Arlen Tenpas ’63

Arlen Bruce Tenpas, 79, of Waupun, passed on to Eternity early morning on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, after a year-long battle with lymphoma.

Arlen was born on Dec. 15, 1941, in Fond du Lac, Wis. He is the son of Willard and Doris (Rens) Tenpas and the brother of Ronald Tenpas. He is survived by his wife, Jean (Navis) Tenpas; sons, Dean (Candace) of Colorado Springs, Colo., Brad (Alison) of Johnston, Iowa, Eric (Candy) of Sun Prairie, Wis., and Zach of Waupun, Wis.; daughters, Melissa of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Kierra (Chris) Braaksma of Waupun, Wis.; grandchildren, Hunter, Kenzie, Summer, Fisher, and Colton Tenpas, Aleah and Jensyn Tenpas, Will and Meg Tenpas, and Taylor, Noah, Gracie, Carson, and Anna Braaksma; his brother, Ron Tenpas of Naples, Fla.; niece, Mitzi Tenpas Wiborg of Hobe Sound, Fla.; and sister-in-law, Pat Tenpas of Oshkosh, Wis.

Arlen grew up on a farm just outside of Alto, Wis. He worked alongside his father and brother on the farm and with his grandfather, Matt Rens, who was known as The Hemp King of America for growing hemp to make rope, a strategic war crop that contributed significantly to the U.S. Navy’s war effort in World War II. Arlen graduated from Waupun High School in 1959 and from Hope College in 1963. He has faithfully served as a member of the Waupun Lions Club for over 44 years, was on the Consistory at First Reformed Church as both an elder and deacon, and was a coach and president of Waupun Little League for many years. He taught high school math and physics and coached track, basketball, and baseball in Cedar Grove and Ripon, then transitioned to work at Mercury Outboard Motors in Fond du Lac as a purchasing agent for over 30 years. In retirement, he drove funeral coaches for Baynes’ Funeral Coaches of Beaver Dam.

As a young man, Arlen could always be found working hard on his parents’ farm, fielding balls on the baseball field, or dribbling a basketball down the court. For any who knew Arlen, he was always ready with a smile or joke, spending time chit chatting with friends and family, or watching the Packers, Badgers or Brewers. His number one love language was acts of service, and through his battle with cancer this last year, his question was always, “How can I help you?” His family was always amazed at how hard Arlen worked and how much he loved to serve other people with no complaints. Arlen loved his family and time together at home or at the cottage.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Doris (Rens) and Willard Tenpas; mother- and father-in-law, Mary (Glewen) and Merenius Navis; nephew, David Tenpas; and grandson, Beau Tenpas.

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