John E. Wickman, 91, of Abilene, Kansas, passed away Jan. 22, 2021. He was born May 24, 1929 in Villa Park, Illinois, son of John E. and Elsie (Voss) Wickman.

Growing up he attended local schools and went on to graduate from Elmhurst College. On March 17, 1951 he married Shirley Jean Swanson. After serving in the United States Army (1953- 1955), he continued his academic career, receiving a Master’s degree then Doctorate degree from Indiana University.

He taught college in Indiana and Missouri. From 1962-1964 he was an assistant to then Kansas Governor William H. Avery, returning to teach college afterward. In 1966, he and his family moved to Abilene where he became the director of the Eisenhower Library for 23 years, retiring in 1989.

His professional memberships include; the Western History Association, Kansas History Association, and Oral History Association. He was awarded two fellowships; National Center of Education in Politics facility fellowship and American Political Science Association Congressional fellowship.

He contributed articles concerning the American West, archival management, administrative history and oral history profiles of public leaders.

John is survived by daughter Lisa A. (Phillip Andrews) Wickman of Loveland, Colorado and son Eric J. Wickman of Abilene.

He is preceded in death by his parents and the passing of his dearly loved wife, Shirley, on April 9, 2011.

John chose to be cremated. Because of the present circumstances concerning public health, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Private family inurnment will take place later in Texas.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be given to Meals on Wheels, Hospice of Dickinson County or the North Central Flint Hills Agency on Aging Foundation. They may be mailed or dropped off at Danner Funeral Home, 501 N. Buckeye, Abilene, Kansas 67410.

Online condolences may be sent to www.dannerfuneralhome.net.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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