Donald “Don” Lloyd Gillihan

Funeral services for Donald “Don” Lloyd Gillihan, 91, Lawrence will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, November 15, 2019 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Entombment will follow at Memorial Park Mausoleum in Lawrence. Don passed away on Monday, November 11, 2019 at Neuvant House of Lawrence.

Don was born on September 4, 1928 in Chanute, KS, to Fred and Reba (Sparks) Gillihan. He graduated from Chanute High School and joined the United States Army.

He proudly served his country in the Korean War from 1950-1953. Don and members of his unit graced the cover of TIME magazine. He was Honorably discharged and received a Purple Heart along with several other honors including Good Conduct.

When Don returned from Korea, he worked at the Wax Plant in Chanute. They then moved to El Dorado, KS where he was employed at the oil refinery in Potwin, KS. Once he moved to Lawrence he began working at Farmland. Don eventually joined DuPont Manufacturing Plant as a team lead and retired in 1990. Lifelong friends were made at DuPont and for years they reunited for an annual gathering.

He married Katherine Ruth Soloman on September 4, 1958. They loved dancing, gambling, and traveling with friends, especially to Nevada and Louisiana. Last year they enjoyed celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary and his 90th birthday. Kathy survives of the home.

Don had a passion for fishing, hunting, cooking, Westerns, old time country music and spending time with his family. For many years he could be found chatting and coffee drinking with his buddies every morning at Munchers Bakery. He adored his grandchildren, “his babies”, and often treated them to some of his favorites- donuts and bacon. Don was a true gentleman and those who knew him never saw him without a smile on his face.

Other survivors include his son, Mark Gillihan (Kathleen), Lawrence; son, Steven Huffman and daughter-in-law, Patsy (Huffman); four grandchildren, Kayla (Cribb) Altman, Kasey (Matt) Gryszowka, Ryan Gillihan, Jordan Gillihan; six great grandchildren; Halston, Huntley, and Hollis Altman, Grayson, Harlow, and Rowan Gryszowka; and brother, Mike Gillihan, Wichita, KS. He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Kenneth Rush and Robert Gillihan.

The family will greet friends beginning at 10 a.m. prior to the service on Friday at the mortuary.

Thank you to the Neuvant House and their compassionate staff for going above and beyond and to the Visiting Nurses Hospice Care for their abundance of care.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to either St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project or Visiting Nurses and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

6 Condolences

  1. Joe Scribner on November 13, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I worked with Don at DuPont and drove cars after retirement. Don was “old school”, that is he gave a full days work, you could trust his judgement and he was a good friend. We’re in transet South or we would be at the service. May he rest in peace. Joe Scribner

  2. Cathy and David Gryszowka on November 13, 2019 at 11:01 am

    With deepest sympathy for the entire family, you are in our prayers.
    Cathy and Dave Gryszowka

  3. Sue Davis McDaniel on November 13, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    So very sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers to all.

  4. Marge Waller on November 13, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Kathy, I am very sorry to hear of Don’s passing. He was a great person, I always remember that big smile when I ran Into him he would always great me with a big smile and always had some thing cheerful to say. Never forgot you always like he saw you every day. He is one that will not be forgotten.
    May god be with you and the boys at this time.
    Marge Waller

  5. Travis and Terri Kilburn on November 13, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers.

  6. Christine Colbert on November 14, 2019 at 10:01 am


    It is lovely that you and Don were married for 60 years. Wonderful photos of him. Love to you and your family at this time.

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