Arlen Tenpas

Date of Death: Jul 27, 2021
Arlen Tenpas

1941 - 2021

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


Arlen was born on December 15, 1941, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. 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, son Dean (Candace) – Colorado Springs, Colorado, son Brad (Alison)—Johnston, Iowa, son Eric (Candy)—Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, daughter Melissa – Colorado Springs, Colorado, daughter Kierra (Chris) Braaksma—Waupun, Wisconsin, and son Zach—Waupun, Wisconsin. Grandchildren: Hunter, Kenzie, Summer, Fisher, and Colton Tenpas; Aleah & Jensyn Tenpas; Will & Meg Tenpas; and Taylor, Noah, Gracie, Carson, and Anna Braaksma. And, his brother, Ron Tenpas (Naples, Florida), and niece, Mitzi Tenpas Wiborg (Hobe Sound, Florida), and sister-in-law, Pat Tenpas, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


Arlen grew up on a farm just outside of Alto, Wisconsin. 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, he 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.


Visitation will be held at Werner-Harmsen Funeral Home in Waupun from 3 pm to 6 pm on Sunday, August 1 and on Monday, August 2 at the church from 9-10 am, and a funeral at First Reformed Church and burial at Forest Mound Cemetery on Monday, August 2, at 10 am.

Memorial Contributions

Donations can be directed to Waupun Lions Club or the memorial fund at First Reformed Church.

Memorial Video

View Full Size “Arlen Tenpas” Video



  1. Karen Bartelt Says: July 29, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful family he was blessed with and vice versa. Thinking of you at this sad time

  2. Met Arlen while working at Werner Harmsen Funeral Home. We would visit while waiting for the funeral directors to arrive. He was a nice man. One was fortunate to call Arlen a friend.

  3. Natalie Vande Zande Says: July 29, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    So sad to hear about this. I remember babysitting for the boys when they were younger. Hang onto the memories you have of him it will help you get through the rough times. Let that bond you have grow even stronger. Can’t imagine the pain you’re going through. I find myself thinking about my mon every day. I often hear her voice when doing ordinary things during the day. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this sad time

  4. James Grant Says: July 30, 2021 at 8:33 am

    So Sorry to hear of Arlen’s passing. I played ball with Arlen years ago, and I have worked with Jean recently. My sympathy to the Family. Jim Grant

  5. Rev. Gerald M Staehling Says: July 30, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Farewell WHS Class of 59 Classmate Arlen, and condolences to the family. Peace be with you Arlen as you serve the Lord!

  6. Debbie, Jason, Cody and Julia Says: July 31, 2021 at 10:39 am

    We love you and will miss your practical jokes and teasing! Jean, Zach, Brad, Dean, Melissa and Kierra and families — you are in our prayers! Although we can’t be there in person, please know we are there in spirit. Love you and our deepest sympathies!

  7. Arlen was a great guy to Jean his family and to me he will be missed and with us in our hearts I miss him so much dearly sorrow grief sorry for your loss you all are in my prayers thoughts hugs loves love Diana

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