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Robert "Duane" Popenhagen All Obituaries


Robert "Duane" Popenhagen, 92, of Grinnell, passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at Bellevue Medical Center in Bellevue, Neb.
Duane was born May 9, 1928, in Fayette, Iowa, to Otto and Grace (Voshell) Popenhagen. He graduated from Fayette Consolidated Schools in 1945 in Fayette, received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Upper Iowa University in 1949, and his Master of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado in 1957. He served in the Korean War (1951-1952), and after returning began teaching in rural Iowa.
While teaching in Calamus, Duane met his wife Kathryn "Katy" Ann Guinan, who was teaching second grade. They were married Feb. 23, 1957, in DeWitt. They resided in Cedar Rapids from 1957-1991, where he taught at McKinley and Washington High School before retiring in 1991. Together they raised five children in Cedar Rapids and attended All Saints Catholic Church.
After retirement, they moved to Holiday Lake in Brooklyn from 1991-2009, and then to Seeland Park Retirement Community in Grinnell. He faithfully delivered Meals on Wheels, was a longtime volunteer coordinator at local blood drives, loved substitute teaching; and was active in the Kiwanis Club, St. Patrick Catholic Church in Brooklyn and St. Mary Catholic Church in Grinnell.
Duane was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn Ann Popenhagen; his parents, Otto and Grace Popenhagen; his sister, Lucille Tope; and his brother, Dale Popenhagen.
He is survived by his children, Jim (Vivian) of Odessa, Texas, Mike of Moore, Okla., Bob (Carolina) of Orlando, Fla., Mark of Louisville, Colo., and Lisa (David) Witkop of Bellevue, Neb.; grandchildren, Bill (Amanda) Robles, Chris and Phillip Popenhagen, Dale (Kathryn) VanVlerah, Daniel (Christine) Popenhagen, Tara and Megan Popenhagen, Elliot, Jace and Gideon Popenhagen, and Jeremiah, Jacob, Moriah and Nathaniel Witkop; great-grandchildren, Karleigh and Brady Robles, Ashlynn Popenhagen, Charlie, Oliver and Alexander VanVlerah, Jason Popenhagen, Jaxson and Jayson Dawson, Ariya and Elias Bantz, and Marley Popenhagen-Carlo; and beloved nephews and nieces, Ron (Jan) Tope, and Sandy (Bob) Craig and Linda Popenhagen.
The family will have a private memorial service in December. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Celebration of Life service will be scheduled in the spring of 2021.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Duane Popenhagen Memorial Fund to benefit local organizations of the families choosing in the Grinnell and Brooklyn communities and can be sent to Smith Funeral Home 1103 Broad St., Grinnell, IA 50112. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.smithfh.com under "obituaries."
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