Big names in Kansas City, from city officials to Major League Soccer stars, took to Twitter Sunday to mourn the loss of Neal Patterson.
Patterson was the CEO and Chairman of Cerner and the co-owner of Sporting Kansas City. He co-founded Cerner 38 years ago and it has grown to become the largest private employer in the metro area.
Patterson died a day after another prominent Kansas City businessman, James B. Nutter, founder of the mortgage-lending company that bears his name. Both were remembered for their contributions to the growth of Kansas City.
It's been a tough weekend for Kansas City. RIP to both Jim Nutter and Neal Patterson. Both titans in business who helped build this town.
— KC City Manager (@KCMOManager) July 9, 2017
— Kauffman Foundation (@KauffmanFDN) July 9, 2017
KC won't be the same without the inspiring leadership of @Cerner's Neal Patterson. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and loved ones.
— JE Dunn Construction (@JEDunn) July 10, 2017
— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) July 10, 2017
For many, Patterson's contributions to Kansas City extends beyond business, tied primarily to his ownership of the Sporting KC soccer franchise, which he purchased as part of a group of investors in 2006. Current and former Sporting KC players highlighted his role as co-owner, crediting much of the team's success to Patterson.
Neal Patterson, went above and beyond his role as owner of our team, leaves behind a wonderful legacy. Thank you & may you rest in peace.
— Dom Dwyer (@Ddwyer14) July 9, 2017
— Diego Gutiérrez (@DiegoGutierrez) July 9, 2017
RIP Neal Patterson. Thanks for everything you have done for our big soccer family. My thoughts are with your family and SKC organization.
— Paulo Nagamura (@paulinhonag) July 10, 2017
— Jimmy Conrad (@JimmyConrad) July 10, 2017
"[Patterson's] commitment to the Kansas City Wizards in 2006 saved soccer in this city and paved the way for an incredible transformation that few could have envisioned at the time," Sporting Kansas City President, Jake Reid said.
Colleagues and competitors throughout the MLS made similar statements.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 9, 2017
Sad to learn of Neal Patterson's passing. He was a great man & partner. Thoughts & prayers to the SKC Nation from the FC Dallas family.
— Dan Hunt (@DanHuntFCD) July 9, 2017
Neal Patterson is in our thoughts and prayers. Gone too soon. A visionary MLS owner. He did so much for the City of KC and @SportingKC.
— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) July 9, 2017
"Neal's vision and passion were instrumental in the incredible turnaround of Sporting Kansas City," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "He was a brilliant entrepreneur who made community relations and philanthropy essential components of every business he owned."
Katie Bernard is KCUR's morning news intern.