Jeff Papenfus

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Jeff Papenfus

Postby davidmuse » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:51 pm

I was out of comm range all day yesterday, but when my phone finally started working again I had this waiting for me:

"Hey man just to let you know not sure about all the details but Jeff Papenfus died while Mtn biking today"

I met Jeff last year at the TNGA and he was signed up again for this year's ride. I hardly knew him, but he was a brother just the same.

Here he is with Ruth after finishing last year.

Image

There are a few details posted on the Trailblazers board:

The adventure racing community lost a great person today. Jeff Papenfus (Greenville SC) was riding down Curtis Creek road near Old Fort, NC on a training day with Derrick (from Greenville) and Elizabeth Morse (from Charlotte.) Derrick was downhill of the incident. Somehow Jeff fell face forward into the embankment. Elizabeth was the first to respond. Despite being stung by over 50 yellow jackets, she provided CPR and called 911. But Jeff did not speak. When appropriate, there may be details and services announced further.

Many of you have already commented on Jeff's facebook page. He is survived by his wife Lisa. One of his teammates, Jim Kelleher, was one of the first family friends to comfort Lisa. I encourage you to keep her in your prayers in the months ahead.

Personally, I am very sad and filled with fine memories of Jeff. My prayer remains that all of us, in this little AR community, be safe.


Now I have another reason to hate Curtis Creek Road.

If you end up reading this, thank you Elizabeth. 50 yellow jackets? Selfless doesn't cover that. There's no word short of heroic for that. Of course you know CPR... Thank you.


May we all die doing something we love.

Rest well brother.
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby cyclesmith » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:44 pm

:(

RIP, Jeff.
Don't fight the mountain.
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby Derekt » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:34 pm

I was there with Jeff and Elizabeth yesterday. We had gone up Curtis Creek to the Parkway over to Heartbreak and were descending through Star Gap to the car. We stopped for a picture shortly before the road really starts the descent. They started back before me, I kept messing with my phone and checking messages, nature break, etc. I finally got back on the bike and caught up to Elizabeth, told her we were almost out and would be having beers soon enough. Further on up I caught up to Jeff, he was going to wait for E to catch up. I was covered in poison ivy so was itchin, no pun, to get in the river and wash up. Just one more steep part and it's all smiles to the car he says.... So off I go, my last memory of him is with a smile on his face, our only concern was where to get those beers. From what EMS told me, he slid off on the descent into the trees, hitting a tree, possible neck injury, cause of death?, but there were hundreds of stings. No amount of CPR or epi pen use would have helped. Cause of death should be determined today. Please keep Lisa in your thoughts and prayers. Rebuilding her life is going to be a long hard road
Thank you to everyone for your kind words. Jeff was an amazing person and touched a helluva lot of people. We had a great ride that day, we were done, on the way to the car. *** tragic is an understatement!
A big thanks goes to the McDowell County Search and Rescue, EMS and the Sheriff's Dept. Incredibly quick response and very supportive throughout. Can't imagine how tough it is to do their job.
Be careful out there! This sucks bad, but we all know the risk. We lost a wonderful human being yesterday!
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby Derekt » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:38 pm

And please anyone who knows Elizabeth let her know how amazing she is for going through that. We had just met her, they were set to do an adventure race in a week or two. She put herself in a situation where she almost lost her life! She deserves thanks and praise! If you do read this Elizabeth, please contact me.
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby regularjoe » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:04 pm

Tragic is and understatement indeed.

Thoughts and prayers for all involved. May you all be able to find peace...

:(
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby davidmuse » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:23 pm

So, it was on that pseudo roadbed descent that leads back to Curtis Creek after Star Gap? I got push-passed on that road last year during ORAMM, went down and cracked up some ribs. Guess I was lucky. Come to think of it, I got a hornet down my jersey too.

I wonder if he rode into a swarm of those yellow jackets and had to close his eyes for a few seconds or tried to brush them away or something and it put him off the edge. I guess theres no way to know for sure.

Please pass on anything you find out.
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby Kalamath » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:15 pm

Man thats just horrible. My condolences and love go out to his family and friends =(
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby dgaddis1 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:24 pm

Kalamath wrote:Man thats just horrible. My condolences and love go out to his family and friends =(


+1
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby Dammule » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:48 pm

Hate hearing stuff like this. My condolences to fam and friends as well... everyone stay safe out there!!!
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby ScubaCruz » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:21 pm

David, thanks for posting.

My heart goes out Jeff's wife and family. I trust and hope they find a way through such a great loss. :(

And tons and tons of THANKS, PROPS, FEELINGS OF ADMIRATION for Elizabeth Morse. Her commitment on that day, on that spot, no matter what, is inspirational to anyone who might be faced with a similar situation. 50 stings and still administered CPR! I know I'll be talking about it with fellow riders for years to come and with fellow Bike Patrol Members the next time we meet!

Neal
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Re: Jeff Papenfus

Postby trigeekbil » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:14 am

Just heard from a friend in Traveler's Rest, a memorial service is planned for 10 AM this Friday at Paris Mountain State Park. A very fitting location as he was very involved with the trail system there on many levels.

UPDATE1: (from the Upstate SORBA site)
Brad O Allen 11:12am Aug 2

Hey Guys,
I just got the word that Jeff's memorial is going to be held Friday at 10am at Paris Mountain S.P. in the Amphitheater. If you decide to go or spread the word about it, it is very important that you tell folks to carpool to the park. The park has limited parking and the manager is in a bit of a panic that the memorial will cause too much of a disruption to regular park visitors.
There will most likely be some sort of post memorial event but I think Lisa is still working out where that will take place.
As I get more info, I'll share. Also, I know Lisa wants it to be a casual, come as you are, affair. She doesn't want anything stuffy or fancy because she knows he would rather people show up in their cargo shorts or bike kits to ride afterwards.
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