Ocean Beach 04

Denis S. Verhagen

February 4, 1942 ~ October 29, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old

Denis Verhagen Obituary

Denis Sylvester Verhagen, age 81 of Appleton, WI, passed away on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at home, surrounded by family. Denis was born on February 4, 1942, in Little Chute, WI to Nicholas and Margaret (Burke) Verhagen. In October of 1963 he enlisted in the United States Air Force. On February 20, 1965, Denis married Mary Lynn Frieders at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Menasha, WI. Following the wedding, Denis was deployed to Japan with the Air Force. He and Lynn lived there for two years. Denis remained a proud veteran his entire life. Denis began working for AAA Wisconsin in 1968 as an insurance salesman. His 21-year career progressed to becoming a Regional Manager. Denis and Lynn opened Travel Network in 1990 where he was able to continue his love of travel to all 50 states and over 100 countries. He became Regional President for Wisconsin and Colorado, supporting multiple Travel Network agencies in both states.

Denis enjoyed his hobbies including tracing the family roots through Family Tree Maker, a passion he learned from his father. Denis had traced the Verhagen family name back to when last names started being used. When he couldn’t go any further on the Verhagen name, he would work on any other family tree made available to him. Denis also had a love for reading. If you knew him, you remember him having a book in his pocket. Denis enjoyed learning various cultures by being a host family for many organizations. This could be anything from a weekend stay to a full year exchange student. He expanded his support by becoming the support travel agency for Global Outreach as they brought another generation to Wisconsin for education. Denis was an avid Boy Scout beginning as a child which continued through adulthood. He was an assistant to a scout troop while stationed in San Antonio, Texas and while in Japan. Denis then became a scout leader to support his sons as they progressed through scouting. Boy Scouts brought Denis multiple lifelong friends.

Denis is survived by Lynn, his wife of 58 years, his children Paul (Cynthia) Verhagen, Michele Matz, Eric (Lanan Dixon) Verhagen, grandchildren Nicholas and Miranda Verhagen, Kyla (Brandon) Korth, Jacob and Dennis Matz, Alyson (Aaron) Van Groll, Samantha Hartley, and great-grandchildren Nova, Everleigh, Alexander, JoyAnna, Rosemary, and two more on the way, due in February and March. He is further survived by his siblings David Verhagen and Patricia Towns, along with many nieces, nephews, friends, and godchildren.

Denis is preceded in death by his parents, in-laws, a brother-in-law John Towns, two sisters-in- law Margaret Verhagen and Rosemary Verhagen, niece Barbara Weyenberg, and a great nephew Jonathon Trams.

The funeral mass for Denis will be held on Friday, November 3, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 1617 W. Pine St.  A time of visitation will be held on Friday from 3:00 p.m. until the time of the service at the church.  For online condolences please visit www.verkuilenfh.com. 

Thank you to the John H. Bradley VA Clinic, Senior Helpers, Ascension at Home, and Compassus Hospice for their kind love and care for Denis.

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November 3, 2023

3:00 PM to 5:30 PM
St Bernard Catholic Church
1617 Pine Street
Appleton, WI 54914

Funeral Mass
November 3, 2023

5:30 PM
St Bernard Catholic Church
1617 Pine Street
Appleton, WI 54914


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