Richard Dennis Tripp, Sr.

Richard Dennis Tripp, Sr., 57, of Independence, Missouri passed away on February 13, 2016 at Veterans Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Visitation will be 6:00 P.M. Monday, February 22, 2016 at Heartland Cremation & Burial Society with a Memorial Service to follow at 7:00 P.M.

Mr. Tripp was born December 28, 1958 in Independence, Missouri. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dennie and Marian Tripp and his brother Eddie Tripp. He is survived by his wife, Angela Tripp; oldest son, Richard Tripp, Jr., youngest son, Bobby Tripp; daughter Jennifer and Marty Grimm; grandchildren, Alliyah, Lily and Blake; sisters, Diane Tripp and Denise Tripp; and his dog and best friend, Brody.

Richard adored his family and loved creating memories with them as well as watching the sun set at his favorite park.

Richard Tripp was born on December 28, 1958 to Dennie and Marian Tripp. He was the youngest of four siblings and was the baby of a very loving family. He was very close to his family and loved them very much. Richard always spoke of how proud he was of his father Dennie’s service in WWII and how hard he worked at Armco Steel to support his family. He loved his mother, Marion, with all his heart and often credited her prayers with keeping him alive during his wild, younger years.

His older sisters Denise and Diane always held a special place in his heart. They were always there to love and support their baby brother in any way they could. He was very close in age to his brother, Eddie and they were not only brothers but best friends growing up. He never really got over the heart break of losing his brother at a young age.

In the summer of ’77 Richard would meet Angela Kilgore. On what would become their first date Richard took her on a motorcycle ride to a little park along the Missouri River. After an hour of talking he made his move, demanding that she give him a kiss before he would take her home. As the old saying goes “fortune favors the bold”, his plan worked. She kissed him and they fell madly in love and on November 17, 1978, they were married. Angela was by his side when he passed. She caressed his cheek and kissed his forehead and repeated the words “I love you and always will” until he passed. You could not write a more beautiful ending to a 37 year romance.

Shortly after being married Richard and Angela would start a loving family. Richard had two sons, Richard Jr. and Bobby. He was incredibly proud that his sons grew up to become good men. Jennifer was his youngest child and only daughter. Being the baby of the family and his only little girl she instantly stole his heart. That bond only grew stronger when she gave Richard the greatest gift a child can give her father, she made him a grandpa twice. When she met and married her husband she added a son in law and a third grandchild to his family. Richard was incredibly proud of his daughter and her beautiful family. Richards grandchildren truly were the light of his life. They filled his heart with the kind of joy and love that very few are lucky enough to experience.  Richard had three grandchildren Alliyah, Lily and Blake. There was nothing he loved more than spending time with his grandkids. He always put his heart into making them feel special. Whether it was pulling Alliyah around in a wagon full of stuffed animals or having epic wrestling matches with Blake which often included elaborate costumes and props. He would have done anything to make his grandkids smile. Even before Jennifer and Marty married and Lily officially joined the family, Richard already considered her one of his grandkids and loved her unconditionally. Because that’s the way his heart worked. Richard came from a very loving close knit family and Richard created his own loving, close knit family.

Richard was a very strong athletic child. He loved playing baseball and football as a kid. One of his fondest memory was when his football team won the city championship and went to Chicago to play for a Regional Title. Unfortunately they didn’t win but that didn’t stop the team, coaches and parents from celebrating a great season. As the story goes the adults had a few drinks and one of the coaches gave Richard a cigar. He said he felt like the “King of Chicago” smoking a big cigar and dancing with a cheerleader under each arm. Rich Tripp was a very loyal and passionate sports family. He believed in staying loyal to his home town teams. He loved the Kansas City Royals, the Chiefs and Missouri Tigers. He proudly passed his sense of loyalty to his home teams to his children and grandchildren. He always loved watching his teams win but he took pride in the fact that he stuck by them when they lost. He would often brag that he went to Chiefs games back in the 80’s when the team was bad and you couldn’t give away tickets. He swore he went to games that were so cold that there were more people trying to keep warm in the bathroom than were in the stands watching the game. But he looked at those games as the badge of honor of a true fan.

Though his time in the Navy may have been short Richard was proud to be an American and honored to serve his country. He spoke very fondly of the experience. He loved being at sea and made some very good friends. If it were not for a family tragedy, he may have had a long Naval career. But fate had other plans for Richard.

Richard was a very loyal and loving friend. He would have done anything to help a friend in need. He had an incredible ability to turn any stranger into an instant friend. He was a friend and father figure to all his children’s friends. Treating them like family from the moment he met them.

Rich was a very gentle soul. He was a big animal lover and was never really happy unless he had a dog. He had a lot of love to give and it helped him create a special bond with his dogs. He would spend countless hours walking them around the neighborhood and through the park. He loved to brag about how smart his dog Brody is. How they make a perfect team. He would hit golf balls at the park and Brody would fetch them. But his favorite Brody story was how he would trick people and steal their spot on the couch. Brody would go to the door and act like he needed to go outside and when someone got up to let him out he would jump in their seat. Poor Brodys’ heart is broken just like the rest of his family.

Rich really enjoyed working with his hands. Construction was more than just a job to him, he took great pride in the fact that the mortar he mixed held building’s together. And later when he was no longer able to work he still loved working with his hands on all sorts of craft projects. He did everything from tie dying shirts and making toys for his grandkids to sanding and refinishing a cedar chest for his wife. He always had a dozen projects going.

Though health issues may have slowed Richard, nothing could truly contain him. He would often be found running he streets of the neighborhood he grew up in on his motorized scooter.

Fairmount Park was always an important part of Richards life. As a young boy he played in the park when it was just pasture land and woods. Riding horses bareback that lived on the land. He watched as they built the park and was there for the dedication. He grew up in Fairmount Park, it was as much a part of his home as the little house his family lived in . Only being three houses away, the park may as well have been his front yard. Fairmount Park has always been a part of Rich Tripp’s life. But he also made it a huge part of his children’s lives. He raised his children playing in the same park that he grew up in. And when his children became adults and had children, they play in the same park as their grandfather did as a child. Many special moments have happened in this park. Three generations of a family celebrating birthdays and special moments in one special place.

If you were to ask Rich Tripp to describe what heaven would look like for him, it would be easy for him to answer. He would say that it looks like Fairmount Park. That is why the Tripp family has decided to wait for a warm spring day to spread his ashes in the park. Forever connecting him to the place he was happiest and forever connecting his beloved family to the place that he loved.


  1. Cynthia Copeland on February 20, 2016 at 12:31 am

    To Richs family I offer my heartfelt condolences.Rich and I grew up together, went to school together, and later had the privelege of beinfg their neighbor on South Ash.Our kids played together and he was always out there playing with them.We had countless cups of international cofee that he referred to as Swiss Macho being his favorite.God bless his loving and devoted family in your hours of pain,and Thank-you God for letting me know him.

  2. Derek henderson on February 20, 2016 at 3:34 am

    Sorry about your loss angie,Richie will truly be missed. He was my friend and brother. Much love..

  3. Don Sanders on February 20, 2016 at 7:41 am

    My condolence’s to the Tripp family. My heart goes out to you all. Haveing moved far away have lost touch,but have many great memories of a great friend. a lot of them from Fairmount park spent hanging out and throwing the frisbee around. RIP RICHIE TRIPP.

  4. patricia summers on February 21, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I never had the pleasure to meet him. would like to offer my condolence. Read this on FB and thought is was a great obituary filled with lots of love

  5. Paige (Moss) Wharton on February 22, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Angie, to stick together through thick and thin is an accomplishment resulting in a treasure few can savor. I am sad for the loss of Rich, he was always a friend to us. Hugs to all 🙂

  6. Carolyn Goucher on February 23, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Angie the girls and I wanted to tell you how sorry we were to hear about your husbands passing. We just heard about it yesterday. Know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Susan Swanner on February 25, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Rich and I grew up together. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read he had passed. We are so very very sorry for your loss. He truly was a wonderful caring man. Thanks for the memories Rich.

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