Funeral services will be this weekend for a long-time Wichitan who distinguished himself as a top-notch lawyer before joining the Kansas Court of Appeals and eventually becoming chief judge of court.
Richard Greene, 62, died at a Cleveland hospital last weekend from complications arising from a heart condition.
“Richard Greene was a great friend and an outstanding chief judge for the Court of Appeals,” Tom Malone, who has been serving as the court’s acting chief, said in a statement. “As a judge, Richard was dedicated to the rule of law, and his only allegiance was to the Constitution.
“He was just an outstanding colleague, and it was pleasure to work for him. His passing is a great loss to the entire state of Kansas.”
Never miss a local story.
Mr. Greene was born in Hermann, Mo., and received a degree in business administration from the University of Missouri before attending law school at Southern Methodist University. After graduation, he joined the law firm of Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy, where he worked for 28 years.
Bob Coykendall, who joined the firm in 1981, said he quickly learned that Mr. Greene was an accomplished litigator.
“He was the really quite the skilled attorney,” Coykendall said. “His devotion to his clients was almost unparalleled. He certainly will be missed by everybody who practices here.”
Mr. Greene had a long history of charitable involvement that included serving as a volunteer judge for Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas and serving on the emeritus council of Project Concern International. Coykendall said Mr. Greene’s community involvement and his record as a lawyer drew the attention of then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who appointed him to the Court of Appeals in June 2003. He was appointed chief judge by the Kansas Supreme Court in January 2011.
Michael Buser, another Court of Appeals judge, said Mr. Green brought his dog, Redford, to work with him at the Kansas Judicial Center once a week, and the dog became known among judicial center workers as the “Judicial Dog.”
After the dog died a few years ago, Buser said, Mr. Greene had a picture of Redford framed and hung in his chambers along with the inscription: “Redford taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight.”
Mr. Greene is survived by his wife, Mary Sue; four daughters, Kristin, Julie, Katie and Jenny; and four granddaughters.
The family will receive visitors at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, at the College Hill United Methodist Church, 2930 E. First St., followed by a memorial service at 2:30 p.m. There will be a reception after the service in the foyer of the Emprise Bank Center at 257 N. Broadway.