He was a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, School of Agriculture in 1952 and Doctor of Philosophy in 1952 and was employed by the University of Missouri as a Professor of Agriculture. Dr. Sappenfield received several awards from the University of Missouri and National Cotton Council for his contributions to cotton research. He was a veteran, having served in World War II.
He married Ruth Yates, who survives, of the home.
Survivors also include four children, Chuck Sappenfield, of Independence, Mo., Mary Anne Williams, of Waco, Texas, William "Bill" Sappenfield, of Memphis, Tenn., and Eric Sappenfield, of Southaven, Miss.; nine grandchildren, Jennifer, Sara, Joseph, Erin, Megan, Jacquelyn, Jessica, Jason, Ryan and 5 great-grandchildren.
Private services held.