Colleagues, friends remember former VP of IT Kirchmeyer

Richard Kirchmeyer

Lindsay Kriz

Following his retirement from WKU after 10 years as vice president for Information Technology, Richard “Dick” Kirchmeyer moved to Little River, S.C., to surround himself with golf.

“At his house, he’d walk outside his back porch and there was the golf course,” said Shelia Houchins, executive administrative assistant for the president’s office. “He lived to play golf on his time off.”

Houchins worked for Kirchmeyer from 2000 to 2008. She said his smile and positivity made her job enjoyable.

“He helped bring out the best qualities in people,” she said. “That’s what he did.”

Kirchmeyer died this week at 68. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Iannotti Funeral Home in Coventry, R.I.

President Gary Ransdell remembers Kirchmeyer both on a professional and personal level.

“He brought us into the 21st century and took the campus wireless,” Ransdell said. “A lot of things were achieved on his watch.”

Ransdell said the fact that Kirchmeyer had just recently retired makes his death more difficult.

“He was a big golfer, so he was going to spend the next 10 or 15 years playing golf and just enjoying his retirement,” he said.

Houchins said Kirchmeyer and some of his friends created their own golf tournament called the Turkey Tour.

“One of them had to go get the trophy for the tournament,” she said. “But they were cheap, so they ended up getting a turkey trophy.”

Houchins said the group played golf together for 20 years.

“He was full of life,” she said. “He was a joy to be around.”

Bowling Green alumnus Cody Turner, a former student worker of Kirchmeyer’s, said he was unique within the information technology field.

“He was never really concerned about what technology could do, but what it should do,” he said.

Turner said Kirchmeyer was very creative.

“He was a really excellent mentor,” he said. “He taught me a lot. No doubt I owe quite a bit of my success to him.”

David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, helped chair the committee that hired Kirchmeyer.

“He really stood out in the pool,” Lee said. “He really wanted to be at a place like Western.”

Lee said during his time at WKU, Kirchmeyer always tried to convince him that Potter College needed new equipment.

“He was an evangelist for technology,” he said.

Lee compared Kirchmeyer’s passion for technology to his golf game.

“He was a lot of fun to be around,” Lee said. “He was a great guy. His death is a real loss.”