1934 - 2020
Warren-McElwain Mortuary Lawrence Chapel
120 West 13th
Lawrence, KS
Frederickson, George On Friday July 24, surrounded by his family, George Frederickson of Lawrence, Kansas peace-fully returned to his heavenly home. George was born July 17, 1934 in Twin Falls Idaho, the son of Jack and Zelpha Richins Frederickson. George and his many siblings worked with their parents to support the family drive-in and candy store. The hard work was balanced by lots of fun, and George loved hunting and fishing with his dad and brothers. But initially George did not show too much promise as a scholar. Teachers sent the unruly boy to the library for talking out of turn, where George began reading books to pass the time. Exposure to the world of ideas contained in books sparked a love of learning that changed the course of his life. After two years at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, George served a mission in South Africa for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Witnessing apartheid influenced George's worldview and informed his subsequent research on social justice and equity. After returning to BYU George fell in love with Mary Williams. Mary waited for him to complete his Army training before they were married in the St. George Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March 1958. George earned an MPA (UCLA) and PhD (USC). By the time George accepted his first teaching job at the University of Maryland Mary and George had started their family. They headed out to the east coast with their young sons Thomas and Christian, and Lynne was born soon after they arrived in Maryland. George's career took the family to New York, where David was born, and then to North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, and Washington state. During these years George took the family on many camping trips, zig-zagging the country from Mt. Katahdin in Maine to the Olympic Peninsula, from the beaches of South Carolina to the mountains of New Mexico. After the children had grown, George and Mary moved to Lawrence Kansas. George loved gathering his family together for holidays and reunions. Family vacations always included model rockets and homemade potato guns. George and Mary loved theater and travel. They enjoyed trips to New York to see shows and treasured their annual visit to the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Visiting professorships allowed George and Mary to live abroad for a time in Oxford, England and in Shanghai, China. George held faculty positions at the University of Maryland and Syracuse University, and was the founding Associate Dean of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Dean of the University of Missouri's School of Community Affairs. At 42 George was appointed President of Eastern Washington State College in Cheney, a position he would hold for 10 years. Under George's innovative and dynamic leadership, and in the face of considerable resistance, the college transitioned into a thriving regional university, with a name change to Eastern Washington University with campuses in Cheney and Spokane. George's tenure also included the creation of Schools of Health Sciences, Public Affairs, and Mathematical Sciences & Technology, and numerous relevant graduate and undergraduate degrees and programs. The university also improved Eastern Washington as a cultural, arts and science hub, expanding the influence of the school well into Washington's Inland Empire community. With an eye to the future, George shored up the legacy of the school by establishing the EWU Foundation. And always focused on attracting positive attention and increasing the impact of the university, George transitioned athletics from competition exclusively with other small schools to admission into the NCAA and membership in the Big Sky and other major athletic conferences. These changes were not without their detractors at the time, but in the years since George's presidency, the Eastern Eagles' large fan base has enjoyed much success in athletics, with two NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances and 13 NCAA Football Division 1 FCS Tournament appearances. George was especially thrilled to attend the 2010 National Football Championship, and it was a sweet victory for him to watch his beloved Eagles win it all. George returned to full-time scholarship when he was appointed the Edwin O. Steen Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at the University of Kansas. While at KU George founded the prestigious Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. After retirement George continued to write and visit his office until this year. In 2018 George veered off the academic path to write Hot Tickets, a book about the KU Basketball ticket scandal. Despite increasing health difficulties, he was able to complete and publish the book last year. Over a long and distinguished career, George published hundreds of scholarly articles and dozens of books, but perhaps the professional accomplishment of which he was proudest are the many dozens of scholars around the world who count George as a mentor. George was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Zelpha Frederickson, his brothers Bryan, Richard and Robert, sister Alice Brown, brother-in-law Larry Shupe, sisters-in-law Virgean and Bernice, stepmother Bonnie, and stepbrother Garey Stimpson. George is survived by his wife Mary, his children Thomas (Leslie), Christian (Jenny), Lynne, and David (Julie), brothers John (Annette), Kent (Sharon), Grant (Valeta), Dennis (Kathy), sister Jean Ann Shupe, sisters-in-law Barbara and Arletta, brother-in-law Lloyd Brown, stepsister Mary Thrall, 15 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. George's family looks forward to celebrating his life next spring at a memorial service open to all family and friends. The family suggests memorials go to the H. George and Mary Frederickson Fellowship at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas, or to the EWU Foundation. All memorials may be sent in care of Warren McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044. For more information or to post a condolence go to
Published by Spokesman-Review on Jul. 29, 2020.
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2 Entries
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
March 15, 2021
Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace.
Washington State
July 29, 2020
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