Sherman L. Heldenbrand
Sherman L. Heldenbrand, age 94, of Manhattan, died Wednesday November 30, 2016 at the Stoneybrook Retirement Community in Manhattan.
He was born on May 29, 1922 in Iroquois, South Dakota the son of Orsan and Lillie Heldenbrand. Later his family moved to Oneida, where he grew up and went to school.
After graduating from high school, he worked on construction for 2 years. He then served for 3 years in the United States Army at Fort Riley, in New Guinea, the Philippines, and Japan during WWII. He later became a member of the Disabled American Veterans.
On February 19, 1944 he married Elvina Lou Nelson in Manhattan, Kansas. She preceded him in death in 2011. After the war they made their home in Manhattan.
He went to work at Kansas State University at what was then called the Building and Repair Department. The job was supposed to last only 6 months but he retired of 38 years of operating heavy equipment. He dug up so much of the campus that he was nicknamed, The Purple Gopher. In 1978 he was selected to be Kansas State University’s first annual Classified Employee of the Year.
He loved fishing for the large flathead catfish in the Kansas River. Some of the fish he caught were as large as 67 pounds. After retirement in 1984, he helped his wife with her champion boxer show dogs. One of the dogs they produced was awarded the American Boxer Club’s Legion of Merit.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Gerald; and two sisters: Vivian Hartland and Zora Berlik.
Survivors include his son, Lyle Heldenbrand and his wife Mary Kay, of Virginia Beach and his daughter, Lil Peck and her husband Eric, of Manhattan; also two grandchildren: Ely Peck of Manhattan and Georgia Schafer (Kevin) of Salina, and also his 2 great-grandchildren.
Mr. Heldenbrand was cremated and no services will be held. A family gathering will be held at a later date.
The Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas is assisting the family with the funeral arrangements.