Park University Honorary Trustee Howard C. Breen Passes Away

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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Howard C. BreenHoward C. Breen, who served on the Park University Board of Trustees from 1990-2000, and was named a lifetime honorary trustee in 2005, passed away on March 11.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 14, at St. Therese Catholic Church, 7207 NW Highway 9, in Parkville, Mo. The Rosary will be prayed at 11 a.m. prior to Mass at the church. The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, at St. Therese. Memorial contributions are suggested to Park University, where an annual scholarship in Breen's name will be established.

Breen served the University as secretary of the Board of Trustees and on Board committees for buildings and grounds, business management, and endowment and investments. In addition, he served Park as an officer of two of its subsidiaries — as president of what was then known as Park College Enterprises Inc. and as vice president of Park McAfee Inc. He also played an integral role in planning the Mackay Hall centennial and a celebration for the Scott Observatory.

The Breen family has historical connections to the founding and present-day success of Parkville, Mo., and Platte County, Mo. Breen was a fourth-generation Platte Countian, born in the same Main Street house in Parkville as his father. Shortly after Breen began a dirt moving business in 1951, his company built what is now the Riss Lake dam, located just north of the University’s property. His grandfather, Charles “Pat” Breen, was a respected stonemason and masterbuilder who supervised construction on the University’s Parkville Campus and the City of Parkville.

Breen was well known throughout Kansas City, Mo. and the Northland region as an outstanding business and civic leader. He joined his family’s real estate development firm when he was in his late 20s and played a significant role in the present-day development of Parkville. In 1965, he was named to the newly-formed Kansas City Area Transit Authority, serving 25 years on its board, including one stint as its commissioner and three terms as it chairman, helping direct important transportation initiatives to the Northland. In recognition of his contributions to mass transportation in the Kansas City area, the KCATA named its headquarters after Breen in 1991.

He also served on numerous boards throughout the region, including Farmer’s Exchange Bank, Bank of Riverside, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Platte County Economic Development Council, Platte County Board of Zoning Adjustments, Platte City Industrial Development Authority, Business and Professional Association and the Board of Services for the Developmentally Disabled. In 1991, Breen was named Man of the Year by the Platte County Business and Professional Association, the predecessor to the NRCC, and in 2003, he was named Northlander of the Year by the NRCC.

Read Breen’s obituary at