William Maxwell “Max” Lucas, Jr.

William Maxwell “Max” Lucas Jr, 81, died Sept. 4 at his home in Lawrence, where he was retired dean of the KU School of Architecture. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence.

He was born July 23, 1934 in Lamar, Missouri, the only child of William Max Sr. and Margaret Jones Lucas. He married Jane Vaughn on Aug. 11, 1957 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Max attended the University of Kansas, where he received a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering in 1957 and a master’s in architectural engineering in 1962. He received a doctorate from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in 1970.

He was on active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1957 until 1960, when he joined the U.S. Navy Reserves, retiring in 1985 as a captain.

Max began his KU career in 1962 as a professor of architecture. He later worked in Chancellor Archie Dyke’s office from 1974-76, was director of KU Facilities and Planning from 1976-78 and served as dean of architecture from 1981-94.

He was an NCAA Division 1 football official in the Big Eight for four years, ending his officiating career at the 1991 Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans.

His civic activities included service on the Douglas County Planning commission and to the KU Alumni Association, where he was former president of the Endacott Society and a member of the President’s Club and the Veteran’s Alumni Chapter.

Max was preceded in death by his wife, Jane, in 2003.

Survivors include three daughters and their husbands, Jennifer Lucas Wyatt and Jeff (Lawrence), Sarah Lucas Whittington and Mike (Salida, Colorado), and Amy Lucas Blankenbiller and Duane (Topeka); six grandchildren, Erin Wyatt (Lawrence), Megan Wyatt Hensley and husband Will (Greeley, Colorado), Katelyn Wyatt (Flagstaff, Arizona), Hallie and Lucy Whittington (Salida, Colorado), and Sean Blankenbiller (Grovetown, Georgia); and a great-grandson, Hunter Hensley (Greeley, Colorado).

In lieu of flowers that family suggests donations can be made to the Kansas Alumni Association Endacott Society or the Lawrence Humane Society, and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.


3 Condolences

  1. Fred Shirk on September 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Lucas family, I just know “Max” from him having coffee @ Hy-Veeo on 6th street with his friend Fritz. He was always a great person to talk with.We both owned a Mazda Miata –once//, fun car.R.I.P ole sailor, like Max would say—-“”another day to excel”””

  2. Kelly McMurphy on September 9, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Sarah and Lucas Family:

    I am sorry for your loss. I so enjoyed your father, both as Dean of Architecture and as a professor of structures classes. He was so helpful, practical, and had a wonderful dry wit. His classes were so much fun because he knew his materials so well and could communicate that information to the students. When I think of my years at KU, I am always reminded of his smile and his wit. He did a great job of leading the School of Architecture. He will be missed.

  3. Ronnie on November 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Oh my gosh this is so awesome! I love the 40 s & 50 s style so alobarde! We have that Times Square pic in our house too, love it! And the couple looks awesome ;-), beautiful pics Brooke!

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