Arthur F. “Fred” McElhenie, 81, died on January 4th at Lawrence Memorial Hospital with his family by his side. Mr. McElhenie was born in Leavenworth, KS at St. John Hospital on August 13, 1936, the son of John and Julianne McElhenie, and step-son of George Van Eerde, all of whom predeceased him. He attended Cathedral grade school, Immaculata High School, Rockhurst College, and the University of Kansas. Upon graduation from college he married the love of his life, Marilyn Shaffer in August of 1958 in the Church of Immaculate Conception in Leavenworth.
He is survived by his wife, of the home; three children, Timothy McElhenie (Arnold) of Kansas City, KS; Erin McElhenie (Mike) of Oak Harbor, WA and Patrick McElhenie (Shirley) of Sauk City, WI. Five grandchildren, Ashley of Oak Harbor, WA; Lindsay, Kelcie, Rachel, and Luke McElhenie all of Sauk City, WI; a sister, Anita Binder (Walter) of Kansas City, MO; nephews Daniel Binder, Andrew Binder, Patrick Binder and niece Ellen Binder.
Mr. McElhenie started as a teacher at Piper High School in Piper, KS and then engaged in graduate studies while working in the Guidance Bureau at the University of Kansas. In 1962 he accepted a position in the Office of the Dean of Men, a prelude to 45 years of service in the Division of Student Affairs at KU. He retired in 2007 after publishing his book of regional history describing various living arrangements surrounding and on the KU campus. Upon retirement, the Fred McElhenie Scholarship Fund was established in honor of his service to KU. This scholarship currently provides financial assistance for KU students residing in dormitories or scholarship halls that demonstrate a strong commitment to community involvement.
Fred was instrumental in the founding of the Carnegie Association for the Lawrence Library, the predecessor to the current Friends of the Public Library, in the early 70’s; the establishment of Hearthstone, a halfway house for alcoholic men; volunteered and assisted in the refurbishing of Health Care Access at 4th and Maine. Professionally, he was member in, among others, NACURH, ACPA, NASPA, KASPA, ACUHO-I, and UMR-ACUHO. He volunteered extensively at Meals on Wheels where he served as a Board Member and long-time driver. He was a member of the Kansas National Guard. In 1998, he was awarded the C.L.A.S.S. Award and was nominated for KU Employee of the Year award four times. His interests were reading, history, fishing, gardening, KTWU, and music.
A celebration of his life will be held at Corpus Christi Catholic Church Tuesday, January 9, 2018 with visitation starting at 9:00 a.m. and a Memorial Mass at 10:00 a.m. A private burial will be held.
Memorials can be made to the Fred McElhenie Scholarship fund in care of the KU Endowment Association or to Meals on Wheels, Lawrence KS.