I am out of town but just heard from a good friend about an awful tragedy that has befallen a notable Kansas Citian and his family.
Madeline McDowell, 23-year-old daughter of architect Steve McDowell, of the BNIM firm, died a week ago today apparently of complications from a tonsilectomy the day before.
From what I’m told, Madeline, a criminal justice student at Metropolitan Community College, underwent routine surgery on Wednesday, March 2, went to bed about 8 p.m. that night and never woke up.
Just like that, in the full bloom of young adulthood, she was gone…I cannot imagine the pain her parents, Steve and Mary Anne McDowell, and her brother, Kilohy Stephen McDowell, must be enduring. In addition, there’s another intimately close person feeling incredible pain — Madeline’s birth mother, Laurie Stinson. What a tragedy for her, too, and imagine the whirlwind of feelings she must be experiencing.
Madeline’s obituary is in The Star today, and you can also get it online, of course. From the obit, it sounds like she was a kind and caring person. She was an accomplished chef and aspired to be a police officer. The obit says that had she lived, “she would have continued to give and make the world a better place.”
…I’ve met Steve McDowell but don’t know him well. His firm has left its imprint all around KC and elsewhere, and I’m sure the entire BNIM family — including partners Bob Berkebile, Tom Nelson and David Immenschuh — is in deep mourning.
In case you don’t know, the firm was founded in 1970 as Patty Berkebile Nelson Love Architects (PBNL). In 1987, Patty, Berkebile and Nelson formed a new firm — PBNI — with Immenschuh. Among other structures, they designed One Kansas City Place, which, according to Wikipedia, is the tallest building in Missouri.
In 1991, McDowell joined Berkebile, Nelson and Immenschu, and BNIM came into being. The firm has offices in Kansas City, Houston, Des Moines, LA and San Diego.
…I’m sure my readers and commenters join me in sending heartfelt condolences to the McDowell and BNIM family. Our hearts are heavy today.