Gene Arlen Stauffer, 85, formerly of Salina, Emporia and Topeka, passed away on July 26, 2018 in Leawood, KS. He was born November 6, 1932 to Richard and Twila (Draper) Stauffer at Riley, KS.
Gene attended schools in several Kansas communities but called Salina his hometown, where he graduated from Salina High School in 1950. Gene was a three-sport athlete in high school winning state championships his senior year in basketball, doubles tennis and baseball. He was also class president.
His basketball talent earned him a scholarship at Kansas State University where he played for two hall of fame coaches, Jack Gardner and Tex Winter. Gene played on two K-State teams that were ranked in the top ten nationally. He was a starting guard his junior and senior seasons. At K-State he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Air Force ROTC.
After graduating from Kansas State with a teaching degree, he married the former JoAnn Holshouser of Dwight, KS on August 15, 1954 in Manhattan. They were married 59 years and lovingly raised three children.
Gene served four years in the United States Air Force, resigning as a captain. He returned to Kansas to teach and coach at Salina. His 1963 Salina High basketball team won the state AA championship defeating Wyandotte. Gene’s next coaching stop was at the College of Emporia where he was also athletic director. His C of E basketball teams won two conference titles. Gene was inducted into the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000.
Following the closing of the college in 1974, Gene completed a specialist degree in school psychology from Emporia State University and served the Emporia-based Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative for nearly 20 years as a school psychologist.
Gene and JoAnn retired from the Emporia school district in 1994 and lived in Topeka for 20 plus years and were active in Trinity Presbyterian Church. Gene also continued his basketball pursuits in retirement, leading a Topeka team to the U.S. Senior Olympics in San Antonio, Texas.
He was preceded in death by JoAnn in 2013; parents, Richard and Twila Stauffer; and step-mother Verna Lea Stauffer.
Gene is survived by his children John (Kim) Stauffer, Olathe, KS; Brad (Judy) Stauffer, Lincoln, NE; and Tina (Brian) Murray, Leawood, KS; grandchildren Christopher Stauffer, Lafayette, CO and Michael Stauffer, Prairie Village, KS; brother Darrel (Kay) Stauffer, Champaign, IL; step-brother Kenneth (Ann) McDonald, Orange, CA; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service and reception will be held September 15, 2018 at Martin Event Space in Kansas City, MO. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. followed by refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Purple attire is encouraged. A family inurnment will be held at Dwight Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to The Nature Conservancy, Heifer International or the Ahearn Fund at Kansas State University.