Dr. Paul Hallgrimson


January 26, 2023

Dr. Paul Jene Hallgrimson, age 85, died peacefully in his sleep at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Navarre, Florida, after a brief illness.

Jene was born in Ainsworth, on April 1, 1937, to Paul and Vera (Patch) Hallgrimson, the oldest of three children. He was raised on a farm n ear Bassett, where he learned the value of hard work at a young age. He attended Rock County High School. After two years of college, Jene attended the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, graduating on June 11, 1961. He and former spouse, Eleanor Hills, had three children together, Brian, Craig and Andrea, whom they adored.

Jene was an excellent physician, not only in his intelligence and wise instincts, but because of the way he made everyone feel valued. His coworkers remember him as a joy to work with, beloved by patients and staff alike, always ready to laugh. Throughout his career, he worked in various emergency departments in Kansas City.

At one of these hospitals, he met Diana Louise Wendt, who worked as a nurse and was mom to three sons, Bill, Jim and Mark. Jene and Diana began to date and soon fell in love. They were married at the chapel in St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City on April 12, 1977, blending their two families.

Jene worked in private practice in Wellsville, Kansas, and later in Lenexa where he worked at Physicians Weight Loss Center with his wife. They lived in Lenexa for several years, then moved to Lake Tapawingo, Missouri. Diana remained the love of his life, and they enjoyed 38 years of marriage together until Diana’s death in 2015. Jene retired from practicing medicine at the age of 80 and decided to live and bond with family, splitting his time between Navarre, Florida, and Chanute, Kansas.

Everyone who knew Jene knew him as a wonderful storyteller, with his quick wit and wry sense of humor. He liked to travel, especially road trips with his daughter, Andrea, folding his long limbs into the car for countless hours of great memories. He was an avid reader and flew through books (especially mysteries), enjoyed trips to the FireEscape coffeehouse, and frequented the local small-town diner with enthusiasm. On a nice morning, you could almost always find him outside on the back porch, reading his Bible, watching the birds and enjoying the fresh air.

Jene is survived by daughter, Andrea (Scott) Flowers of Navarre, Florida; son, Craig (Dana) Hills of Kansas City; and stepsons, Bill Wendt of California, Jim (Suzanne) Wendt of Kansas City, Kansas, and Mark (Shari) Wendt of Chanute, Kansas; as well as 16 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Jene was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Vera; brother, James Hallgrimson; sister, Janice Lewis; former spouse, Eleanor Hills; son, Brian; and beloved sweetheart, Diana.

The funeral for Dr. Hallgrimson was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at Porter Funeral Home, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, Kansas. Visitation for the family prior to the funeral was at 12 p.m. Interment followed the funeral at Resurrection Cemetery in Lenexa.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to one of his two favorite charities:

FireEscape Coffeehouse, P.O. Box 65, Chanute, Kansas 66720

Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, 8668 Navarre Parkway No. 286, Navarre, Florida 32566

Dr. Hallgrimson practiced medicine in Superior in the 1960s and early 1970s.


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