince of a guy and a great guy to work with over the years at C O Brown. I will always remember him as a great freind and someone that will be greatly missed. Dave Raymond "

Bill Allaire wrote on Mar 6, 2021:

"As fellow school mates of Slats and Lisa, we send our deepest and most sincere sympathies. Bill and Sandra Allaire"

Mary Ihrke wrote on Mar 6, 2021:

"LISE, Slats had a wonderful caregiver. He was so thankful of you . You were a beautiful couple. He was a kind and humble person. Eternal rest . Mary Ihrke"

Bill Allaire wrote on Mar 6, 2021:

"As fellow school mates of Slats and Lisa, we send our deepest and most sincere sympathies. Bill and Sandra Allaire"

Dave Sedor wrote on Mar 5, 2021:

"The Sedor family shares in the grieving of a dear family friend from back in the day. My father, Chuck, loved Slats. He was highly thought of and will be missed. Thinking of you all. Relish the memories- Dave"

David Ramsey wrote on Mar 5, 2021:

"Dear Lise and Family, We lost someone who can only be described as a "class act" in the way he lived and interacted with everyone each and every day. Lyle and I met years ago at C.O. Brown when he helped me and my clients out with coverage we didn't have available at Federated at that time. Lyle worked with my clients so well and I knew if I introduced him, a wonderful professional and personal relationship would ensue. He was the ultimate professional but more so, he was a delight to work with because he cared so much about doing things right for the client and working well with others to achieve mutually desired results. We lost one of the very best. My condolences. Sincerely, Dave Ramsey"

Mark Kieffer wrote on Mar 5, 2021:

"Dear Lance and family, We were saddened to hear of Lyle's passing. Lance, You were so loyal in bringing your dad to the Q-backs club meetings. It was clear to see the close friendship between the two of you. Many blessing to all of you as you make all of the needed adjustments to your life without this great man. Mark and Cheryl Kieffer"

Helge Hansen wrote on Mar 5, 2021:

"Dear Lise, It is with a very heavy heart to hear of Slats passing. He was such a kind, gentle and quiet man. We will miss him a lot. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at this very difficult and sad time. Love Helge & Wenche & rjan."

Patrick Blum wrote on Mar 5, 2021:

"Saddened to hear that Lyle had passed. I had company insurance with him for many years. He was always so helpful and friendly. My condolences to all family during this challenging time."

Bob Oldenburg wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Slats was a great teammate and friend. Along with myself, the class of 1960 will miss him. Wishing comfort & peace to his family. Sincerely, Bob Oldenburg"

Lori Hubbard wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"I worked beside Lyle at CO Brown for many years. He taught me so much especially about customer service. A gentle soul that never expressed anything but the positive and how to be the better person in all situations. My condolences to the family during this difficult time. The great memories will be continued with all who knew Slats. RIP Lyle. Lori Hubbard"

Liri Crandall wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"We are so sorry about Lyle's illness and passing? We were some of his first clients at C.O.Brown, and we are still with the company. He was a wonderful man and friend. Our deepest sympathies to you all?Dan and Lori Crandall"

Jeff Bartholomew wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Lise and the entire famlily as they mourn the lost of "Slats"....he was a true Warrior and leaves a tremendous legacy at Winona State University that is very proud of all Lyle accomplished as an athlete, a husband/father, a business professional...he leaves behind many team mates that will fondly remember him......Jeff Bartholomew"

Cheryl wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Our hearts are saddened by the death of our dear friend Slats. Our friendship goes back 50 years when we spent Fri nights dancing at the town house. Slats had the most beautiful smile and was such a special person. He will be greatly missed. Wayne and Cheryl caulfield"

Kay Kriese Luther wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"What a beautiful, kind and amazing man Slats was. We were classmates in high school. It was such fun being at basketball games to watch him play with other friends on the team. I always looked forward to seeing Lise and Slats at all of our class reunions. They were such a loving couple. Lise, please know how deeply sorry I am for your loss. You will tuck all of those loving memories in your heart forever and beyond. May God bless you and your family during this difficult journey. ???? Kay Kriese Luther"

Bill hess wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Lyle was a friend and very good Businessman who took care of All our needs in insurance when With Federated ins. Early in his career but wise in his field. Bless his memory a truly good man. Bill & Nancy Hess- Hess Lumber co formerly Pine Island "

Betty and Phil wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Lise and family, so sorry to read of Lyle?s passing. You are in our prayers. May he Rest In Peace Phil and Betty"

Mike and Joy Fogarty wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Slats was one of those rare people about whom it can honestly be said, ?I never heard him say a bad word about anyone.? He was a kind man and a gentleman whose beautiful smile and warm heart will be remembered by all who knew him. For Mike to have been his partner for many years is a source of great memories. We send our sympathy and love to Lise and family. Slats will always be remembered and missed. Mike and Joy Fogarty "

Nancy Oelke wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Lise and family: I many fond family memories of Slats and you. He was a very kind man. I will keep all in my prayers. Peace. Nancy"

Jay Horsman wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Dear Lise, It is with a very heavy heart to hear of Slats passing. He was such a kind, gentle and quiet man and will be greatly missed by everyone that knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family at this very difficult and sad time. Love. Ann & Jay Horsman"

Rojean and Gene Becker wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"May Lyle rest in peace. He was a very nice gentleman. Blessings to his family."

Ron and Sue Dahling wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"Slats will always be remembered as class act, a real gentleman. May God?s promise comfort you Lise."

Tamara Amos wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"I was very sad to hear of Lyle's passing, but know he is in a better place and will no longer health struggles with eyes, memory, etc. I got the pleasure of working with him a long time @ C. O. Brown where we all became one big family. I loved getting a hug from both he and Lise. He was truly a great man and will be missed. HUGS! Tammy Amos"

Garry Kosut wrote on Mar 4, 2021:

"I am so sorry for your loss, excellent person that can now reunite with his cousin Debb and other family members that loved him. Garry Kosut"

Tom Graf wrote on Mar 3, 2021:

"Slats will be truly missed. Many good memories playing city league basketball with Lyle. I was happy to be on Lyle's team. He was not only a great shooter but an intense competitor. I remember a game when he and Charlie Weisborn got into it when Lyle caught an elbow from Charlie. Lots of fun was had....thats all that needs to be said. Lyle also sold me business for many years and I truly enjoyed sitting down with him catching up on the kids and the business of the day. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Lyle's company he was a real class guy. He was my go to guy when I played with him and when He was selling me insurance. I think I was lucky to have called him my friend. God Bless you all in this time of mourning. Tom Graf "

Mary Beth Harmon wrote on Mar 3, 2021:

"Love, hugs, and sympathy to you, Lise, and your family. He will be missed by many. Mary Beth Harmon"

Tink Larson wrote on Mar 3, 2021:

"So sorry to hear about the passing of Slats. Our sympathies to Lise and the family. Slats was one of the nicest people a person could ever meet. He was a great athlete and an even better person. I first met him as a classmate in high school at LaCrosse Central. We played baseball against each other in college and we played a lot of basketball together with the Kasson Culligan town team. What a wonderful teammate, friend and human being he was. Tink Larson"