Cover photo for John H. Calvert, Jd's Obituary
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John H. Calvert, Jd

October 13, 1940 — February 16, 2024

John Hartwell Calvert, 83, of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, went to heaven to be with the Lord and his son Scott on February 16, 2024.

John was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 13, 1940. While his father served on active duty in the U.S. Army, John attended high school in Heidelberg, Germany, where he met his first wife, who is the mother of his two children. After graduating from high school in Killeen, Texas, John earned a BA in geology at the University of Missouri in Columbia, the same city where his father had been born in 1913. After earning his undergraduate degree, he  served in the U.S. Army before returning to earn his J.D. in Columbia.

In 1968 John began 32 years of practicing Constitutional law and engaging in corporate finance and business litigation with Lathrop Gage L.C. While attending Colonial Presbyterian Church, he met Trudy Barnett, and they married in 1978. In 1999, John co-founded and became a managing director of Intelligent Design Network, a non-profit organization seeking institutional objectivity in origins science. In 2000, he retired early to devote his time and expertise to advising school teachers and administrators, state and local boards of education, and state legislative bodies in numerous states regarding the scientific, educational, and legal necessity of teaching origins science objectively. In May 2005, he presented 23 expert witnesses during hearings before the Kansas State Board of Education regarding objective changes to the Kansas Science Standards that were subsequently adopted, but then replaced a year later with materialistic standards. John is a graduate of the Litigation Academy of the Alliance Defense Fund and served as an Honor Guard of that organization. In 2012, he began counseling Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) regarding its challenge of the constitutionality of Next Generation Science Standards that were published in 2013.

John authored a number of legal opinions and articles, including two for the Liberty University Law Review: The Absence of Religious Neutrality in K-12 Public Science Education (2018) and Kitzmiller’s Error: Defining “Religion” Exclusively Rather than Inclusively (2009). He co-authored the book Origins Science in U.S. K-12 Public Schools (with Mark Biedebach in 2020) and a brief for the Supreme Court of the United States in COPE v. Kansas State Board of Education (with Douglas J. Patterson and Kevin T. Snider in 2016).

John was a member of Colonial Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and taught Sunday school for a number of years. He was also a longtime member of the men’s Bible study at Lake Quivira, Kansas. A man of faith, John lived by—and often quoted—Christ’s words in his favorite book of the Bible, Luke. His favorite verse was, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23, NIV).

As a follower of Christ, John worked tirelessly leading so many benevolent projects that the family cannot count them all. He was often seen during the holidays with his wife handing out bread and ham to homeless people under bridges in Kansas City. He set up an organization to raise money for a hospital in Tanzania. Most recently, he managed the Michael Project, a nonprofit organization that offers financial support to students to attend Christian schools in the United States and in Africa. Throughout his life, John was also known to be an avid tennis player and a lover of games, particularly chess.

John was preceded in death by his parents Col. Charles Wood Calvert and Mary Margaret (Jones) Calvert and his son Scott Kidwell Calvert. He is survived by his wife of 45 years Trudy E. Calvert (his “Angel”), his much-loved daughter Laurie Beth Calvert of North Carolina, his brother Charles Oliver Calvert (and Sue) of Fairfax, Virginia, and three bonus children, Skip (and Elaine) Barnett of Jefferson City, Missouri, Steven (and Kathy) Barnett of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and Becky (and Rick) Robb of Iola, Kansas. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren who still referred to him as Papa John.

John will be interred at Leavenworth National Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas, following a funeral service at 9:00 AM Thursday, February 22, at Amos Family Funeral Home in Shawnee Kansas. Visitation is at 8:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to COPE at P.O. Box 117, Peck, Kansas 67120.

Lord, bless this kind and gentle man.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 22, 2024

8:30 - 9:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Starts at 9:00 am (Central time)

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Interment following funeral service

Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Leavenworth National Cemetery

150 Muncie Road
Leavenworth, KS 66048

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