Obituaries detail

Van Allen McElvain
May 03,1955---Mar 02,2018

On March 2, 2018 Van Allen McElvain died from complications of the West Nile Virus. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family after a courageous two and half year battle with the disease. 

Born May 3, 1955 in Kansas City, Missouri to George (Van) McElvain and Peggy (Heafley) McElvain he attended school in the Kansas City area, graduating from Shawnee Mission South High School in 1973, where he was class president.

Music was an important part of Van's life from the very beginning. He began playing guitar at age nine. It was soon evident that he possessed great musical talent. After several years of playing in bands with people much older than him, Van co-founded Shooting Star in 1977. 

In 1979 they released their first album. As the lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist, producer and one of the main songwriter in Shooting Star Van was able to travel the world. Just as he did in Kansas City, Van touched many people's lives through his music.

In addition to being the main force in Shooting Star, Van was also the owner of Van McElvain Construction Co. as well as a home builder, land developer and a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway. 
Careers were not what mattered most to Van, however. Thirty-nine years ago he married his high school sweetheart Onalisa and together they started a family. Van was a proud father of two boys, Sean and Alex. He took time from his busy life to coach both boys baseball teams. When the boys were growing up Van never missed a sporting event or school function. Van and Onalisa loved to travel and together they enjoyed many wonderful family vacations. 
A lifelong sports fan, Van loved the Kansas City Royals, KU basketball and the Kansas City Chiefs. He had Chief's season tickets for many years.

Those who knew Van were always impressed with his love of life and his positive attitude, even when faced with grave challenges. Van overcame many health issues in his life including esophageal cancer. Van never gave up. His positive attitude and his faith in Jesus Christ helped guide him until the very end. 
Van is an inspiration to all who knew him, and those who were touched by his music. He was a loyal friend and a passionate leader. Throughout his entire life he was known for his smile, his laugh and his great sense of humor. He was a friend to many and a kind man with a huge heart. 

Van was preceded in death by his Dad, George Van dyke McElvain. He is survived by his wife of 39 years Onalisa J. McElvain, his sons Sean and Alex McElvain, his Mom Peggy McElvain Morrow, brother Craig (Laurel) McElvain, sister Lesa (Matt) Sander, nephews Scott (Nicole) McElvain, Cory McElvain, Kevin (Allyson ) McElvain, Hunter Moffatt, his aunts, cousins and many friends and Shooting Star Maniacs.

There will be a memorial service at Colonial Presbyterian Church at 1pm, Saturday, March 10, located at 12501 W. 137th St. Overland Park, KS 66221
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals - Lincoln Campus Rehabilitation center in Lincoln, Nebraska. They can be contacted via their website at

The family asks that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.

Additional Service:
Memorial Service
Colonial Presbyterian Church
12501 W. 137th St.
Overland Park
Zip Code:
Date of Service:
Mar 10 ,2018
Time of Service:
01:00 pm
Additional Information:
No Additional Information Added
Google Map:


Jerry Prsha Mar 08 ,2018

None ,Ballwin ,Missouri

What joy Van brought to so many people. What time that he had, he made the most of. He is an inspiration to all and will be sorely missed.

Mark & Jeanne Anderson Mar 08 ,2018

Friend ,Overland Park ,Kansas

Jeanne and I are saddened with the loss but glad that Van is at peace and standing with the saints. Our hearts go out to Onnie and the boys.

Jack Hanrahan Mar 09 ,2018

Friend ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Our sincere sympathies to the McElvain Family... Van was not only a prized and gifted guitarist and Band leader but also a good music businessman who learned how to negotiate the right deals for he and his Band over the years. Not enough talent filled musicians learn that part. Van did and was rewarded for those efforts. God rest his Soul and you will be so missed here on Earth. Sincerely, Jack & Vicki Hanrahan Kansas City

Jan Fichman Mar 09 ,2018

7th Heaven retail stores sold lots of Shooting Star ,Kansas City ,Missouri

Although I never really never knew Van, I know that he and the rest of the guys were Kansas City music legends and that the demand for their merchandise is still there. I am very saddened as he was a Kansas City music legend and will not be forgotten.

Susan and Curtis Schuckman Mar 10 ,2018

Friend ,Olathe ,Kansas

Van was such an amazing friend, father and husband. May you all find comfort in friendship, hope in prayer,and peace in love. We will be praying for you all during this difficult time. May your faith and love sustain you and the boys now and for the days ahead. Our deepest sympathy. Love you! Curtis and Susan

Sarah β€˜Scott’ Dunn Mar 10 ,2018

Old family friend ,blue Springs ,Missouri

So sorry for you loss. Many thoughts and prayers for your family during this time.

Nancy and Bill Lauterbach Mar 10 ,2018

Craig, Bill and I are so sorry for your loss. We have each lost a si Ling and we know that pain of that loss. Yours is more tragic since your brother was so young. You and your family are in our prayers.

Julie Olberding Mar 10 ,2018

Beloved fan and attended school with his sister Lesa ,KansasCity ,Missouri

We listen to his music often, would see Shooting Star when they would perform in KC and his spirit and music will live on now and forever. My deepest heartfelt condolences and many prayers to his family and friends πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

Kathy Boucher Mar 10 ,2018

Onnie so sorry to hear this. Van was such an amazing person and made such a difference in so many lives! Prayers to u

Jeff Temple Apr 01 ,2018

Fan ,Las Vegas ,Nevada

So sorry to read this terrible news... I grew up in Kansas and am a huge fan of Shooting Star.. Van, Gary and the boys became my favorite band as I have attended many of their shows in Kansas and Texas.... Still listen to Shooting Star almost daily!!!! To the family, I'm so sorry for your loss of a husband and father as Van has/had a way of touching so many lives... Rest in Peace Van McLain... Your spirit still touches so many of us... Train Rolls On, Just People Just Friends!!!!! Thank You, Jeff Temple

Douglas Naumann Apr 03 ,2018

Fan ,Dyersburg ,Tennessee

I was a fan since the first album came out. I just found out about his passing and I am so very sad. He was a very gifted musician. My thoughts and prayers for the family are with you all.

Douglas Naumann Apr 04 ,2018

Fan ,Dyersburg ,Tennessee

I didn't say everything I needed to say yesterday. I want to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Van. Me and my son (who was 13 at the time) met Van at the Ameristar Casino on 5/14/2004. We met Van and the rest of the band. He was a very friendly rock star. I have met several rock stars and Van by far was the most genuine and friendly man. My son and I drove from Tennessee to see them and when I told Van that, he actually thank us!!! Again I am so very sad but glad he is not suffering anymore. RIP Van

Lesley (Goldsberry) Coleman Apr 28 ,2018

RIP Van! I always enjoyed watching you do your magic. You were always such a good person and anyone who ever spent any time with you knows that Heaven has brought home one of the best people around! My thoughts and prayers are with Onnie and the family. May God bring them strength in this very difficult time. I wish I could have come for the service but was out of town. You will TRULY be missed by so many!πŸ˜₯😘

Walt Fles Nov 07 ,2018

fan ,Crown Point ,Indiana

He had a very true stage presence. He was not only talented but also true to his fans. From the interviews and videos of his performing he seemed like he would have been a nice guy to meet and talk to. I hope these parts of his personality have been an inspiration to his sons and family. I wish I could have met him, and I'm sure one day I will in heaven. Rest in peace brother, and may the Lord comfort your family in their time of sorrow.