Leon Shortenhaus

Leon Shortenhaus photo from the 1961 John Burroughs Akela yearbook.

Former John Burroughs High School teacher, counselor, and football coach Leon Shortenhaus, died April 13, in Souix City, Iowa.   He was 85 years old.

Mr. Shortenhaus was born in Buffalo Center, Iowa.  After graduating from high school in 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II in the Philipines.  Following his discharge in 1946, he attended Morningside College, where he played football under NFL Hall of Fame coach George Allen, who went on the coach the L.A. Rams and Washington Redskins.  Mr. Shortenhaus was captain of the football team and named to the All Conference Team in 1949.  He graduated from Morningside with a bachelor of science degree in 1949.

After teaching and coaching at high schools in Iowa, Mr. Shortenhaus and his wife, Ruth, moved to Burbank in 1956.   He taught history at Burroughs, as well as coaching football.  His last game as head varsity coach was the Burbank-Burroughs game in November 1960.   Coach Shortenhaus was selected by the senior class of 1961 as the school’s teacher of the year.  He was inducted into the John Burroughs Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.

The Shortenhaus family moved back to Iowa in 1967.  Mr. Shortenhaus worked as a junior high school counselor in Souix City until 1980, when he joined the faculty of Morningside College.  He was the college’s assistant football coach and associate director of admissions until he retired in 1997.

Mr. Shortenhaus and his wife celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2011.  They attended the 50th Reunion of the John Burroughs High Class of 1961 last October.

Funeral services were held at the Grace United Methodist Church in Souix City, Iowa, where Mr. Shortenhaus had been a longtime member.  Condolences may be sent to the family at www.meyerbroschapels.com.

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