Obituary: Richard A. ‘Rick’ Worrel, passionate advocate for Overland Park, dies at 58

Submitted Obituary - September 3, 2019 11:04 am
Rick Worrel, a prominent member of the Overland Park business community, died last week.

Rick Worrel, 58, went home to Jesus surrounded by family on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at Faith Regional Health Services, Norfolk, NE. Rick was born December 9, 1960 in Salina, KS, son of Richard “Dick” and Betty Worrel. He was a proud Jayhawk, playing basketball for the University of Kansas, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering in 1983. He was a proud member of Phi Gamma Delta.

Rick married his soulmate Susan Worrel on August 24, 1991 and they raised three daughters in Overland Park. He is survived by his wife Susan and daughters Kate and Brooke Worrel of Overland Park, daughter Jill and husband Brian Norwood of Santa Rosa Beach, FL. He loved being Papa to his three grandkids Lauren, Peyton and Hudson Norwood. He is also survived by his mother Betty Worrel of Salina, sister Sherri and husband Larry Rosselot, Parker, CO, niece Shannon Misiewicz and nephew Jeremy Yager and their families. He is preceded in death by his father Dick Worrel.

Rick’s life was defined by his love for God, his family and making his community a better place. Rick began his career as a structural engineer at Larkin & Associates, rising through the ranks to become an owner before co-founding Affinis with John Thomas in 2001. Their mission statement was to build long-lasting relationships with co-workers, clients and colleagues by listening, learning, delivering and celebrating. Rick lived that statement every day. It informed every business decision he made, inspiring him and his co-workers. Rick liked engineering, but he loved marketing too and was competitive about pursuits for projects that would improve the community. He was passionate about the Affinis brand.

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Rick’s mission statement extended beyond the office as he was obsessively committed to his community. His spark was ignited in 1997 as a student in the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce Leadership Overland Park program. He was known as an intentional, thoughtful leader of organizations throughout the KC region and state. He was Chairman of the Overland Park Chamber’s Board, its Economic Development Council and Foundation, President of ACEC Kansas, Vice President of United Community Services of Johnson County, and a member of the ForwardOP Steering Committee. Rick was Overland Park’s cheerleader.

After surviving sudden cardiac arrest in 2016 when bystanders immediately administered Hands-Only CPR, Rick has helped equip thousands to perform Hands-Only CPR through his advocacy. He raised awareness and educated others about heart disease and the importance of Hands-Only CPR and AED training while sharing his milestones in his dedication to his exercise and diet regimen.

The Worrels worshiped as a family at Colonial Presbyterian Church where Rick was known for his servant leadership as well as his joyful singing and enthusiastic clapping. He was and always will be a disciple of Jesus. He was a dedicated member of Bible Study Fellowship and the New Covenant Choir. He and Susan loved their Life Group.

Ask anyone in his family or community and they will tell you that Rick made everyone better and kept everyone accountable with so much love. His calls, texts, tweets, posts and high-fives for all will be missed. He was a difference maker, never taking a moment for granted. His impact will last forever.

A brunch/visitation will be held Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 10-11:45 a.m. at Colonial Presbyterian Church South Kansas City Campus, 9500 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO 64114, with a Celebration of Life to follow at noon in the church sanctuary. Private family burial following service.

In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Rick may be made to the American Heart Association c/o Rick’s Legacy, 6800 W. 93rd St, Overland Park, KS, 66212 or online here or to the KU Endowment to support the School of Engineering by sending checks to KU Endowment, PO Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044; in the memo note “Civil and Environmental Engineering in memory of Richard Worrel”.

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