Co-founder of Kansas City dog shelter remembered as a good man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Drive along North Congress Avenue near 108th Street in Kansas City, and you'll see a small bouquet of flowers, a makeshift cross and a candle. The memorial is to a special man friends say big smile touched so many people.

"Rick was such a vibrant energy. He was filled with joy. He loved his wife, his daughter and his grandson. He was just a good man," said a beaming Alexis Stone.

Stone befriended Rick Norris and his wife, Debin several years ago. She also works as a volunteer at the couple's dog shelter called, "Dogs By Debin," which is located at 9300 NW 87th Terrace in Kansas City.

"Rick and Debin started with about seven dogs and it was just the two of them grinding every day. He was the maintenance guy, the dog hoarder and the transporter. They had to have rescued, cared for and provided homes now to easily 2,500 dogs," said Stone.

Alexis also says for 16 years Rick worked at the Harley-Davidson Motor Company and was currently the manager of the Kansas City Vehicle and Powertrain Operations. There friends say Rick's "love for wheels" took off.

"He loved doing cross-country tours on his motorcycle. He actually put a huge, the biggest fundraiser every year called Hogs For Dogs," Stone told FOX 4's Robert Townsend on Wednesday.

Now, Rick Norris' friends, family and co-workers are mourning.

Stone says last Friday afternoon Rick left work at the Harley-Davidson facility, rode his motorcycle north bound on North Congress Avenue, heading home, when a southbound driver turned left into his path.

Rick, just 39 years old, was thrown from his motorcycle and killed at the scene.

"When someone passes, everyone says what a great man he was, but people said that when he was alive. He was such a social butterfly. There wasn't a human he met that was a stranger. That's one of the things that's been giving Debin a lot of comfort," added Stone.

Memorial services for Rick Norris:
Sunday, October 29 at 2 p.m.
Atchison Event Center 710 S. 9th Street

A ride will start at noon. Kickstands up at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday for a procession to the service beginning for the vehicle and Powertrain Operations facility in Kansas City, Mo.