Donald J. "Don" Shoulberg
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Donald J. "Don" Shoulberg

Memorial services for Donald J. "Don" Shoulberg, 76, Lawrence, KS, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 30, 2013 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence. Private inurnment will be at a later date. He died on Tuesday evening, March 26, 2013 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

He was born on October 23, 1936 in Norristown, PA, the son of Charles C. & Catherine Wafer Shoulberg.

Don was a Marriage and Family Therapist.

He received his B.A. degree from Notre Dame University in South Bend, IN. He studied at Gregorian University in Rome, he then was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest Dec. 19, 1964 in Rome. He studied at the Institut Catholique in Paris and then returned to the United States. He taught at Notre Dame High School in Niles, IL. He achieved a Master's degree at Duke University. He received a ThM. in Pastoral Psychology from Duke Divinity School. While living in a parish in Durham, he met his future wife, Gini Hartigan, who was a Dominican Nun and teacher.

Don then did an internship in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Institute for Religion in Houston, TX. In 1970, he started working at the University of Kansas in the Student Health Services and taught in the School of Social Welfare. He received a PhD. in Speech Communication and Human Relations from the University of Kansas. In 1981, he became the Director of Marriage and Family Services for Menniger, Kansas City. Since then, he served in a group practice in Kansas City and most recently, was in private practice in Lawrence.

He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, the Notre Dame University Alumni Association, and the Kansas Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

He was married to Mary "Gini" Hartigan on July 10, 1971. She survives of the home.

Survivors include two daughters, Jennifer Shoulberg Lyon (husband, Steve Lyon), of Overland Park, KS, Erin Shoulberg (partner, Sherie Alden), of Ferrisburgh, VT; a son, Paul Shoulberg (wife, Jennifer Ruff), of Bloomington, IN; a twin-brother, Daniel Shoulberg, of Ambler, PA, another brother, Richard Shoulberg, of Norristown, PA; two sisters, Jude Totaro, Jenkintown, PA and Sister Cathe Shoulberg, of Blue Bell, PA; six grandchildren, Jackson James Lyon, Catherine Lyon, Ella Lyon, Isaiah Lyon, Clementine Shoulberg, and Tal Donald Shoulberg.

The family suggests memorials in his name to the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and School, the Lawrence Homeless Shelter, or to Grace Hospice and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

A Prayer Service will be at 5 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2013 at the mortuary followed by a visitation until tipoff time for the K.U. basketball game (approx. 6:30 p.m.).

Online condolences may be sent to

Please sign this guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Mar. 28, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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28 entries
March 22, 2019
I can only imagine how much the family and closest friends of this beautiful man must miss him. I knew him professionally and he was the real deal: the epitome of professionalism, integrity, compassion and wisdom.
Cathy Knight
April 27, 2014
Dear Shoulberg Family
I just now learned of Dr. Shoulberg's passing. He was truly one-of-a-kind. He helped me through an incredibly difficult time -- for which I am forever grateful. He was a very kind and caring person, and i could always count on him for great wisdom and insight. I know you all miss him terribly -- his great love for his wife, children, and grandchildren was so evident. My prayers are with you.
Amy Devine
March 27, 2014
Mrs. Shoulberg,
I am sorry to just now hear of Dr. Shoulberg's death. I consulted with him in the 90's and he was a true mentor and model for me. I always admired and was nurished by his rare combination of intelligence and compassion. He was so skilled at asking the right questions that stick with me to this day.

On a couple of occasions I mentioned how lucky I was to be married to my wife and he just smiled and nodded and I realized he felt the same way about his marriage.

May the lord be with you and your family. I am grateful to have spent time with your husband.


Mike Robinson
Mike Robinson
June 28, 2013
Dearest Gini, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. You were one of my first mentors as a teacher. I loved how you and Don raised your lovely family, I looked at the two of you as role models of good family. My prayers are with you all. Give my love to Jenny, Erin, and Paul.
Helen Kinkade
April 25, 2013
my mentor, my teacher, my coach. I find myself asking, "what would Dr. Shoulberg suggest?" He has undeniably been one of the important people in my life. Claudia Corson
April 21, 2013
I've been in London and just learned of your loss. I am stunned. Don helped me through some real "crunch times" with compassion and wisdom. I have missed his presence at Corinth in Prairie Village, but have called him for advice. He was as great on the phone as in person. I remember when I'd been to see him over a number of years and he no longer had to get out my family chart. He knew all the characters! And his delightful smile. And , when I asked about his family, the pride and love in his voice. He was a special counselor and gentleman and I'll miss always just knowing he is there should I need his insightful expertise. You are all in my thoughts. Sincerely, Susanne Shutz
Susanne Shutz
April 18, 2013
The Yiddish word "mensch" is a perfect fit for Don. It represents a moral ideal for all people. It means being sensitive to others and finding ways to help them. It is acquired by living close to family and helping the broader community too. It is, in Jewish culture, the highest compliment one can give. He was quite a mensch.
Eric Weiner
April 5, 2013
Rest in peace, my friend,
April 1, 2013
Our sincere sympathies and prayers to you and your family.

My God give you strength and care,
Jim, Marilyn and Hannah Stuit
March 31, 2013
My sincere sympathies to the family. Don was a great help to me during a very difficult time in my life 13 years ago. His passing is a tremendous loss.
Cathy Knight
March 29, 2013
My condolences to the entire Shoulberg family... I happen to see the story about Don'd passing on Yahoo Sports. Was shocked when I read the obit. I too am a native of Norristown PA and was also born on October 23rd (1955)

And if I'm not mistaking Richard "Dick" Shoulberg was my swim coach at Mermaid Lake in Pennsylvania.

What a small world.
Chris Monaco
March 29, 2013
Mrs. Shoulberg, Paul and family, I am sorry to hear about your loss. I remember seeing Mr. Shoulberg at St. Johns functions. I also see he had a twin brother and I offer my deepest condolences to you all. RIP
Maria Shuckahosee
March 29, 2013
I am very sorry for your loss. May the God of comfort grant you peace during this time. Please take hope in the promise that you can see him again. 1Cor. 15:21,22
March 29, 2013
Gini, Jenny, Erin and Paul..My thoughts are with you during this sad time. It is hard to believe that it has been so long since I was in college and babysitting for you, but I can say that without a doubt your family has always been special to me.I am so sorry for your loss. It was always so obvious that he loved and treasured his family. Even at those early hours, in the hustle of getting everyone off to work and school, he never missed the opportunity to ask how things were going. It wasn't just a polite question..I always felt like he genuinely cared. Treasure your memories and I hope it is comforting to know that he touched so many people. God Bless all of You. You are in my prayers.
Mary Kay (Ellenbecker) Scanlon
March 29, 2013
While I did not know Don, my condolences to your family. Reading his bio indicates he distributed his passion all around the world. I love the continuing passion he has for our beloved Jayhawks. Every Jayhawk desires to hear it....ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK!!!
James Hickles
March 29, 2013
Dom was a great help in my life. he was a good man. He helped me through a very tough time in my life. I will always be grateful.
tom purcell
March 29, 2013
Don was my counselor, my sage, and I will miss him greatly. I am so sorry for your family's loss of this most kind, wise, and wonderful man.
Elaine Kierl Gangel
March 29, 2013
Don is one of the nicest people I have ever known.
Laura Fix
March 28, 2013
With our deepest sympathy and condolences.
Ann and John Hulsey
March 28, 2013
So sorry for your loss Gini and family. Don meant so much to my family.
Sam Ghatasheh
March 28, 2013
Gini, you are and all who loved Don are in our thoughts and prayers. Charlie and I and the boys are so truly sorry.
Ann & Charlie Reed
March 28, 2013
Just heard the news of Don's death. I remember him well from Old College, novitiate, Notre Dame and Rome and am saddend to hear of his suffering and death. Don was indeed a wonderful person. Although I've had no contact with him over the many years, I shall miss him as he passes over, and can only wish his family the consolation of Easter hope in resurrection and a better life in the beyond in the Hand of God.
On this, your very personal Good Friday I wish you a blessed Eastertime. Bob Ware
Bob Ware
March 28, 2013
Dear Gini and family,
Don was a very special person to me and my family as well as many others. I am sad about his passing and send all of you sincere condolences.
Robin Carr
March 28, 2013
Don was one of the nicest men I ever knew, we use to visit every time we saw each other, on the 4th floor of the US bank tower, about our families, life etc. He touched my life and I will miss him greatly.
Cheryl Abney
March 28, 2013
Dear Gini & family, Don was one of a kind-may you be comforted by wonderful memories of his keen intelligence, wicked sense of humor, and love for you all. He helped so many. I was so lucky to know him.
Nomi Redding
March 28, 2013
Dear Gini and family,

Don was one of the kindest people we have ever known. We will miss his smile and the twinkle in his eye when he talked about his family. We will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Love, Barbara & Mike Malone
March 28, 2013
Dear Shoulberg family. I got to know Don when we both had offices on the 2nd floor of the US Bank Tower on Mass. While I had not known Don that long, it was quite apparent to me what a compassionate, reassuring man he was. Most of our interaction occurred on the office elevator and our conversations almost always focused on KU basketball. I understand why the visitation will end before our tip off against Michigan. Don's steading hand will be a significant factor in our attempt to knock off Michigan in continuing our quest. My son Brendon is a classmate and friend of son Paul. Don is salt of the earth.If everyone shared Don's perspective and genuine concern for others, this world would be a far, far better place. My thoughts are with the family.
March 28, 2013
Dear Gini and family,
My sincere condolences. Don was good friend and we shared many laughs. He now shares the Beatific Vision!
May God continue to bless Don's family,
John Foley
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