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.

13 Condolences

  1. Shari Stimetz on October 30, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Allen was a very special man. I met Allen and Sandra at the Endacott Society. My friendship with Allen developed over our mutual interest in architecture. Allen always had a smile on his face and was such an upbeat person. You couldn’t help but feel good in his presence. He had the most wonderful sense of humor and he could be counted on for his interesting observations on a range of topics. In talking with him, you could tell his immense love, pride, and respect for Sandra and his children as he shared their accomplishments. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May Allen’s memory be forever a blessing.

  2. Carl and Sammie Locke on October 31, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Carl and Sammie Locke
    Al was an inspiration in so many areas of his widely accomplished life. His personal life involving being with family with whom he had close ties and deep love. His professional life has given many proofs of his ethics and contributions to many physical buildings and other contributions to the state and Lawrence Community. His dedication to the Boy Scouts of America gave some young boys an example of leadership and goals to work toward for life. Al was also a competitor on the handball court. We are saddened greatly and are praying for the family in this very difficult time.

  3. pamela eglinski on October 31, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Sandra, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so difficult to deal with the loss of a husband under any terms, but to have them gone so quickly is so very difficult. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Alan, and your family. Take solace in knowing that Al now joins Ed at Pioneer Cemetery. I imagine Al and the professors and KU staff that already rest there, meet-up each evening for a cocktail at 5pm. May they all rest in peace.

  4. Ray and Martha Souza on October 31, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Sandra and family,

    Ray and I were shocked and saddened to hear of Allen’s accident……I had just spoken to you Sunday at noon.

    We join the members of The Endacott Society in paying our condolence and respect to you and your family.

    We are here for you.

    Martha and Ray Souza

  5. Ellyn Owen on October 31, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Dear Sandra and family,

    All my love and prayers are with you all at such a time of loss. Allen was a dear friend and I will miss his smile and our conversations about the importance of the Scouting philosophy. Our families have grown up together and I know that all will miss a wonderful dad and grandpa. Do not hesitate to call me anytime. May God’s love surround you and hold you close.

    Ellyn Owen

  6. Ellen Paulsen on October 31, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I met Allen as an usher at the Lied. He was so kind and generous with his time. He was a great community member and will be missed.

  7. Russ and Joyce Hutchins on October 31, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Dear Sandra and family: we are saddened to learn of Alan’s passing. Alan and Sandra were our first friends we mad contact with in Lawrence with the Osher Institute classes, AARP Driver Safety Classes, and the Endacott Society. Alan always made us laugh with his stories as he sat at our table. He made us feel welcome and enjoyed our conversation. He was a special man with the KU and the Lied Center. He will be greatly missed.

    Love to you, Russ and Joyce Hutchins of Lawrence

  8. Haskell Springer on November 1, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Dear Sandra,
    I add my condolences to those of other Endacott Society members. Though I have no personal stories to add, I nevertheless feel the loss.

  9. shirley andrews on November 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    I only knew Allen through his work volunteering for the Friends of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas. His interest in supporting students through the department remains a valuable and worthwhile endeavor.
    Shirley Andrews

  10. Tim Miller on November 2, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Allen sat on the board of the Friends of the Department of Religious Studies for many decades, and his knowledge of our work and its history, in addition to his ongoing support, was invaluable. On behalf of all of us in the department, I extend our condolences to Sandra and the family. We will miss him dearly. Peace be to all.

    Tim Miller

  11. Marilyn and Ben Tilghman on November 2, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Sandra, we were so sorry to learn about Allen’s terrible accident.
    He was a good fellow and we enjoyed knowing him through twenty years.
    We send you our sincere sympathy.

    Marilyn and Ben Tilghman

  12. Ali Edwards on November 3, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Allen was one of my favorite people in the world, and I treasure my days working at the Lied Center with him as my boss. He was always upbeat, kind and playful. And he told the greatest stories! His life was truly lived to the fullest. What a great man this world has lost. I’m thinking of you and your family in this time.

  13. Ben and Sue Loganbill on November 25, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    We were so sorry to hear of your loss. Allen was our classmate and a good friend. We always enjoyed seeing him at our class reunions and renewing our friendship. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Ben and Sue Loganbill

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