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In Loving Memory

Chibnall, James Anthony

James Anthony Chibnall, age 61, resident of Kansas City, MO since 1986 passed away on March 31, 2022 at St. Louis University Hospital surrounded by family.  Jim was born in St. Louis, MO on January 31, 1961 to Richard H. and Mary Ann Chibnall.  Jim was the fifth of nine children born to Richard and Mary Ann, including six brothers and two sisters.  Jim married Sharon Chibnall (Buddecke) in 1986 in St. Louis, MO, after meeting at Kansas State University in architecture school, and was blessed with two children, Cydney (1993) and Samuel (1995).

Jim attended Our Lady of Sorrows, Bishop DuBourg High School, and Kansas State University, where he received his degree in Architecture. Jim was an accomplished architect (https://jimchibnall.crevado.com/) who specialized in designing collegiate and professional sports facilities worldwide, including baseball stadiums, arenas, and equestrian and mixed-use facilities. His talents took him across the globe, including projects in Italy, Australia, France, New Zealand, Hong Kong, England, and Japan. Some of his most notable projects include Nationals Park (MLB Nationals), Globe Life Field (MLB Rangers), Heinz Field (NFL Steelers), and Exploria Stadium (Orlando City Lions MLS Stadium). The projects of which he was most proud included ES CON Field Hokkaido (his last major project) for the Nippon-Ham Fighters in the Japanese professional baseball league in Sapporo, Japan; Progressive Field (previously Jacobs Field) for the Cleveland Indians/Guardians, which received an American Institute of Architecture Award for distinguished accomplishment in design excellence; and Busch Stadium for the St. Louis Cardinals, an extra special project given that it was his hometown and favorite MLB team. (STLtoday – Q&A With The Architect: ‘It’s not totally retro’ (archive.org))

With a larger-than-life personality, Jim was loved by all who knew him. His outrageous sense of humor could make any room laugh until tears, and his generous heart made everyone he met feel welcome and appreciated. His personality was as large as the stadiums he designed.

Outside of architecture, Jim was passionate about his family (especially his two children), his pets, American history, and the family lakehouse.

Until his marriage to Sharon, Jim was not fond of animals: he never dreamed of having pets. However, one of the conditions of their union was adopting a dog, a beautiful black-and-white Pointer mix named Casey, who changed Jim’s life. He loved his pets as much as he loved his human family (sometimes maybe more?), always sharing scraps of food and chunks of cheese, even when he wasn’t supposed to.

If Jim wasn’t sneaking cheese to his dogs, he was reading. He read everything from the newspaper to novels to biographies. His favorite subjects to read about were US history and the universe. His interest in American history extended to travels to national monuments and Civil War battlefields, as Jim especially admired Abraham Lincoln and learned almost every aspect of Lincoln’s presidency. Jim loved learning as much as he could about space exploration, NASA, black holes, and the Big Bang as he was fascinated with the vastness and mysteries of the universe.

Much like his love for history and science, Jim loved the outdoors, particularly the family’s lakehouse on the Lake of the Ozarks. Jim loved captaining his boat, taking his children, nieces and nephews on crazy tube rides and ski and wakeboard routes, and taking his family on long boat rides whenever possible. One of his favorite spots at the Ozarks was Ha Ha Tonka State Park, with hiking routes, a natural bridge and ice-cold spring water, perfect for swimming on a hot Missouri day. He loved the water, particularly cherishing time spent fishing with his in-laws and nephews, catching catfish and bass whenever he could get a bite.

Those who knew Jim knew him as one of the finest storytellers around. Jim loved stories, whether reading them or telling them, real or slightly exaggerated (which Jim lovingly and liberally did). He could spend hours on the telephone with any family or friend who would answer the call, knowing that an outrageous story was waiting on the other line. With Jim’s charismatic personality and brazen sense of humor, almost everyone who met Jim left with at least one story of their own. These stories are some of the fondest memories of Jim and will live on for years and years to come. If you have a story or two of a memory with Jim and would like to share with the family, please send an email to jimchibnallfamily@gmail.com . The family would like to share these stories at the memorial service, if you would prefer your story be kept between you and the immediate family, please let us know in the email.

Jim is survived by his wife of 35 years, Sharon; his two children Cydney (Anatole Jakobson, fiancé) and Samuel; his mother, Mary Ann Chibnall; his siblings, Richard (Chris), Matthew (Sheri), Tina, John (Kate), Susan (Paul), William (Paula), and Timothy; his mother-in-law, Dorothy Buddeke, his sister-in-law Terri (Buddecke) Illy (William); 16 nieces and nephews; 8 great nieces and nephews; his beloved dogs, Gwendolyn and Bisou, and his cat, Jasmine.  He was predeceased by his father, Richard Chibnall, his father-in-law, William Buddecke, his brother, Thomas, his adopted brother, Patrick Chassaing, and his nephew, Jack Henry Voltmer-Chibnall.

Jim’s Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, April 8, 2022, at Kutis Funeral Home, located at 10151 Gravois Road, St. Louis, MO 63123. Visitation will be from 4pm, with a Memorial Service beginning at 7:30pm.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider making a donation in Jim’s name to one of the following organizations, or an organization that is particularly important to you.

  • Wayside Waifs Animal Shelter in Kansas City (https://waysidewaifs.org/)
  • Dogwood Animal Shelter at the Lake of the Ozarks (https://www.daslakeoftheozarks.com/)
  • The American Society of Transplantation (https://www.myast.org/)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” -Albert Einstein


44 thoughts on “Chibnall, James Anthony”

  1. Our deepest condolences to the Chibnall family. We met Jim a few times, including the awesome tour he gave us of Nats Stadium in DC before it was finished. Very impressive. And memorable!

    May his memory be for a blessing.

  2. He was such a big beautiful personality and so generous. I will never forget how he was uniting the Chibnall’s to build the garden when Mr. Chibnall died or when he reached out to me many times when Jack Henry died. He was a mensch!

  3. I knew Jim since I was very young when he worked with my father in KC. He was a kind and hilarious man who my Dad adored and was honored to work along side during some of the best years of their lives. He went too soon and his jokes and laughter will be sorely missed.

  4. Sharon I am so sorry for your loss. Jim made an impression on a lot of people and especially me working with him at HOK.
    I know he always gave me a hard time and called me Daylynn instead of DeLynn just being ornery as he usually was. Jim was always fun to work with.
    I know he will be greatly missed, I will be praying for you and your family in this great loss.
    DeLynn Moulin

  5. Our thoughts are with you at this time, Sharon and family. Such a gap cannot be filled until we’re all reunited. So glad I got to know both of you.

  6. I had the pleasure of getting to work with Jim when he came onboard at HKS to help us design the new Texas Rangers ballpark. Jim immediately took myself and the other young guys in, looking out for us and teaching us lessons learned and insights into his passion for baseball and all things architecture. Jim was a solid dude, he will be truly missed. Excited to get together with some old friends and celebrate him at a Rangers game soon. Big hugs to the family

  7. You probably wouldn’t even remember me at this point but I remember many laughs and good times on the Christmas trips to your house with the Illy’s. The Salmon at your home got me. I’m so very sorry for your loss and hope the thoughts and prayers I send you lift your Family even a little bit in this hard time.

  8. I worked with Jim at HOK Sport; he was a good designer, teacher and friend. He was ornery but kind and knew how to bring out a laugh when needed.
    They say when we lose a soul this big, it tends to make even the biggest house feel a bit empty.
    Sharon, love and hugs to you and to all who knew him. He will be missed

  9. We are deeply sorry for the loss of our cousin, Jim. He was a wonderful and talented person and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family at this most difficult time. We love you all.

  10. My sincere condolences for your loss.
    I worked with Jim on several projects while I was at Populous. It was always a great experience and I truly appreciate his support and mentorship. He was a wonderful man.
    Linda Prokop

  11. I knew Jim in high school, and haven’t seen him since, but I remember him so fondly. I asked him to our Sadie Hawkins dance our freshman year. I’m sure he didn’t want to go, but was such a good sport. He was fun and funny and I will be remembering you all in my prayers.

  12. I’m so sad to see this. I worked with Jim and Sharon at HOK Sport. Jim was my career coach and a great friend! He always supported me, always believed in me and gave me some pivotal advice during those early years in my career. Besides being a brilliant designer and effective resource manager, Jim had a great sense of humor too. I can remember Jim (my professional career coach) and John Greenlee (my professional mentor) having a special bond. When they were together we would often hear boisterous laugher that would come out of their offices, that would permeate throughout the floor. I’m not sure if ‘work’ was supposed to be so ‘fun’, but Jim certainly never got that memo. It’s good to take a moment to share a laugh and I appreciated how Jim always did that.

  13. I worked with Jim for 3+ years of heavy combat in Cleveland. We had the worst situation of my career – but Jim saved us all with his ability to turn adversity on its head with humor – some very edgy, but nonetheless appropriate. I enjoyed every trip and meeting when Jim was on the docket. He is missed already and will be forever. I have been doing mental reruns of his greatest hits in my head for years, today more than ever. Jim is certainly at the top of my list of memorable and respected work friends. We are considering an Architect’s Wake (if there is such a thing) here in KC next month. My healing wishes for Sharon, the kids and family.

  14. This is really sad and unexpected news. I worked with Jim (and Sharon) for many years at HOK and Populous and consider them both great friends. Jim was a talented designer and worked on many key projects. Jim(I called him Hillbilly) always had a story(usually embellished) to tell and kept everyone in stitches. He was a good family man and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to you Sharon and the kids(Syd and Sam).

  15. To Sharon, Pam and I are so saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. I am remembering that you both welcomed us to KC with such warm friendship back in ‘86. I remember him pitching for our softball team in that cheap, fake Hawaiian shirt we wore as uniforms. I remember that whatever his antics, a look from you would somehow reel him in. I love that Jim had funny or caustic nicknames for everyone, but he always called you Sweetie. I love and admire that about him still.

  16. I worked with both Jim and Sharon at HOK Sport many years ago. Jim was always a hoot, making you laugh when you most needed it. Sharon and Jim were truthfully a fantastic couple, that God truly blessed! Sad to hear of Jim’s passing, and pray for nothing but the best of Jim’s memories to be in Sharon’s heart and memory for the remainder of her life here until they meet again!

  17. I feel fortunate to say I worked with Jim at HOK Sport and listened and laughed to many of his stories first hand.

    Jim’s sense of humor will be greatly missed, his ability to brand someone with a nickname is legendary (second only to Mark Palmer) and his mentorship to younger architects is something all “older architects” should aspire too. It goes without saying Jim was an accomplished sports architect.

    Memories I have of Jim include outrageous announcements over the phone late at night while working on deadlines (as he and John Greenlee exchanged good natured barbs back and forth) still makes me smile and laugh to this day when I recall them.

    Jim was an original, he lived large and his personality was infectious and I will miss him.

    I am comforted knowing a part of Jim exists due to his mentoring to younger architects and the multitude of stories and memories he left us.

    Peace be with you Jim.

    And my sincerest condolences to Sharron and the entire Chibnall family.

  18. Randy and I very saddened to hear this. While I hadn’t seen Jim (or Sharon) in quite a few years, I will never forget his orneriness and laughter. He was always kind and had a smile on his face. I worked with Jim at HOK Sport many years ago. Our thoughts and prayers to out to Sharon, the kids and all of the family.

  19. I’m so saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. He will always hold a special place in my heart. We worked at HOK together and I always enjoyed his playful banter. He called me Jenner and I called him Jimmer. He will be missed.

  20. I met Jim in college, he was fun, funny and had a dream of being an architect. He fulfilled his dreams as an architect in a big way. Jim had a wonderful supportive family that helped him achieve a great life. Jim will be missed.

  21. To Sharon, Rosemary & I were shocked to hear the news. Chibs, as we affectionally called him was an amazing guy. We took him under our wings in Kansas City, when he first got to town. With his brother, they would baby sit our kids, house sit for us when we went on vacation. We did have many exciting trips to Europe working together. My last experience with Jim, was while he was designing Nationals Stadium in DC, I worked for the owner and I got to “redline” his designs. We love you Chibs and you will be missed. Sharon we love you too and take care.

  22. Sharon, I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. His smile and sense of humor will be missed. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

  23. Sharon, my condolences to you and your family. I will keep you all in my prayers. I have been telling my story to all those in the office about how many times Jim said “how’s it going Rockin Joan” (obviously referring to Joan Jett), or “where’s the band playing tonight” as he played his air guitar! He was such a great person!

  24. My deepest sympathy is with you Sharon, Cyd and Sam. He really did have such a huge and warm personality. It’s a terrible loss. Love you guys so much

  25. I’m heartbroken for your loss. Jim will always be remembered by me and my son, Tyler. Tyler played high school with, and later against, Sam Chibnall. The hockey family is family forever!
    Jim was always warm and friendly, and a load of laughs.
    I’ll never forget one of our hockey trips away from KC when we ended up taking our kids to a Blues-Redwings game in St. Louis, even managed to get a suite. Great times!!
    Jim, the world will miss you.
    Especially your family
    God bless

  26. Mrs Chibnall and family, I’m so sorry to hear about Jim. We meet a Meramec and were roommates the first year at K-State. I haven’t seen Jim in 40 years but have read so much of his accomplishments and very proud that I had a chance to know him. He was a terrific guy as a roommate. I wasn’t as outgoing as Jim but He helped me be confident in myself. My prayers are with the Chibnall family.

  27. I never would have passed geometry in high school if it wasn’t for Jim. Although I almost got kicked out for laughing so much! So sorry for your loss

  28. Hi ,
    I didn’t know Jim that well in High School but remember he was a very friendly guy . My condolences to all of his family ,61is way to early to lose a someone you love .

  29. I began my architecture career at POPULOUS across the cubicle wall from Chib and will never forget his storytelling, laughter and creative nicknames for everyone in the office around him. Though I was intimated by my first job in a big office, his energy immediately eased my anxiety. Rest In Peace Chib.

  30. Loved me some Jimmy Chibnall. Saw some of his finest work on Globe Life Field and Hokkaido Ballpark in Japan.
    Word-class humor and a world-class heart.
    Greatly loved and greatly missed.

  31. So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I worked with him at Populous and even though we never worked on a project together I miss his larger than life personality and the big “Sabu” he would say as he stopped by my desk. Everyday was better when Jim stopped by.

  32. I’m so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. My condolences to the Chibnall family. Though Jim’s time here was cut short please take comfort in knowing you will eventually have eternal peace.

  33. dear Cydney, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear father. You and your family are in my heart and in my prayers. Je pense à toi!

  34. I am so sorry for your loss. Jim was an amazing mentor and friend at one of my first jobs. Though not much older, he had been there long enough to teach us the ins and outs of work, people management, managing up (which was important for young professionals to understand), how to laugh at work, how to travel and still laugh, and was most of all a kind person. He taught a lot of people along the way and his impact will be felt forever. Love to you all.

  35. I am so glad to have known Jim, just “Chibnall” as we all lovingly called him.
    What a good hearted soul, with such hilarious stories to brighten my work day.

    Chibnall could be cantankerous in a good way, a very talented Architect with a large personality was all part of his charm.
    He had a fun loving nick name for everyone.
    Swordsie, was his name for me,
    and it always brought a smile to my day when passing in the halls at work.

    I know he will be deeply missed by his family and friends. It was shocking news to hear of his passing. I think Heaven just became a little more fun and interesting upon his arrival.
    Our sincere sympathy to Sharon, his kids, his large family and many friends.
    Peace be with you,
    Kris & Jim

  36. Sharon, I just heard last night of Jim’s passing on the tennis courts from a fellow HOKer of yours. I am so sorry to hear of this. You guys were great neighbors, school parents, hockey parents and parishioners with us. Jim would always kid with me (mostly at hockey games) about me not looking hard enough to spot him in the pews at Vis. I can hear him laughing about it now. We send our prayers and love to you, Cydney and Sam.

  37. Remembering Jim and Sharon and our work on Palasport Milano, (great design concept, never built) and working with George and the team. Trips to Milan and meeting and dining with Aldo Rossi. Many late nights in KC getting ready for our trips across the pond. Late nigh dinners with our Italian hosts/clients and getting up and doing it all again! Great memories and thoughts to Sharon and the family. Va benne! Salute!


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