Allen L. Wiechert
Allen L Wiechert, 81, died October 29, 2019, at Overland Regional Medical Center, due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident Sunday, October 27. Immediate family members were with him as his life concluded. His memorial service will be Saturday, November 2, All Souls Day, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vermont St at 10 am. Inurnment will be in Pioneer Cemetery.
Allen was born October 25, 1938 to Norman H. and Serena Steinke Wiechert In Independence KS where he attended grade and high school. Allen attended Kansas State University, graduating with a B.A. in Architecture, 1962. While at K-State he met Sandra Swanson, a Wichita native. The couple married August 19, 1961, and recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Allen’s architectural career began with McVey, Peddie, Schmidt, and Allen in Wichita, followed by positions with Kivett and Myers, KCMO (for which he designed KCI Airport’s Terminal B), and Lund Balderson, Overland Park. In 1968 he came to the University of Kansas‘ Office of Facilities Planning. He rose to become University Architect, retiring in 1995. He served under chancellors Wescoe, Chalmers, Dykes, and Budig. As such he oversaw the design, remodeling, adaptive reuse, construction and ADA accessibility of well over 100 buildings on the campuses of KU, the KU Medical Centers in Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina, and the Regents Center in Overland Park. He served on numerous state and national committees focused on making campuses handicapped accessible, and with other experts he wrote a government-sponsored book on doing so. He cherished his membership with the Association of University Architects, around whose conferences he planned his family’s vacations.
Allen became an Eagle Scout as a boy in Independence, and never left Scouting thereafter, serving in Troop 59 and Pelathe District activities, leading two Philmont Scout Ranch treks, and as Eagle Scout Advancement chairman from 1990 to 2002, guiding over 280 young men to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He was presented the 1988 District Award of Merit and the Heart of America Council Silver Beaver Award in 1992. He also received the St. George Award for his dedicated service to youth who were members of both Scouting and the Episcopal Church.
Raised in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Allen and Sandra were both confirmed in the Episcopal faith in 1966. At Trinity Episcopal Church he was elected Junior and Senior Warden and served several terms on the Vestry. For the Diocese of Kansas he served on the Standing Committee and chaired the Dept. of College Work. He and Sandra served as Kansas co-chairs for Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC, leading two pilgrimages and organizing two state days celebrations there. He often said his two architectural highlights were watching the final stone being placed atop the National Cathedral, and the completion of the Lied Center, his final project for KU. Always interested in historic preservation, Allen and Sandra were one of the four founding couples of the Historic Mt. Oread Friends which seeks to preserve and maintain the historic buildings, grounds, and artifacts of KU. He was a part of the city’s Historic Resources Commission, and held memberships with the Lawrence Preservation Alliance. He also participated in archeological digs, developed the Lawrence Bicentennial Trail on the Kaw River in 1976, and was working with the Oregon-California Trails Association to preserve and educate about the Oregon Trail as it goes through Lawrence.
In retirement, Allen ushered at the Lied Center, eventually becoming Audience Services Coordinator for seven years. There he supervised four house managers and over 170 ushers yearly. He dearly loved this position, and the ushers dearly loved him. He was devoted to the Endacott Society (KU retirees), chairing the Gardening seminar and being an Endacott president.
Allen loved hiking with the Boy Scouts and with his family. Hiking Grand Canyon’s Rim to Rim to Rim trail was a special accomplishment. He enjoyed planning tours with Parks and Recreation, the Osher Institute, and the Endacott Society. Always he loved international travel, creating photography albums, birdwatching, and playing handball. And he loved attending his children’s and grandchildren’s Scout, art, sports, theater, and concert events, and being with them as much as possible!
Allen is survived by his wife Sandra, his children Kirstin Novak (Gerry) Overland Park, Brendan Wiechert (Debbie), Spokane WA, and son-in-law David Alden (Dianna) Wichita Falls TX; six grandchildren Ainsley and Addison Novak, Emma and Calen Wiechert, and Alexa and Nadia Alden. Extended family includes Michelle and Peter Hindman, children John and Maggie of Lawrence, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins throughout the US. He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister, and his beloved daughter Megan Wiechert Alden, age 40, in 2011.
Memorials are suggested for the Camp Bromelsick Foundation (supporting Boy Scouts with camp scholarships, camp maintenance, and other Scouting needs) Post Office Box B, Lawrence 66044, or for Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vermont St., Lawrence 66044 and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.