Arthur “Fred” McElhenie

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.

21 Condolences

  1. Dareld & Martha Albright on January 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Our Sincere Sympathy to the McElhenie Family for the loss of their Loved One.
    Our Prayers are with You.

  2. Janice lopez on January 6, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you love the lopez family

  3. Cara & Jim Connelly on January 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. Jim and I always enjoyed visiting with you and Fred when you would come into the shop.

  4. Harriet Shaffer on January 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    We are sad to hear this news. Marilyn. May your family rejoice in a life well lived — a life of giving to others and of love.

  5. Stacey Wolters on January 6, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Such a great, great man. Will miss you so much Uncle Fred.

  6. Lance and Jill Flory on January 6, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    So sorry for your loss of a wonderful husband, father , grandfather and mentor . He will be greatly missed.

  7. Steve & Karen Fenstemaker on January 6, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family. We know he will be dearly missed.

  8. Gladys, Ian and Glizette of North Dakota on January 7, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.

  9. David Dee Parker (Colorado Springs) on January 7, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Marilyn and Family:

    Please accept my deepest sympathies over Fred’s passing.

    It was my pleasure to work for and with Fred as a residence hall director in several residence halls and as an Assistant to the Dean of Men in that office from 1967-1972, in the good “ole” days of student personnel. He was my first boss and a most remarkable man. He was always fair and considerate of staff and students as well as very even tempered and calm even during difficult situations on campus. He never got upset when situations were less than ideal. I could not have had a better mentor and boss than Fred. I still use the famous McElhenie “filing” system which he taught me. There are so many memories I have of our time together and I will continue to treasure them. He was one of the kindest and nicest individuals I have ever had the fortune to know in my lifetime. He was a devoted family man and volunteer. I’m so honored to have worked with him and along side of him during our professional tenure.

    Rest in peace dear friend. You all are in my prayers and have my heart felt sympathies.

    David Parker c’66

  10. Ed (Big Ed) Rogers on January 7, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    A wonderful man has received his wings I am so grateful that I had the privilege of knowing him and chatting with him many times about things we had in common. God bless you Uncle Fred and thank you for your wisdom.

  11. Kathleen shuck on January 8, 2018 at 10:12 am

    All our love T you and the family, your all in our prayers– The Shucks and Wingerts

  12. JoAnn Seitz on January 8, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Marilyn, so sorry to learn of your loss! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  13. Tim & Beth Scanlon on January 8, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    OMG Aunt Bo-Bo, JUST received an email from Butch Bell, or wouldn’t have KNOWN! We can’t make the funeral tomorrow for Uncle Fred, but KNOW that you’re ALL in our thoughts and prayers!! He was a GREAT guy, and I enjoyed my frequent emails with him and his SHARP wit!!

    There is ONE HELLUVA PAR-TAY on the other side of the Pearly Gates tonight fer sure, God rest him!! 😉 I’ll be for toasting “himself” tonight too–sláinte!!

    God bless you all!! May he rest in peace…

  14. The Denke family: Mark, Nancy, Steven, and Paige on January 9, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Words cannot express how much we loved Fred and the McElhenie family.
    noun pa·ter·nos·ter
    Jesus blessing Pater Noster
    qui es in caelis,
    sanctificetur nomen tuum.
    Adveniat regnum tuum.
    Fiat voluntas tua,
    sicut in caelo et in terra.
    Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie,
    et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
    sicut et nos
    dimittimus debitoribus nostris.
    Et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
    sed libera nos a malo.

  15. The International Association of Duffer's Anonymous on January 9, 2018 at 3:01 am

    You meant a great deal to us
    You never looked at us differently
    Nor did you treat us differently
    You stood by our side
    When we fell, you stood by our side and mine
    You were willing to help us fight our battles
    You were there from the beginning
    You were there until the bitter end
    Always remember our friend, our brother
    We loved you more than you’ll ever know

  16. David W. Hardy, Esq. on January 9, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Fred and I shared so much when I was at KU when I was a student, and former student affairs staff member, and as an attorney. Whether in his office, sharing books and ideas, on housing or other committees, or at staff development – we always had a good laugh and even better conversations. I learned a great deal from Fred and I’d like to think he learned a few things from me. I am always grateful for the time we had to spend with each other. I did not know until fairly recently that we both grew up in Leavenworth county. I’m VERY sorry that my schedule did not permit me to attend his service today. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, neighbors, and admirers… My mom (also a KU alum) had a signed copy of Fred’s book… She was one of the people Fred was referring to…

  17. Steven D Smith on January 10, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Fred helped save my life. I will miss his sound input and guidance .

  18. Lisa Eitner on January 11, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Dear Marilyn and family,
    My deepest sympathy for your loss.
    I enjoyed working with Fred on the launch of his book “Making Do & Getting Through: KU Co-ops, Halls, and Houses 1919-1966.” The book is a great contribution to KU history and is carried by the KU Bookstore even now, with proceeds supporting the University.
    Lisa Eitner, KU Bookstore

  19. Marceil Lauppe on January 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Dear Marilyn,
    I just learned this morning that Fred had died. And I missed his service, so sorry.
    May God be with you during each day ahead. You are in my prayers. Blessings to you. Marceil

  20. Mary Burchill on January 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Marilyn and family, So sorry to read about Fred. Our time together working on CALL was great fun and I fully intended to chat with him about that. My thoughts are with you and your family. Sincerely, Mary Burchill

  21. Albert Nitz on March 10, 2018 at 12:14 am

    To the McElhenie family,
    I’m sorry to hear of Fred’s passing. I got to know the McElhenie family when I worked with Pat at the grocery store. Let your memories be a constant reminder that our loved ones are always with us. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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