Donald J. Minnis

Donald J. Minnis, 75, Lawrence KS, passed away on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at his home. Don was born on August 3, 1947, in Atchison, KS, the son of Dee Alexander and Kathryn Patricia (McGinnis) Minnis. He married Virginia Stanley on September 30, 1978, and she survives at home. Other survivors include his sons, Oliver (Katie) Minnis, Morgan (Heidi) Minnis, siblings, Michael (Debbie) Minnis, Jane Biffinger, Judy (Roger) Proffitt, Joyce (Dan) Nolan, two grandchildren, Elizabeth Minnis, and Hugh Minnis, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister-in-law, Dee Alexander (Jenny) Minnis, and brother-in-law, Roc Biffinger.  

Don grew up in Atchison, KS, and graduated from Maur Hill – Mount Academy in 1965. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Emporia State. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy, stationed in Nicosia, Cyprus for nearly two years. After his service, Don lived in Emporia, Kansas City, and Dallas, before returning to Kansas in 1976. Finding his home in Lawrence, Don began his 47 year real estate career at Haverty & Hatfield, followed by 8 years at McGrew Real Estate, and the remaining 35 years at Stephens Real Estate. Don was honored with Realtor Emeritus status and was awarded Lawrence Board of Realtor’s Distinguished Service award in 2021. Don made close friends in every chapter of life. He loved the Lawrence community and the opportunity to meet and serve countless friends and clients.

Don’s passion was his family. Don loved his wife, Virginia, of 44 years, and their two sons, Oliver and Morgan. Don and Virginia loved dancing and music. Don enjoyed attending his sons little league and high school sporting events. He cherished time and closeness during their academic and professional journeys.  Don’s favorite moments were seeing his sons marry their wonderful wives, and spending time with his two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Hugh.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 24, 2023, at St. Lawrence Catholic Center in Lawrence, KS. There will be a visitation from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., with a Rosary Recitation starting at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, March 23, 2022, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence, KS.

The family suggests memorials in Don’s name to Corpus Christi Catholic Church, St. Lawrence Catholic Center, or LMH Oncology and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

25 Condolences

  1. Jeri Kurth on March 16, 2023 at 11:36 am

    I was so sorry to hear of “Donnie’s” passing. He was always the light in the room, with his captivating smile and outgoing & friendly demeanor. He will be sorely missed. Prayers of God’s comfort and Peace to his entire family. Rest well, old friend.

  2. Michael Hildibrand on March 16, 2023 at 11:50 am

    We very much enjoyed your company
    and coversational wit…peace to your
    family…Michael and Dianne Hildibrand.

  3. Greg Jeffries on March 16, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Although I didn’t know “Donnie” well, only through my older brother as his good friend, what stood out to me was Don’s vitality for living life, and that he was an all-around, great guy. I’m sure he left this world a better place with the life he lived. Prayers to the Minnis family and those loved ones left behind grieving the loss.

  4. Christopher Stark Sr. on March 16, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    What an amazing person Don was and what a remarkable life that he had well as his love for family, friends and all those he met and touched. I feel so lucky that Don was part of everyone’s life our family.

  5. Shelly Maas on March 17, 2023 at 12:11 am

    I am so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Keeping the family in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Julie Neff on March 17, 2023 at 9:24 am

    I am heart-broken, as I am certain many are. Don was such a ray of sunshine to so many. He always had a smile and was always concerned about everyone. To Don’s precious family (at home and at work), I pray God’s grace blankets you all and gives you comfort and peace at this sorrowful time. God bless.

  7. Allen and Teresa Clough on March 17, 2023 at 10:26 am

    Don was a good friend. He was thoughtful and caring. He helped us with several real estate transactions over the years. He was always knowledgeable and professional. Our condolences to his family.

  8. Tony and Shari Flakus on March 19, 2023 at 1:31 am

    Although we met Don professionally when he found us our first home in 1997, and 3 years later when he found us our current home in 2000, he quickly became more than our realtor; he was our friend. Because of his outgoing character and genuine caring nature for people, he quickly became a friend to all who met him. He was invested in the families he met. He always asked about our children, now adults, and would keep up on their growth, asking details about them and sharing about his boys’ success before we would finally get to talking about “house business.” Don was also a very patient man and one who truly listened to the needs of his clients. I can’t tell you how many homes he showed us homes over the years. He would never be upset if a deal fell through as they sometimes did – he would take it in stride and say it wasn’t meant to be. A funny story I remember is when a home we almost bought had a garage too small for our F-150 truck, we were at a loss because there were no other homes we liked… Don said “Well, there is one, but you won’t like the size of the kitchen.” We decided to look anyway. That home he almost didn’t show us became the home where we raised our family. We added onto the kitchen 10 years ago. We will miss our realtor/friend and the Lawrence community will feel his loss. May his family, especially Virginia, Oliver and Michael, find comfort in knowing that Don loved his family more than anything. Thanks, Don, for your dedication to our family over the years.

  9. Trent Georgie on March 19, 2023 at 8:18 am

    I’m saddened to hear the news. I always liked Don and respected him so much. One of the nicest guys in the business. Prayers of peace to the family.

  10. David and Nancy Lahm on March 20, 2023 at 9:38 am

    Virginia, Oliver and Morgan, we were so saddened to hear of Don’s passing. Prayers for peace and comfort for your family

  11. Tom Hill on March 20, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Best darn landlord I ever had, and a really good friend. I always enjoyed our summer encounters, which more often than not meant having “a beverage” as Don would say.
    A light in my life for sure.
    My condolences to Virgnia, Oliver, and Morgan.

  12. pamela jeffries on March 20, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    Our hearts are saddened , of Don’s passing. We will cherish all the Joyful times we shared with Don over the years.
    What a Blessing that he was our” Best MAN” , in our wedding , a few years ago in 1969…
    Sending our love, prayers and comfort to Virginia, Oliver& Morgan and to all Don’s Friends .
    GODS’ Blessings, Comfort& Peace ,
    Jim & Pam Jeffries& Family<+

  13. Curtis Minnis on March 20, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Uncle Don. He was truly one of a kind. His stories and laughter could light up a room. I know is Derby boys sure loved him. When Travis went to KU, Don looked after him like he was one of his own. It seems just like yesterday we were sitting behind the KU bench watching Oliver be the ball boy and enjoying a Jayhawk victory.

    He shared life experiences along with advice with us boys. May have not even realized that he was doing it. But we always took his opinion and values to heart. Things I will remember always.

    He was always so proud of what Virginia and he had built. Two great sons and lovely home. Then you guys were blessed with grandchildren. Which I know he was so proud of. You could see it in the pictures.

    I feel so blessed to have been able to stop by with Dad and my brothers a couple months back. Even though it was a short visit I cherish every second of it. These past couple of weeks Dad had been keeping me informed of Don’s status. At night when I would pray, and get a little weak thinking about Don. Something would always bring me back to Don telling a story/joke while laughing and smiling. That is how he will be remembered. Someone that could bring everyone together and have a great time. That is a rare feature that any would love to have. He was blessed to have it.

    Also, so glad that Don was able to see his brother and sisters. It meant a lot to my dad and his sisters. It also meant a lot to all of us nephews and nieces. Dee, Dad and Don always did a good job of bringing us together as much as possible.

    Heaven gained a great one.

  14. Frank Molby on March 21, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Don was a great guy and one of my favorite Realtors. He will be fondly missed by all who knew and loved him. Rest In Peace Don, prayers and condolences to the family.

  15. Caren Lowe on March 21, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    I was so surprised and saddened to learn of Don’s passing. I always enjoyed time around Dona and his wife. I am sending my warmest wishes of comfort to his family.

  16. Linda Trotter on March 22, 2023 at 6:58 am

    I am so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. It was a pleasure knowing him and being able to work with him in the real estate community. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of his family during this difficult time.

  17. Tyler Martin on March 22, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    Growing up in Lawrence, I was a good friend of Don’s youngest son Morgan in Jr. High and Highschool. 25 years later, Don is still one of the most positive, kind, witty, and high character person’s I’ve ever met. Always quick to say hello and take time to ask about your life whenever you saw him. Sending my condolences to Virginia, Oliver, and Morgan. He will be greatly missed and the city of Lawrence will not be the same without him.

  18. Pat lomshek on March 22, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    Sincere condolences and love, Joyce, Debbie and Jane Ann🙏🙏❤️

  19. Tim Reeder on March 24, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Oliver – sad to see this news. I know how much your pops meant to you and your fam. Sending love during this tough time.

  20. Dave Davison on March 24, 2023 at 9:02 am

    My condolences to Virginia, Oliver, Morgan and all of his family. Don was a great person and he and Virginia raised a well loved and admired family. He will be greatly missed.

  21. Bob and Jane on March 24, 2023 at 4:21 pm

    Jane and I bought our 1st home in 1977 in Lawrence from Don. We then bought our present home from him also. He always asked about our three daughters whenever we saw him. We always talked about the Jayhawks when we met. Sorry to hear about Don. We had a connection with him being from Atchison and myself be from Effingham, and Jane being from Everest.

  22. Nancy Hedrick on April 7, 2023 at 6:09 am

    Dear Oliver, Katie, Virginia, and the entire family,

    My heart and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. Don was a wonderful man, father, and realtor and he will be greatly missed. May your hearts be filled with the special times and memories that you shared together.

    With Heartfelt Sympathy,

    Nancy Hedrick

  23. Terry Cornett on May 7, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    We are deeply sadden and hold the Minnis family in our thoughts and prayers. My relationship with Don comes from attending several open houses where it was always a pleasure to see and visit with Don. Sadly, I made the mistake to ask about Don recently when I saw Heidi at an Open House. She broke the news and I was stunned. Don interacted with our grandson as if he was one of his own at one open house. And later with just me, we stood on the front drive as he asked about my wife Vicki, my daughter and grandson. He spoke of how proud he was of his family as we shared stories. His spirit and positive approach to life was both refreshing and contagious. He would occasionally call to see if we were getting closer to purchasing our Lawrence retirement home. Was always good to visit with him. God Bless The Minnis family. Our apology for the lateness of this condolence.
    Terry and Vicki Cornett

  24. Marilyn Chaney on July 28, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    We now live in New Mexico and only heard of Don’s passing today. I am so sorry for your loss.
    With my deepest sympathy,

  25. Nanette Eilers on December 1, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I just learned of your husband’s passing today when Marilyn found out. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I’m sure the holidays will not be easy. With love, Nanette Knos Eilers

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