Don Fambrough

Memorial services for Don Preston Fambrough, 88, Lawrence, KS will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, September 9, 2011 at First Christian Church in Lawrence.  Private inurnment will be at Pioneer Cemetery in Lawrence.  Coach Fambrough died September 3, 2011 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

He was born on October 19, 1922 in Longview, TX, the son of Ivey and Willie Whittington Fambrough.

Coach Fambrough was the head football coach for the University of Kansas from 1971-1974 and then again from 1979-1982.  Before that, he was an assistant coach under Coaches J.V. Sikes, Jack Mitchell and Pepper Rodgers. Of the nine bowl games the University of Kansas has participated in, coach Fambrough played or coached in five of them.  From 1974 – 1979, he worked raising athletic scholarship contributions and with special projects for the Williams Education Fund.  Following his coaching career, he worked as a field representative for Senator Bob Dole.

While in high school, he played for a storied high school football program in Longview.  His senior year, he was the captain of the team that went on to defeat Wichita Falls, TX, to win the Texas State Championship in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.  He played college football at the University of Texas in 1941 and 1942, and before entering military service in the US Army Air Corps during World War II.  In the service, he met his lifelong friend, Ray Evans, who eventually convinced Don to come to KU after the war to play football.  Following his military service, he and his wife moved to Lawrence, where he played football for the University of Kansas and was a co-captain of the 1947 Orange Bowl team. As a player, he earned All-Big Six honors in 1946 and 1947 as a guard and linebacker. He graduated from the University of Kansas.

He married Del Few on October 4, 1941 in Austin, Texas.  She preceded him in death on November 17, 2001.

Survivors include a son, Bob Fambrough of Lawrence, a son and daughter-in-law Preston and Ginny Fambrough of Baldwin City, KS, four grandchildren (Jay Fambrough, Francesca Fambrough, Veronica Shallcross and Rose Fambrough), and one great granddaughter, Cora Shallcross.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the Lawrence School Foundation for the Don & Del Fambrough Scholarship Fund or to the Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

The family will greet friends at the church following the service.

20 Condolences

  1. John and Julienne Kaslaitis on September 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    One of our favorite persons in all the world. We will miss you and feel so blessed we came to know you.

  2. O.Newton King on September 3, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Coach thank you for sharing your days with us. You inpacted so many lives. We all thank you and will keep you in our heart all the days of our life.

  3. Teri Sweatman on September 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Coach has been described as salty by some journalist, I would never say salty, but I would say sweet. He had such charisma, he would just draw you in….he was bigger than life and I personally will never forget him. My husband played at KU and he was also my husband’s boss twice, and no one could have been more dedicated to his job. He treated his coaches and their families like his family. He was the best.

  4. terry allen on September 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Coach fam was ku football he was the best friend a ku football coach could ever have. I LOVED THE MAN

  5. Marylee Southard on September 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Coach Don, you were a friend to so many; and I am honored just to be one of them. But we will all remember your humor, loyalty and zest for life. Now you and Del can dance again. Miss you already.

  6. Dan & Carol McMillin on September 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Don was a great coach and friend, as were Preston and Bob.

  7. Mike Deer on September 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Bob, Preston and Family; my condolences to all of you over the loss of youy father. He was my freshman coach in 1958 and was an inspiration to me as a young man. It was an honor to have known, and played for your father. He remains a Jayhawk legend.

  8. Roger & Mary Rawlings (1964-67) on September 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Coach, you touched so many lives. I am so honored and blessed that you touched mine.
    You will be missed. Bob and Preston, our sincere condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your father with us.

  9. Rich Rucker on September 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Coach Fam Family and friends,
    Saddened by Coach’s passing. Whether fired up or sentimental, he uplifted you.

  10. Miles & Paula Schnaer on September 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Coach always made me feel like I had been in Lawrence all my life, he will be missed!!

  11. Delvin Williams on September 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Coach Fambrough recruited me and is one of the reasons I chose KU. He was a KU man through and through! had the pleasure of playing for him and I would not change a thing…he made it fun!!! I love him and may he rest in peace. My condolence to Bob and Preston and their families.

  12. Mike Sweatman on September 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I can’t thank Coach Fambrough enough for the influence he has had on my life. He was a great coach and a great teacher. He and Del were a positive example to me and to my wife. Thanks Coach and my sincere condolences to Bob and Preston and your families upon the loss of your great father and greandfather.

  13. Elizabeth Scheibe New on September 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Preston and Ginny,
    My condolences as you grieve the loss of your father. The tributes to him indicate he had a great zest for life and service for others. Treasure the wonderful memories.

  14. Mike Patchen on September 7, 2011 at 7:11 am

    I played for Coach Fam in 1971. While I wasn’t close to being a starter or even much help to the team Coach knew who I was and treated me great. He was one of the finest people I have ever met and it was a privledge to have known him. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word and will be missed by the Jayhawk community. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. God Bless you Coach and Thanks for being part of my life. Mike Patchen

  15. Bob Smith on September 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Bless you, Don. May your soul rest in peace.

  16. PETE QUATROCHI on September 8, 2011 at 9:35 am


  17. J. Bryan Sperry on September 8, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Don was a team mate of mine in “46 and ’47. He was a fierce competitor and an excellent guard. He has always been 100 percent KU. We will miss him.

  18. Mary Strahan & family on September 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Fambrough–I read about your father’s passing in the paper; it sounds like he was an amazing man. We are so sorry for your loss.

  19. David McReynolds on September 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I played football at LHS with Bob and Preston. Through them I was around and inspired by Coach Fambrough. I loved his stories, his personality and his influence. He impacted many of us more than he knew. Our prayers go out to Bob, Preston and the family.

  20. John and Amy Scanlan on September 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Coach you were a great leader of men who showed so many the right way to live life. Sorry I wasn’t able to be at your final gathering but I was with dad sending him on his way to meet you. Two great Jayhawks and the men who shaped my life. A special thanks for letting me miss a two a day practice to get married. You will be missed.

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