In Memoriam: Dean Coughenour

Dean Coughenour, 83, of Manhattan, Kansas, died at his residence on September 22, 2012.

Dean, a SABR member since 1973, was “a vital force in SABR”, according to John Thorn, and his Manhattan-based Ag Press was the first printer of SABR’s The National Pastime from its premiere issue in 1982 to 1989. The Ag Press also printed the Baseball Research Journal from 1984 to 1989.

Dean was considered an expert on turn-of-the-century minor leagues, and he had an extensive database which he maintained by hand for decades.

Born June 9, 1929, in McPherson, Kansas, the son of Glenn R. and Sarah (Freeburg) Coughenour, Dean graduated from McPherson High School in 1947 and studied History and English at McPherson College, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1951. While in high school and college, Dean enjoyed playing basketball and baseball.

He married the former Verlla Marie Hummer on August 24, 1951, in Waka, Texas, and they moved to Oberlin, Kansas, where Dean taught English at Oberlin High School and helped officiate basketball games. He then went to work as the managing editor of the Oberlin Herald newspaper for the next two years.

In 1958, they moved to Manhattan, where Dean became a partner in the Manhattan Tribune News & Grass and Grain, which later became known as Ag Press. Dean was active as owner and manager, retiring from the day-to-day operation in 1986.

Dean served the Manhattan community as a City Commissioner from 1973 until 1977, and as Mayor in 1977.

An avid sports fan, Dean especially loved playing tennis. He played daily for more than 40 years at the Manhattan Country Club and later at the Racquet Club. He was an avid reader, and he and Verlla enjoyed traveling.

He is survived by his wife, Verlla; three children, Tim Coughenour, Susan Lundstrom and husband Greg, and Evan Coughenour; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Also surviving is his brother, Bob Coughenour, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Dean’s Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, September 27, 2012, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home with Reverend R.C. McConnell officiating. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 1:00 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, Manhattan, KS; McPherson College, McPherson, KS; or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

Originally published: September 24, 2012. Last Updated: September 24, 2012.