Gerald Jerome Papenmeier

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Memories & Candles

“It was a pleasure and honor to serve Mr. Papenmeier. Though he was with us for a very short time at Traditions at North Willow, he made such an...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Mary Evans - Indianapolis, IN

“Jerry I will never forget you from shooting pool, to cards and of course bingo, and the stories you told me about being in the service, your...Read More »
2 of 2 | Posted by: Sherry Faulkner - Indianapolis, IN


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As he loved to say, Jerry Papenmeier was born in a thunderstorm on Friday the 13th in Evansville, Indiana, at Deaconess Hospital, to Gustave William Papenmeier and Roberta Tucker Papenmeier. He spent his life as a chemist, Republican, and Purdue Boilermaker fan.

He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Purdue University; his M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; his Ph.D. from Michigan State University; and did his post-doctoral fellowship at Brandeis University.

Jerry was an Army veteran, serving in the Ordnance Corps at the Army Chemical Center at Edgewood, MD. In 1957, he married Patricia Deane Luedtke, who died in 1981.

After service, he worked in the Research Laboratory for Miles Laboratories, Elkhart, IN, before moving to Indianapolis in 1977 to work for National Starch and Chemcial. He ended his career as a Senior Environmental Chemist for the Marion County Department of Health, retiring in 1996.

Shortly after moving to Indianapolis, Jerry met the Indiana State Senator Patricia Miller and began working almost immediately as a Precinct Committeeman in Warren Township, a position he loved for the next 30 years. He had also been a Precinct Committeeman while in Elkhart.

Jerry took great pride in knowing his precinct. He walked the precinct door to door to make sure he knew when people moved in or out. Within a very few years, he also became a Ward Chairman in Warren Township and continued in both roles for more than 20 years.

In 2002, he ran for State Representative at the request of the party, but lost, even though he out-performed most Republicans above him on the ballot in his precinct and ward.

In 2003, Jerry married Aurora Funes and continued his post-retirement hobby of traveling the world. He visited all continents, except for Australia - something he regretted.

Jerry loved to travel, and he loved his family. In 1994, he combined the two and began a tradition of vacationing every other year with his extended family. Later in life, he found joy in returning to the faith of his youth.

He enjoyed bowling, playing in multiple leagues over the years, the St. Louis Cardinals, anything Purdue-related, singing, dancing, and Big Band music.

He is survived by his wife, Aurora Funes; his children and stepchildren, Deb Papenmeier Ehret (Mike), David Papenmeier (Teresa), Doug Papenmeier (Carol), Dennis Papenmeier, Paula Wright (Glenn), George Aramendia, and Albert Aramendia; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at Hendryx Mortuary-Cumberland Chapel, 11636 East Washington Stl., Indianapolis, on April 28. Visitation from 4-7 p.m., with a private family service following.