According to his friends in the community and in the legal field, A. Christian Worrell III never liked getting special attention.
However, when someone affects everyone around him – special attention can be hard to avoid.
Worrell will again be in the minds of many of those closest to him, as a large gathering is expected to pay their respects during a public funeral at the Isaac M. Wise Center, 8329 Ridge Road, Amberley Village, at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
“He was very humble. He was someone who was always about other people and never about himself,” said Joe Hinson, CEO and president of the West Chester ▪ Liberty Chamber Alliance. “He cared a lot about his family and also a lot about the organizations he was involved with. He was very passionate about those things.”
When Hinson urged Worrell to be featured or honored by the Chamber, the Graydon Head law firm partner would sigh. Instead of the deserved recognition, Worrell would much rather brag about his children – daughter Devon and son Benjamin.
“They (Worrell and Benjamin) were the best of buds,” Graydon Head attorney Robin Miller said. “When he would come home from college, everything else went by the wayside. That was his and Ben’s time.”
During Ben’s time, the two would go out shooting firearms, watch UFC fights and microbrew their own beer. Those were just a few of Worrell’s hobbies that also included the outdoors, motorcycles, skiing, teaching tae kwon do and collecting guitars.
On the other hand, when it wasn’t “Ben’s time,” Worrell and his wife, Stephanie, visited their daughter in Seattle. The couple recently bought second home in Washington State in order to be closer.
With co-workers and friends back in West Chester, he would share photos of their new Seattle home and boast about his daughter on being able to climb to the base camp at Mount Everest and after she was hired by Microsoft.
“Those who know Chris, you saw how much he loved his family,” Graydon Head attorney Scott Jones said. “He would always come into the office talking about his kids.
“With Stephanie, they had the type of relationship where if you were in the room with them for more than three minutes you could just how much they loved each other. For me, that was very inspiring to see how he was as a father and a husband.”
While it was not uncommon for Worrell to gloat about his family he had to be forced to talk about his professional accomplishments, which included being named by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America from 2005-to-2011, a Ohio Super Lawyer in 2007 and 2010, as well as winning the West Chester ▪ Liberty Chamber Alliance’s Dorothy & Art Roth Citizen of the Year Award in 2008.
He was also responsible for creating the Butler/Warren office of Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP in West Chester.
“He was at the top of his class,” Hinson said. “When you get the best of both worlds, you get someone who is the best at what they do, able to contribute to the community and never make it about them … you have someone who should be on Mount Rushmore.”
If Mount Rushmore featured Butler County based community volunteers, Worrell would have received strong consideration considering he was – at one time – the chair of all of the following groups: Butler County United Way Board of Trustees, West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance Board, Liberty Township Joint Economic Development District, Liberty Township Board of Zoning Appeals, Partners in Prime and the West Chester Township Park Committee.
“He cared an awful lot about the community,” said Bruce Jewett, CEO and president of the Butler County United Way.
“He clearly had a passion for the work that the United Way did and we spent our last couple of years trying to make Butler County kids successful adults and helping Butler County residents become self-sufficient. Both of those were very important to Chris.”
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Butler County United Way, 323 North Third Street, Hamilton, OH 45011.
Worrell passed away last week when he was traveling to Seattle to visit his daughter. During his flight, he suffered a medical emergency and upon landing he was unconscious. He later died at a hospital on Thursday. He was 60.
“This was a really tragic, sadden, unexpected loss,” said Tom Prewitt, executive committee chair of Graydon Head.
“He has been a great part of our firm, our community and he will be missed dearly.”
Mr. Worrell is survived by his wife Stephanie; a son, Benjamin, a student at Bellarmine University; a daughter Devon, of Seattle; a brother and a sister.
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