K-State Mourns the Loss of George Breidenthal

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The K-State family lost a treasured member on Tuesday, as longtime friend and contributor George Breidenthal passed away.
 
"George was a kind and generous man who was a lifelong friend of K-State," said K-State Athletics Director John Currie. "His benevolent support of athletics, and in particular our women's programs, has had such a positive and lasting impact on so many lives, and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time."
 
As a dedicated member of the Ahearn Fund, Breidenthal contributed to a number of K-State Athletics facilities projects and programs. In 2006, the Breidenthal Boathouse on Tuttle Creek Reservoir was dedicated in honor of his support.

“George's generous support of K-State rowing continued the Breidenthal family tradition of involvement, following on from his father being the team manager while a student at K-State and his grandfather being responsible for the construction of the Tuttle Creek Dam and Reservoir thus allowing rowing to come to Manhattan,” said K-State rowing head coach Patrick Sweeney. “Our team house, which he made possible and bears his name, has been an invaluable addition to helping our program grow immensely for nearly a decade. The rowing team coaches, staff and athletes send our deepest sympathies and thoughts to George's family at this time.”
 
In October of 2012, as a part of the Basketball Training Facility, the Breidenthal Family Locker Room was unveiled for the K-State women’s basketball team.
 
“In my short time at K-State and getting to meet and know George, I found him to be a fascinating person with a tremendous spirit,” said K-State women’s basketball coach Jeff Mittie. “He has made a lasting impact through his generosity and passion for K-State women’s basketball and will be greatly missed.”
 
In addition to being a women’s basketball season ticket holder since the 2002-03 season, he also contributed funds to aid in the basketball program’s overseas trips to the Czech Republic in 2008 and Italy in 2013. He also donated to the K-State volleyball program to aid in their 2003 season-opening trip to Hawaii.
 
"George took an active interest in many of our programs and influenced our coaches, staff and student-athletes in a very positive way," said Executive Associate Athletics Director Jill Shields. "He could be seen sitting front and center at many of our games, both at home and on the road, and his love and passion for life permeated those he was around. He will be greatly missed."
 
Breidenthal attended Kansas State for one year in the late 1960s and participated on the men’s rowing team. After leaving K-State, Breidenthal earned his Associates degree from Donnelly College and completed his Bachelor’s of Education in history and secondary education at Kansas State Teachers College (now known as Emporia State) in 1972.
 
He then followed a six-generation path of family banking by entering a management training program at Security Bank in Kansas City, Kansas. After a year in the training program, Breidenthal steadily climbed the ladder of the organization from marketing and customer service to running his own branch and serving as vice president of Security Bank until its sale in the early 1980s.
 
Breidenthal continued in the banking industry, serving as president of Turner Bank and, following a merger, was the chairman of the board of Kaw Valley Bank.
 
His true passion remained in education and community organizations and activities. He served on the USD 500 School Board since 1983, was a member of the Donnelly Board of Trustees since 1991, the Foundation Board at Emporia State for years and was continually appointed to the KCK Landmarks Commission. He was inducted into the Kansas City Kansas Community College Hall of Fame in 2012.
 
He also displayed a passion for athletics. In addition to his contributions to K-State Athletics, Breidenthal owned a partial stake in a women’s basketball team in KCK that featured the legendary Nancy Lieberman and Anna DeForge. He was also one of the first to buy season tickets for the Kansas City T-Bones minor league baseball team in KCK. Breidenthal also contributed to the Kansas and Emporia State athletic departments.
 
When not attending an athletic event, board meeting or community activity, Breidenthal would either be traveling the world or walking his neighborhood. To his credit, Breidenthal visited well over 65 countries and attended 10 Summer Olympics and one Winter Olympics.
 
Breidenthal is survived by his two children, McKenzie and Benjamin.