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Richard Page Vornbrock, Jr.

January 9, 1951 until June 13, 2024

Richard Page Vornbrock, Jr.

Rick was born in Topeka, Kansas, and joined the family of artist Betty Jo Jamieson, psychiatric social worker Dick Vornbrock, and a toddler sister, Judy. The family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and a new sister, Betty, joined the clan.

But the place they all called home is Iowa City, Iowa. Rick enjoyed all the usual stuff, track, bowling, Boys Scouts and camping, swimming, bicycling, and art. His love of music began young, with piano, cello, and then the lure of the guitar and the folk and rock singers of the time. A small coffeehouse, the Back Door, developed among his widening music friends, which he and Betty enjoyed as a way to share songs and get used to performing. These were the tumultuous years of the Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Women's Lib, and many things to keep the young folks engaged.

Rick explored the West, eventually finding a community that would lead him to New York, to find his soul mate and best friend, Kathy Donovan. They married in 1982, and built a loving and creative family with their two daughters, Aurl Jin, and Sun Ae. Already an inventive artist, he learned the field of Graphic Arts from the ground up, vintage paste-up through modern computer graphics, working for the New York City Tribune newspaper in New York, then as art editor for "The World & I" magazine, in Maryland. The family moved to Iowa City in 1994, and their young family enjoyed midwestern life near his Mom, Betty Jo. When Rick retired from his graphics job, he worked for City Parks seasonally, and enjoyed meeting and entertaining people during his years driving for Yellow Cab.

Music brought more opportunities for Rick, with open mics at the Mill, Uptown Bill's, and other venues for live music. The Weekend Warriors offered more band performance, and he also played with the bands Sundog and Quasi Coyote, and various other bands. His songwriting took off, with inspiration from his favorite singers, plus life giving him experiences, ideas, and a wonderful sense of poetry. Rick was instrumental in organizing and hosting open mics, and has many friends who have missed his presence once he and Kathy left Iowa City.

The couple moved to Wylie, Texas in 2017, where Kathy's mother and siblings lived. There, he continued to play and write songs, and found a regular gathering of musicians who welcomed and supported each other, at Love and War in Texas, in Plano. Rick's heart condition, which had begun in Iowa, curtailed his activity, but music always won out, and he worked at home to refine his ideas and make recordings of his songs. A list of his favorites you can listen to can be found here:

And more can be found by searching YouTube.

Rick and Kathy moved to Bella Vista, Arkansas in 2021, and have made a sweet life in the Ozark beauty with their dogs, Winnie and now young Lulu.

The love Rick had for his family was his other main force in life. His wife of over 42 years, Kathy, daughters Sun Ae and Aurl Jin, grandchildren Logan, Gabrielle, and young Meera, all were a source of joy and pride, and willing targets for his jokes! Confined by health in recent years, he created a community of friends around the world via the internet, which was very beneficial to all involved. He is remembered by all as warm, funny, gentle, and as a special soul.

Rick kept everyone laughing and smiling, especially our family chat group.

Rick left this world peacefully June 13th. He is survived by Kathy (Donovan) Vornbrock, of Bella Vista, Arkansas; kids Aurl Jin Vornbrock and Sun Ae Davis, grandkids Logan Vornbrock-Conaway, Gabrielle Davis, and Meera Moyes, all of Iowa City, Iowa; and sisters Judith Vornbrock, Iowa, and Betty Vornbrock, Virginia.

May you fly with the Angels, Rick, and sing with them, too!

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