John Scanlan

Mass of Christian Burial for John William Scanlan, 86, Lawrence, will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence.  Burial will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.    He died Saturday, September 10, 2011 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

He was born April 30, 1925 in St. Louis, MO the son of Francis Daily and Opal (Holmes) Scanlan.

John graduated from Christian Brothers Military High School in St. Louis, MO.  Shortly after graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp., during World War II where he served three years as a nose-gunner flying in the B-24’s”Chute the Works”.  His service in Pacific Theater started at Kwajalein and ended in Okinawa.  After the war he attended the University of Kansas where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture in 1950. 

John was the president and co-owner of Kansas Construction Co., specializing in commercial & industrial buildings from 1956-1988.  He was responsible for many of the recognizable landmarks across the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and throughout the state. 

Mr. Scanlan was a member of the Lawrence Housing Authority; Co-Chairman of Kansas State Construction Health, Welfare & Pension Funds; member of Kansas State Construction Laborers and Carpenters Apprenticeship Fund; American Arbitration Association; Kansas Public Service Company Advisory Board; St. John’s Catholic Church and serving on future planning committee; Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, having served on Board of Directors for two terms; a member of the Board of Directors at Lawrence National Bank; the University of Kansas Williams Educational Fund, Round Ball Club and Quarterback Club; a founding member of the Lawrence Noon Cosmopolitan Club, having been Past President.  He also received the Cosmo Distinguished Service Award in the years of 1964 and 1976.  He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 1372; B.P.O.E. Elks Lodge; Ballard Community Center Committee and Past President; member of the Girl’s Achievement Board; he had also served two terms for Human Resources Committee for City of Lawrence; Board of Directors of United Way and was Past President of Associated General Contractors of Kansas, Inc., and honorary member of the Board of Directors.  He was active in land acquisition for the local Lawrence Habitat for Humanity organization.

He married Helen Hebor on November 15, 1954 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  She survives and resides in Lawrence.

Other survivors include three sons, John William Scanlan II and wife, Amy of Kansas City, KS; Michael Scanlan and Sharon Klender of Leawood, KS; William Scanlan and wife, Elizabeth of Denver, CO;  grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Shannon Dick, Edward Lewis, Matthew Scanlan, Alea Scanlan, John Sword, Karina Mitchell, Nicholas Shirley.

A rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 with a visitation to follow at Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials in his name to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Habitat for Humanity or to the American Diabetes Association and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

8 Condolences

  1. Bob Soetaert on September 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    To a man I never met, and did not know, I owe a debt and gratitude for standing in the gap. Farewell, brave warrior. May God look upon you, and say “well done, good and faithful servant”

  2. Tim and Beth Matthews on September 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    What a great man. A defender of our freedom during World War II, and a builder of strong communities afterward. I am priviledged to have known him and his son John. He was truly a member of the “Greatest Generation”.

  3. Jerry Jennings on September 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Mrs. Scanlan, John, Mike and Bill,
    So sorry to hear of John’s passing. I didn’t realize he was not well. He was always so kind and generous with the St. John School auction when I was part of that event. He always had a little mischevious twinkle in his eye but ever a giving heart. I didn’t realize all his accolades before reading the obituary. He truly was a man of honor and worthy of the esteem he received. Know that I shall keep him and all of you in my prayers.
    God bless you all,
    Jerry Jennings

  4. Michael Hess on September 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    There was no better role model for a husband, father, grandfather, and friend than John. I am much richer for having known him. Although I will not be able to come back to Lawrence to attend the service, my thoughts and prayers will be with your family.

  5. MIKE HADL on September 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Dear Helen and Family,my thoughts and prayers our with you at this sad time…John was a great employer, I was proud to work for him,Mike Hadl..1290

  6. John Shirley on September 14, 2011 at 6:33 am

    I first met John Scanlan in January of 1994. The circumstances of our introduction weren’t exactly ideal. But things improved: the following year, I would marry his eldest granddaughter.

    Living as closeby as we did, our small but growing family would regularly visit John and his wife, Helen. We always wanted to ensure they could spend as much quality time with their great grandchildren as possible. They made everyone feel welcome in their home.

    Oftentimes, John would pull me aside and share bits of wisdom with me, or maybe a story from his past. Family, finance, business, life: anything at all. He had a way, through sharing his memories and insights, of helping me to learn more about myself.

    I found him to be a respectable, level-headed, kind man. A wealth of knowledge and experience. A character and demeanor that most of us only wish we had.

    After a later relocation followed by a series of very painful decisions, I and my son, Nicholas — their great grandson — drifted apart. Sure, we’d talk every few months, but, as life is wont to do, that became rarer as the years went on.

    Last Friday evening, Nicholas told me his great-grandfather had been hospitalized. Yesterday morning he told me his great-grandfather; my old friend, the man who was the best man at my wedding, who was there to help two young, confused parents to do the right thing for their children — had passed.

    Thank you for everything, John.

  7. Margi Stewart on September 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Bill, we are sorry there is so much sadness in your life now, because of your father’s death. Although we did not know him, he have read what a remarkable man he was, and, more importantly, we know you, his son. No doubt, your dad was proud to see that you followed his exemplary example of how to live in the world uprightly, with a generous and open heart. Please extend our sympathy to Liz and to all your family. Love to all of you.

  8. Amy Scanlan on October 14, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    He was my father in law, and one of the coolest fellas ever. He and mother in law raised 3 awesome brothers. “Dad” and I were early risers, and he had his coffee and the Lawrence Journal World and Kansas City paper already set out and reading when I got up, silence at that hour our bonding time. We loved each other, but had no problem going toe to toe, when warranted. He respected that and vice versa. He was a perfect blueprint of what son #1 has become (after 51 years)…awesome. Thanks, dad…miss you.

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