In Memory Of

In Memory Of

In Memory of Carl Brent “Radar” Estep

March 10, 2014
Editor’s Note: I’ve known Radar for years, and the first time I met him was at Worth Harley-Davidson North. He was such a friendly, funny, knowledgeable, and down-to-earth guy, I was taken aback by his persona. I can’t remember the exact date I first met him, but it just seems like Radar has always been around.

Bruce Stimpson

January 1, 2014
I'm sure many of you have already heard the sad news; however, for those of you who have not, it is with a very heavy heart that I tell you about my very dear friend and fellow Cycle Connections team member Bruce Stimpson, who suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, from which he did not recover. As I write this, I still can’t believe it’s real, and can’t image a world without Bruce in it. Along with being a great friend to many, and a wonderful husband and father; many of you know him best as…

Earl Leon Rook

May 31, 2011
Leon Rook, age 75, of Lee's Summit, Missouri, passed away May 22, 2011. A celebration of life was held at 10 a.m. June 1 at Langsford Funeral Home, Lee's Summit, Missouri, with burial following in Lee's Summit Historical Cemetery. Visitation was 6 to 8 p.m. May 31 at the funeral home.Leon was born August 17, 1935 in Greenfield, Missouri. He graduated from Jasper, Missouri, High School in 1953 and served two years in the U.S. Navy. He earned his B.S. degree from S.M.S., Masters from M.U., and Specialist from C.M.S.U. He was a business teacher for three years in Butler,…

John Frala Celebration of Life Ride - Kansas City, Missouri

April 30, 2011
In Memory ofJohn Frala12/07/1956—03/10/2011On Sunday, April 10, myself and 50 other bikers rode in a “Celebration of Life” ride for John Frala, who passed away on March 10, 2011. I was first introduced to John several years ago, and I could not have met a nicer person. We all left from the Tool Shed at 2:15 p.m., and rode to the RLDS Church Campus in Independence, Missouri where we met up with even more riders. We left RLDS at 2:45 p.m. and rode to the Jackson County Shriners Club where the Celebration of Life was held. It was sad, and…

A Memorial Service for Greg McDermott at Bridal Veil Falls - Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota

August 31, 2009
Editor's Note: I was first introduced to Greg by a mutual friend in July 2004 when we were looking for a location to shoot our August 2004 cover. Greg was more than happy to let us do our photo shoot at his body shop and went out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed. The shoot went great, and a few days after the photo shoot Greg invited us to ride with him and several of his friends to KCIR to meet up with Billy Lane who was flying into town for a fundraiser event for…

Brad Ruel Dies at Age 43

July 31, 2009
Custom motorcycle builder Brad "The Wrench" Ruel died on July 14, 2009 of a heart attack. Brad has been building radical custom bikes at his shop "The Wrench" in Sarasota Florida for almost 15 years. Brad achieved notoriety in the motorcycle industry through his one-of-a-kind custom builds and parts. I had the pleasure of meeting Brad in September 2008 at a campground just outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas while attending the annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ Rally (see above photo). He had his trailer and several of his bikes displayed at the campground and I was able to spend some time…

Lorri Weller

October 31, 2008
On September 2, 2008 Lorri Weller, a mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and avid rider was in a fatal motorcycle accident. She was a young 49 years and rode a Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob. Lorri worked at the Harley-Davidson Plant as a mechanic for 10 years. She joined the Khrome Cowgirls in February of this year and warmed her way into our hearts and souls. Live to Ride and Ride to Live was her way of life. It is never easy to hear about the loss of someone...especially when that someone is part of the Khrome Cowgirl Family. The Khrome Cowgirls…

Jerry

July 31, 2008
While reading my e-mail one morning I saw in a subject line with the words BROTHER DOWN. Hesitantly I opened the e-mail while holding my breath. I discovered that on Monday, July 7, 2008 we lost a brother named Jerry 'kilowatt' Larabee. Jerry was doing what he loved when he left us—riding his Harley. He served his country in with honor and pride in Vietnam where he served from 1968 to 1969 with the 101st Airborne. He was known as Jerry Larabee by most, but in 2007 he became known as Kilowatt by his brothers when he joined Combat Vets…

Frank Russo Memorial Party

January 31, 2008
Frank 'Dude' Russo, 62, Grain Valley, Missouri, passed away December 31, 2007, and to remember the life of this great man, Frank's friends and family members invited everyone to gather for a Memorial Party on Saturday, January 5, at Russo's Pizza & Pub. Frank was a fellow biker and owner of Russo's Pizza & Pub, one of the Kansas City area's most popular Wednesday night bike night hangouts. On Wednesday nights, Frank could always be found in the parking lot working the grill and visiting with his many loyal patrons. The local motorcycle community and all of us at Cycle…

Mike Johnson

December 31, 2007
For as long as I can remember, any time I attended a charity ride in the Kansas City area, I could count on seeing Mike Johnson. At many events, especially those sponsored by the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.), Mike was a hard-working volunteer. I was recently saddened to learn of Mike’s passing after a long illness. Along with his family and a host of friends and fellow riders, I will miss him greatly. Mike’s obituary from the December 28, 2007, Kansas City Star:Michael Lee Johnson, 58, of Merriam, KS, passed away Thursday, December 27, 2007 at home with his sister…

Evel Knievel (October 17, 1938 - November 30, 2007)

November 30, 2007
Robert Craig “Evel” Knievel, Jr. gained worldwide fame in the 1970s as the most daring stuntman ever to straddle a motorcycle. He died on November 30, 2007, at the age of 69 in Clearwater, Florida. Knievel had been in poor health for many years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis. He had undergone a liver transplant in 1999. Billy Rundel, Knievels friend and promoter for many years, said he had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condo and passed away before he could be transported to a hospital. Rundel said, “It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it.…

Mike Garzee

August 31, 2007
Mike Garzee January 1, 1956 – July 9, 2007Editor's Note: Mike Garzee was a beloved husband, father and friend. This page is a collection of personal memoirs that were sent to me by several of Mike's closest friends and family members. Mike was also a good friend of mine, so I included some of my own personal memories toward the bottom of this page. Mike's visitation was held on Thursday, July 12, at Park Lawn Northland Chapel in Liberty, Missouri. The folks at Park Lawn went out of their way to accommodate Mike's family's request by displaying his motorcycle next…

Kenny McDaniels

August 31, 2007
Kenny McDanielsFebruary 1, 1954 – December 28, 2006Our friend Kenny was killed on the job, December 28, 2006. Kenny had worked as a union electrician for over 30 years and was very proficient at what he did. He loved his family very much. He had two sisters, Sheri and Kathy, two beautiful daughters, Holly and Heather and a much loved grand-daughter Haleigh. Kenny McDaniels, was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri and he lived here all his life. He was always ready to ride, help his friends and spend time with his family. Kenny was the first person to…

David “TRAMP” Coffey

March 31, 2007
David “TRAMP” Coffey Founding Member: APEA“FOREVER IN THE WIND” April 28th, 1957 – December 15th, 2006Tramp was everyone’s friend and he never met a stranger. He was an ordained minister and officiated at many of his friends and follow riders weddings. He was always active helping everyone else out whether it was putting together a benefit run, helping you fix your bike or just fixing a leaky sink. In a pinch, you could always count on him to have his duct tape because he never knew when his boots would need a new piece to hold them together. Wild and…

John “Butch” McQuillen

July 31, 2006
A man impossible to forget, John “Butch” McQuillen, was killed on June 2, 2006, in a motorcycle accident while vacationing in New Mexico. His wife of 43 years, Judy, was with him in his final moments. Judy, who was also badly injured, survived and will carry on his memory. He was a husband to an adoring wife, a father to loving children, a Papa to giggling grandchildren, and a friend to many. Born on March 28, 1943, most of us came to know him as “Butch,” a name that commanded respect and had a sense of presence to it. Butch…

George Walker

June 30, 2006
On Memorial Day, May 29, 2006, George Walker lost his life doing what he enjoyed most, serving as a Road Captain in the 8th Annual Ride for America Parade in Monroe, Georgia in honor of his fellow veterans.George's two favorite rides were the Ride for America and the MDA Ride for wheelchair-bound children. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, over the past few weeks I've heard so much about him I feel as if I've known him forever. Bikers have told me how George was a great friend to them and although he was in my life…

Dean Ruland

June 30, 2006
My name is Stephanie Ruland Hembach. I was raised in Upstate New York along with my brother Ken. My life changed on March 5 of this year when my dad was killed in front of my husband and me at Bike Week 2006. I remember that my father always had fast snowmobiles, cars, and motorcycles. He passionately loved machines. My father spent most of his days tinkering in the garage or building and modifying his things to make them work better. I always admired my father, because he could literally fix anything. My dad had motorcycles all of his life,…

Gordon "Gordy" Conner - A Motorcycle Legend

June 30, 2006
A motorcycle legend in Gardner, Kansas, has made his last ride but will not be forgotten. Gordon “Gordy” Conner, born February 2, 1942 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana passed away at his home on Gardner Lake on May 24, 2006, at the age of 64. Gordy shared his birthday with Thomas A. Edison and always said with a chuckle that was why he was so bright. He was a strange but wonderful man who crowded a lot of life experiences into his life. His passions were women and motorcycles and not necessarily in that order. Gordy lived and loved with a…

Mike Cook: Plano firefighter who 'squeezed every ounce' out of life

May 31, 2006
EDITOR’S NOTE: This In Memory Of article is reprinted at the request of Sharon “Mom” Fairless with permission of the Dallas Morning News – April 19, 2006. When Floyd James learned that his longtime friend and fellow Plano firefighter Mike Cook had been in a motorcycle accident, he wasn’t worried. Capt. Cook was a big, burly man, who took risks and lived life fully. And when he fell, he always got back up. But he didn’t recover from the crash last week. Capt. Cook, 42, died Saturday at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas from injuries he suffered when he…

Ryan Consolver

March 31, 2006
Aug. 2002 the Consolver family lost their 24-year-old son, Ryan, to a tragic motorcycle accident. This family could not imagine how the God they know and love could take this young boy so early in his life. Several months went by. Mom went to counseling, prayed and joined a support group for parents of lost children. Dad withdrew and could barely talk about it. Together they knew somehow, someway, they had to pull out of this depression and go on with their lives as Ryan would want them to. Ryan’s dad is in the automotive business loves old cars and…
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