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Richard D. McConnell

ObitMcConnell-4-12Richard D. McConnell passed away on Wednesday, April 3, at Prospect Park Living Center at the age of 91. Dick was born in Brooklyn, NY on January 30, 1922 to Rev. Raymond McConnell and Anna Bell (Lee) McConnell. He attended Poly Prep Country Day School until the family moved to Lincoln, NE in 1936. His family credits that school for all of their children’s strong educational bearing. As a child and for many years afterwards the McConnells spent summers at the family compound in South Hero, VT on Lake Champlain.

Richard graduated from Lincoln High School when he was 16 years old. He was in his senior year at the University of Nebraska studying architecture when he was recruited by Boeing to work at their Kansas aircraft plant, which was gearing up for the war effort.

On February 8, 1942 he married Dorothy Wear at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, NE, with his father conducting the service. The couple then moved to Wichita, KS, where Dick worked as an aeronautical engineer. Wichita was their home for several years and their two daughters, Anne and Tara, were born there.

Following the war, Dick completed his Bachelor’s Degree in architecture at the University of Nebraska and received a Masters Degree in architectural engineering at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. He joined the faculty at Iowa State and taught architecture there for 11 years.

In 1958, Dick left teaching to enter private architecture practice in Cedar Rapids, IA. For the next thirty-three years his firm designed many public buildings in Cedar Rapids and homes throughout Iowa. The firm also designed many buildings in Ames, including the Iowa State Center, comprised of Hilton Coliseum and CY Stephens Auditorium, which was designated the Iowa Building of the Century. He and his firm received many state and national design awards throughout his career as an architect.

Dick was active in Kiwanis for over 40 years and was a past president of the Cedar Rapids Kiwanis. He was a Delta Upsilon at the University of Nebraska, and a member of Tau Sigma Delta Engineering honorary.

In the early 1950s, Dick had hand-built a cabin south of Estes Park, near Meeker Lodge, where the family enjoyed many summer vacations. In 1991, Dick and Dot retired to Estes Park, CO. They lived briefly in Green Valley, AZ, returning to Estes Park in 2005, to the Good Samaritan Village where they have lived currently. They celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary this past February.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers William and Raymond, and his sister Alice; he has one surviving brother, Edward, of Williamsburg, VA.

Dick is survived by his wife Dorothy of Estes Park; daughters Anne (Richard) Farr of Loveland, CO; and Tara McConnell of Des Moines, IA. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, R.D. (Leslie) Farr of Bartlesville, OK; Kristen (Bill) Chandler of Wichita, KS: Daniel Aukes of Stanford, CA; and Alison Aukes (Nick Torgerson) of Erie, PA; and his five great-grandchildren, Emma and Audrey Farr; and Walker, Ethan and Cole Chandler. His family and close friends will miss his good sense of humor.

A memorial service will be held at the Good Samaritan Village on Saturday April 13, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Memorials can be made to the Good Samaritan Village of Estes Park or the YMCA of the Rockies’ Chapel Fund in care of Allnutt Funeral Service 1302 Graves Avenue Estes Park, CO 80517. See www.allnutt.com to send a message to Dick’s family.

 

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