Robert Duane Walrafen (Bob), 69, of Leawood, Kansas passed away peacefully on Monday morning at St. Luke’s Hospice House after suffering a stroke last Wednesday on the golf course. His wife and daughter were with him as he passed away.
Bob was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1951 to Joan and Duane Walrafen. His father's job took him and his brother to Rapid City, South Dakota during childhood, where Bob developed a love for the Black Hills. He graduated from Topeka West High School, then followed in his father's footsteps, attending the University of Kansas, where he developed a lifelong devotion to the Kansas Jayhawks. He graduated with a BS in architectural engineering in 1973 and received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1975. He began his career at Black and Veatch, where he made lifelong friends and mentored many young architects during his 2 decade tenure.
After 20+ years in architecture he found his true passion in real estate, selling countless families their first homes. He remained a member of AIA as a professional affiliate, and maintained his love for architecture, bringing his depth of architectural knowledge to every transaction.
Bob was intensely loyal to his fraternity at KU, Lambda Chi Alpha. In the early 2000s, the chapter that gave him so much was struggling through tough times, and Bob stepped in. For the next decade, he served in many roles including House Corporation Board President and Senior Advisor to the Zeta Iota chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha at KU, devoting thousands of hours to the young men there.
As one friend commented, although Bob could easily be confused with St Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes (for his unwavering support of KU football, the Kings, and until their recent return to glory, the Chiefs) he never lost faith in the things he loved. He believed that his friends and his teams deserved his loyalty through thick and thin.
Bob made friends everywhere he went because of his larger than life personality and willingness to help anyone in need. Those qualities, along with his unwavering professional compass and loyalty, have left the world a better place.
Bob is survived by his wife Nancy, daughter Meredith and wife Ashley, brother Gregg, his wife Reita, and their daughter Brianna Rinaldi & family of San Antonio, sister-in-law Jennifer Pfanmiller & family, and mother-in-law Marti Huff.
A celebration of Bob’s life will take place this summer. Please visit & follow his Caring Bridge website to stay updated. In lieu of flowers, you can make a donation to the GoFundMe that has been created which will be used to help others like Bob has done through the years. You can search his name on Caring Bridge and GoFundMe to find the site.