Christopher Erwin Orlando, 60 of Kansas City, MO passed away April 7, 2021 at his home. He was born on June 29, 1960 in Cincinnati, OH to Thomas William Orlando and Marian Elizabeth Smith. The oldest child of four children, Chris was known for his strong leadership skills, logic, problem solving, and even his adventurous spirit; His own mantra was “part of the solution”. One of his heartfelt beliefs that he strongly practiced for his own personal growth; strongly encouraged his employees, close friends and family was having a personal journal with thoughts and accomplishments. Personal journals in his home cover his lifetime; way before it was ‘the thing to do’. Mathematical equations, drawings, designs, thoughts and concerns covered the pages of his journals, not to mention a poem or song even sprinkled in now and then. His love for music was obvious seeing the collection of cds, mixes he put together, and more than a few bass guitars. He loved Jazz especially, both playing and listening.
He leaves a strong legacy as the founder/President and Chief Design Engineer of CEO Structural Engineering in Mission, Kansas for over 20 years. He is well known in the Engineering community for his brilliant design, background in mathematics and Evolutionary Design. One of Chris’s biggest goals was to be licensed in all states, in the end he accomplished 48!
Currently, both engineers, Walter; who’s been working with Chris since the beginning, and Alison; who joined the team over 11 years ago, along with Alicia; the office manager and personal assistant to Chris and David, construction advisor will carry on the business in Chris’s name. Most notable was his latest project at 2nd & Delaware in down-town Kansas City. He was extremely proud of this largest “Passive Haus” structure in the country for which his Pan Beam structural design was used. Alison, the engineering project manager, gave Sarah and Elizabeth a tour of the newly finished residences and were in total Ahh the entire time.
Christopher graduated from Kansas University with his MS in Civil Engineering in 2000. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mathematics and Film Theory & Criticism. He is ranked Chess Expert by the US Chess Federation. In 1989, he was initiated into Chi Epsilon National Fraternity. Chris was a strong KU alumni associate and truly enjoyed going to the yearly engineering conference in Lawrence to tell stories and share new ideas with fellow engineers.
One of his favorite passions was teaching. He was a Teaching Assistant in the Mathematics Department at the University of Kansas. He was also a tutor. His sister Elizabeth, who also attended KU was struggling with Calculus and after some tutoring with her brother she got an A in the course. Some of his favorite classes to teach were differential & integral calculus, linear algebra, and probability & statistics. “I love seeing the ‘lightbulb go off’ when a student ‘gets it’, said Chris many times as he described his love of teaching even recently to his siblings on a hike just a few weeks ago.
Just a couple of weeks before his death, Chris attended his younger brother, Thomas’s wedding in Tucson, AZ along with his two sister’s. “ I cannot tell you how happy I am to see my brother Tom find the love of his life; Maria is perfect for Tom”, Chris commented to Sarah shortly after their four day visit together. Many hours were spent on the phone with Chris and siblings after he returned from Tucson sharing how truly blessed he felt seeing Tom, meeting Tom’s new family in Tucson, learning of Tom’s new spiritual journey, reconnecting with Elizabeth, and seeing Sarah again. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so happy and calm...he seems so content.” Sarah recalled thinking of their trip. Fortunately, the four siblings had this time just a few short weeks before his passing. He will be truly missed...
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