Eldon Voss Danenhauer, 85, Topeka, passed away Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at Brewster Place.
Eldon was born October 4, 1935 in Clay Center, the son of Carl and Mary (Nemnich) Danenhauer. He graduated from Clay Center High School, attended The College of Emporia and graduated from Pittsburg State University. He received a Master’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado.
He was the first Pittsburg State Gorilla to play in the NFL. He returned for Gorilla homecoming games often and spearheaded the fundraising campaign to provide PSU with the Carney Smith stadium.
He served in the U.S. Army as a Military Policeman in Germany.
He was recruited by the Denver Broncos where he played Offensive Tackle for 7 years, was an AFL All Star in 1962 and 1965 and was elected as one of the top 5 Bronco Offensive Tackles of all time.
He began working for the Coors Brewery in Golden during the off season and when he hung up his cleats, he purchased a Coors distributorship in Topeka and later expanded into Lawrence. He owned and operated Lapeka, Inc. for over 25 years.
Eldon was very civic minded and was instrumental in United Way, Arab Shrine Temple, Topeka Expo Centre, Topeka Sizzlers, Topeka Raceway, and Forbes Field. He was a long time member of the Board of Directors of CoreFirst Bank and a former President of the National Beer Wholesalers of America.
After his “retirement” from Lapeka, he and wife Linda became co-owners of the Red Lion in Vail, Co. with good friends, Al and Connie Moore.
An avid golfer, Eldon could most often be found on the links of Topeka Country Club, Arrowhead and Cordiellera in CO or Big Horn and Indian Wells in CA.
Eldon married Linda Phipps on November 29, 1957 in Shawnee, KS. His wife of 63 years survives. Other survivors include son, Kurt Danenhauer, Topeka; daughter, Kristie Danenhauer, Boise, ID; grandchildren, Kate Danenhauer, Stella Newnham, Jesse Danenhauer; and brothers, Bill and Jerry Danenhauer. He was preceded in death by his sister, Carolyn Baird; and brother, Jim Danenhauer.
Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, 2021 at Countryside United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to the Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st, Topeka, KS 66604 or First Tee, PO Box 3055, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32004.
Dove Southwest Chapel is assisting with arrangements.
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