HomePeopleFormer Kansas State Director Bluthardt Dies

Former Kansas State Director Bluthardt Dies

Larry Bluthardt, who served as the director of student transportation for Kansas for 20 years, died March 1. He was 75.


Larry Bluthardt in an undated photo.

Bluthardt retired from the Kansas State Department of Education in July 2012 due to health problems. He oversaw the production of the annual National School Bus Loading & Unloading Survey in KSDE’s School Bus Safety Unit and before that at the Kansas State Department of Transportation, where he was a safety specialist.

Following his teen years, which were punctuated by obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout while also singing and playing guitar in his band “The Eighth Wonder,” Bluthardt began his state service in 1969 as a police officer in Manhattan, Kansas. In the late 1970s, he moved to the Kansas State Law Enforcement Academy, where he was a crash investigation coordinator and later a certified state police instructor. He also created the Nystagmus Test or HGN, which continues to be the standard field sobriety test used by police and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Bluthardt was also a member of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.

He is survived by daughters Jantzie Bluthardt and Amanda Rookstool, ex-wife Becky Blue, sister Jeri Swoboda (David), and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

His family said private inurnment will take place at a later date in the Ogden City Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jayhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts of America for Eagle Projects or in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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