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The Schubert Funeral Home was founded in Eudora in 1904 and the Funk Mortuary was founded in Lawrence in 1909. The firms were merged in 1953 by Fred Cooper and Bill Warren and operated as Cooper & Warren until 1968 when Bill Warren purchased Cooper’s interest. Larry McElwain started working as a night attendant while a student at the University of Kansas.
In 1971 the firm moved to its new building at 120 W. 13th Street and Bill Warren died suddenly in June 1973. In July 1974 the firm was purchased by Larry McElwain and his father Keith. Larry and Keith worked together serving one family at a time until Keith’s untimely death in December 1984. In January of 1985, Phil Padden moved to Lawrence and became a partner until April of 2011. Larry McElwain continued as sole owner until October 2013 when he sold the firm to Jim Larkin, who established his home in Lawrence.
OUR MISSION: We are dedicated to providing high quality funeral services to all families that we serve. We are fair and serve all families in the manner we would wish to be served.
Warren-McElwain Mortuary has a staff of well trained individuals who all have a deep commitment to help the families they are called to serve. Meeting the needs of a diverse community is our standard of professional service. We take pride in our attention to the smallest detail and our compassion in listening and crafting your ideas into a perfect life tribute.
Warren-McElwain provides a full range of services including burial, cremation in our own crematory, entombment, or body donation. We offer a complete line of granite and bronze markers and arrange the installation in any cemetery. Complete pre-planning in advance of immediate need is also available.
Meet our Staff
James E. Larkin
James E. Larkin has served as President of Warren-McElwain Mortuary since his ownership in 2013.
Born in Creston, Iowa, he attended Creston High School before graduating from Southwestern Community College in 1970 and Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1971.
Within three years of opening his first funeral home in Corning, Iowa, James had four locations and partnerships with funeral homes in Ottumwa, Iowa, Glen Falls, New York, and Farmington, New Mexico. In 1999, he moved to Arcadia, CA and grew the family business to 16 locations.
With almost 50 years of experience in funeral service, he is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Kansas Funeral Directors Association and the Crematory Association of North America.
Dedicated to his community, James is a member of Lawrence Rotary Club and Crest Masonic Lodge #522. He was elected for two terms on the Southwestern Community College Board of Directors, Corning Housing Authority.
Funeral Director & Former Owner
Larry McElwain served as a Funeral Director and Owner of Warren-McElwain Mortuary for 44 years prior to his recent retirement. Born in Maize, Kansas, Larry attended Maize High School before receiving his BA in Public Personnel Administration in 1970 from the University of Kansas.
A member of both the Kansas Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association, Larry serve on various state and national committees and as President of KFDA in 1985.
Dedicated to his community, he is a member of Noon Rotary Club of Lawrence, Noon Rotary Club Board of Directors, The Chamber of Lawrence, KS, Currently President/ CEO of The Chamber of Lawrence, Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County, Currently President of the Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County, Board of Directors of the Bioscience Technology Business Center of Lawrence, Lawrence Breakfast Cosmopolitan Club, and KU Alumni Association.
Larry and his wife Susan Cain have five children and attend First Christian Church of Lawrence.
In his spare time, he enjoys hunting waterfowl and upland game birds, backpacking and hiking mountain summits, spending time with family, and traveling.
Philip Padden was the owner of Warren-McElwain Mortuary for 30 years prior to his recent retirement. Born in Holton, Kansas, Philip attended Holton High School before graduating from Kansas State University and San Francisco College of Mortuary Science.
He received his Mortuary of Arts Degree in 1971 and garnered over 45 years of experience in funeral service. He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Kansas Funeral Directors Association.
Dedicated to his community, Philip is a member of Lawrence Breakfast Cosmopolitan Club and Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
He and his wife Gail have two sons, Tyler and Kyle.
Funeral Director & Embalmer
Lisa Manley has served as a Funeral Director and Embalmer at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for 16 years. Born in Scandia, Kansas, she attended Kansas City Kansas Community College.
With over 20 years of experience in funeral service, Lisa has also worked as a Kansas Insurance Licensee for funding Prearranged Funerals and is a member of both the Kansas Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association.
Dedicated to her community, she is involved with SERTOMA, Lawrence and Eudora Chamber.
She and her husband Colby have two children. In her spare time, she enjoys archery, Harley riding, and helping with her children’s school and extra curricular activities.
Funeral Director and Embalmer
Michael Carl has served as a Funeral Director and Embalmer for over 12 years before joining the staff at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in April of 2018. Born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and growing up in Salina, Kansas, Michael attended Kansas Wesleyan University and received degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He later moved to Lenexa, Kansas and attended Kansas City Kansas Community College Mortuary Science Program, receiving a Mortuary Science Degree.
Michael is a member of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association.
Michael married his spouse on June 10, 2017 and they reside in Lenexa, Kansas.
He enjoys watching Chiefs Football, Royals Baseball and K-State Football. Michael enjoys meeting new people, and relaxing with family and friends.
Assistant Funeral Director & Administrative Assistant
Kim Farrell has served as an Assistant Funeral Director and the Administrative Assistant at Warren-McElwain Mortuary since 2009. Born in McPherson, Kansas, she attended McPherson High School before receiving her AA in Administrative Assistant from the Cranford Business College and Johnson County Community College.
Dedicated to her community, she is a volunteer and donor to the Lawrence Humane Society and Baldwin Food Pantry, and Willow Domestic Violence Center. She was a former Vice President of the Baldwin Community Arts Council, a former trustee of First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence, and was a member of Lawrence PEO Chapter JC.
Kim and her husband John have seven children, 13 grandchildren, two great granddaughters; seven dogs, Lucky, Leroy, Daisy, Tiny, Skippy, Buster, Mabe and one cat, Elphaba.
Kim enjoys traveling, gardening, sports, and quilting.
Michael D. Wooden
Advance Funeral Planner
Michael D. Wooden has served as the Advance Funeral Planner at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for seven years. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, he attended Ruskin High School. He has received Graduate Securities Training and is licensed by the NYSE and the NASDAQ. He is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course for Sales Professionals and Customer Service. He is a Kansas Insurance licensee for funding pre-arranged funerals.
Dedicated to his community, he is a member of Heritage Baptist Church and is involved in active church functions.
He and his wife, Nicole, have six children and eight grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, fishing, and gardening.
John Harris has served as a Funeral Assistant at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for 18 years. Born in Lawrence, Kansas, he graduated from Liberty Memorial High School before attending Kansas University. Dedicated to his community, he is a member of the Lawrence Breakfast Optimist and First Christian Church.
He and his wife Janie have one daughter and two grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, reading, and KU sports.
Jerry Hare has served as a Funeral Assistant at Warren-McElwain for 10 years. Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, he attended Grand Island High School before receiving his Business Degree from the University of Nebraska in 1956.
Dedicated to his community, Jerry is a member of New Generation of Lawrence, Rotary Club, Lawrence Country Club, and Trinity Episcopal Church.
Jerry and his wife Liz have two children. In his spare time, he enjoys reading non-fiction, doing crossword puzzles, and gardening.
Lynn has served as a funeral assistant and crematory operator at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for five years. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, he attended Shawnee Mission schools, and the University of Kansas.
Dedicated to his community, he is a member of the Lawrence Free Methodist Church.
He and his wife, Karen, have three children, Kara, Kurt, and Kirsten, and eight grandchildren.
In his spare time, he enjoys good friends and family, travel, working in his shop, fishing (especially in Canada), and old cars.
G.W. (Jack) Greenwood
Jack Greenwood has been a Funeral Assistant at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for four years.
He received his Bachelor of Arts from Washburn University in 1957.
Born and raised in Lawrence, he is a member of the Lawrence Rotary Club and New Generation Society of Lawrence. He attends Plymouth Congregational Church and has been married to his wife Faith for 60 years. Together they have four adult children and nine grandchildren.
In his spare time, he enjoys yard work, working out at the gym, spending time with family and friends, and dining out with his gourmet group.
Nell Trefz has been a Funeral Assistant at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for 12 years. She has been assisting at the Eudora Chapel since its inception in 2003.
Born in Eudora, Nell attended Liberty Memorial High School. She and her late husband were married for 37 years. She has four children, 11 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.
In her spare time, she enjoys singing, yodeling, and crocheting afghans.
Mary Pat Himmelberg
Mary Pat Himmelberg has served as a Funeral Assistant at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for 30 years. Born in Lawrence, Kansas, she attended Avila College in Kansas City and the University of Kansas.
Dedicated to her community, she is a member of the KU University Women’s Club, Chapter AZ PEO, LINK Volunteer, and KU Alumni Association.
Mary attends and is a member of parish counsel at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. She is a Eucharistic minister, a Greeter Member of parish school, and on the League of Angels.
She is married to Charlie Himmelberg, a retired University Professor. Together they have five children and 15 grandchildren.
In her spare time, she enjoys bridge, traveling, reading, and volunteering at church.
Pat has served as a funeral assistant at Warren-McElwain Mortuary for two years. Born in Lawrence, KS, she attended Lawrence schools. Dedicated to her church community, she is currently involved in many ministries at Corpus Christi Church and School. She is a past volunteer at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Douglas County Hospice, and a county 4-H Leader.
Pat has two children and five grandchildren. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, reading and baking.
Phil Friedeman, Aftercare Counselor
I was born in Great Bend, KS, and graduated from Hoisington Rural High School. I spent the first 18 years on a farm between Great Bend, and Hoisington. I graduated from Bethany Nazarene In Bethany, Oklahoma, now Southern Nazarene University. After college I moved with my wife, Jan, and eldest child, Bryan, to Minneapolis, Ks, while living in Minneapolis our youngest child, Brent, was born. In 1980, our family relocated to Lawrence, Ks.
I have been involved in church work all my life, currently in the Lawrence Free Methodist Church. My primary work has been with children, and older adults. For over 25 years, I have a been a member of the Lawrence Breakfast Optimist Club. I have been the club’s secretary/treasurer,
club president, and a number of other projects and committees. On the district level, I have been lt. governor, and governor. I have been a member of the Douglas County Warm Heart’s Board, since the beginning of the organization.
I have seven grandchildren. Six of them live in Dallas and the oldest one has lived all her life in Lawrence. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Ill. I enjoy gardening, reading, especially mysteries, baking cookies primarily chocolate chip, and working with children.
Tom was born and raised in North Dakota where he graduated from the University of North Dakota. He has lived in Lawrence since 1987 and volunteers for many community organizations as well as for Corpus Christy Catholic Church where he and is wife, Angie, are members.
Tom recently retired from a banking career and now enjoys his free time with family and friends, traveling, yard work and riding his motorcycle.