Cover photo for Richard R. Heaviland's Obituary
Richard R. Heaviland Profile Photo
1957 Richard 2022

Richard R. Heaviland

September 3, 1957 — May 28, 2022

Richard Russell Heaviland was born on 3 September 1957 in Lansing, MI. The third child of his late parents, Russell Lee Heaviland and Marion Gene White Heaviland, he is survived by two older siblings, Deborah Sue Heaviland Pickens of Farnham, England, and Ronald Ray Heaviland of Kansas City, MO; a son, Miles Adams-Heaviland of Blue Springs, MO; and his stepchildren and step-grandchildren with his late wife Kathy Perkins Heaviland

Born into a rural family, Richard grew up on dairy farms in Elsie, MI, Lamoni, IA, and Independence, MO. Although it was not to be his calling, from a young age farming instilled in him an appreciation of nature, animals, hard work and an understanding for husbandry of the land required by agriculture. He continued to work on the family farm through his teenage years and occasionally could be seen driving a tractor with Prince, the farm cat, perched on his shoulder. While at Blue Springs High School his interests diverged into motor mechanics and he began to maintain old vehicles and race motorcycles.

At school he was a member of the Wildcat tennis team and his interest in nature started him on a life-long recreation of float trips with family, friends and the Scouts to the Ozarks and Minnesota. He also began to demonstrate an artistic streak and played the saxophone and was the school’s drum major. His artistic inclinations later led him to picture framing, which became his career, and he was considered by many as one of Kansas City’s leading craftsman in the field. He maintained a shop, Frameworks, in Westport, MO until his death.

As a youngster Richard exhibited a sense of adventure and curiosity which occasionally got him into trouble, such as the time he set a barn on fire while using a match to search for kittens in the hayloft. It was a traumatic experience leaving him in shock and speechless for several weeks. A free spirit, he could be captivated by unusual activities and interests, and he became dedicated to some of them. When young he was accomplished at Frisbee sports when they were still a novelty and in later life his interest turned to the American Civil War, which became an all-consuming subject for study and active participation. He was involved in re-enactments with such dedication that his trademark beard became long and bushy in replication of the style worn by soldiers of the era. That, a lean frame and piercing eyes landed him in roles in film documentaries about Civil War battles and society. Dressed as a soldier of either side, he would often visit schools kitted out in well-researched and accurately recreated military attire and equipment to give lectures. He kept a horse to participate in re-enactments and parades and was rarely seen without the company of one of his many dogs.

While not a lifelong member of the Beacon Heights Church, Holke Road, Independence, he regularly attended the congregation’s religious services and social activities throughout his formative and adult years. As the Vietnam War was winding down he enlisted in the Air Force and went to Texas for basic training but the military culture and Richard found little common ground and he was discharged in a matter of weeks.

For much of his life he suffered without complaint from health issues, one a bad back caused by an injury sustained while racing his motorcycle on the Wentzville, MO road track, a sport he pursued until his early 30s.

Although he never moved far from Independence and only left the US once to visit his sister in England, Richard’s personality had a restless side. He was married four times and lived in a half dozen locations in the area; his final home was in Claycomo, MO.

Richard will be remembered for his dry and occasionally acidic sense of humour, and his gentle nature by those who knew him throughout his life.

A memorial service for Richard will be held at the Harris Kearney House in Kansas City on June 25th from 1-5 pm.

4000 Baltimore Ave
Kansas City, MO 64111
United States

Service Information:

A memorial service for Richard will be held at the Harris Kearney House in Kansas City on June 25th from 1-5 pm.

4000 Baltimore Ave
Kansas City, MO 64111
United States

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