Chad Liebl, 45, died February 4, 2019, at Hospice House in Hutchinson, KS. He was born September 18, 1973, in Great Bend, KS, the son of Kenneth and Mary Lang Liebl. He was a 1992 graduate of Ellinwood High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from Kansas State University in 1997.
Following graduation, he was a certified crop adviser for Servi-Tech out of Scott City from 1997 to 1999 and then Farmers Cooperative Union in Rice County from 1999 to 2012. Since 2012, he has worked as a field marketer for MKC in Moundridge, serving Rice and McPherson counties.
On November 24, 2001, he married Sarah Drees at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ellinwood, KS. Chad and Sarah then moved to Hutchinson where they have lived since they were married. Both of their daughters, Lauren Cate (15) and Claire Elizabeth (13), were born in Hutchinson.
Survivors include his wife Sarah, daughters, Lauren and Claire of the home. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his two brothers, Ryan (Katherine) Liebl of Oak Park, IL, and Eric Liebl of Phoenix, AZ, and a sister, Kristin Liebl of Chicago, IL. Other survivors include his father- and mother-in-law, Larry and Joan Drees of Ellinwood; brother-in-law, Michael (Arielle) Drees of Hays, nieces, Olivia Liebl and Alliana and Ava Drees, nephews, Matthew, Levi and William Liebl and Adrian and Dominic Drees, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
In March 2018, Chad was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Chad was open and willing to share about his disease. He was never angry about the seeming unfairness of the disease for someone his age, even making the arduous trek to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, several times to participate in a clinical trial.
For the last 11 months, Chad’s family and a community of friends focused on making memories. They traveled to Seattle, Turks and Caicos, and Michigan to spend time together. Eric and Chad played one last time in the annual Member/Guest tournament at Prairies Dunes in June of 2018 (with Ryan joining as a subpar third member of the team). The following week Chad and a group of his friends flew to Sand Hills Golf Club in Nebraska for a memorable final round of golf.
Chad and the family attended a basketball game at the University of Kansas, where they had the chance to meet Coach Bill Self. Despite the challenges he faced by that point, he had a positive attitude and kept people laughing. Self was impressed with his outlook and agreed with Chad’s rebounding advice.
The Liebl home was always filled with Chad’s friends. People were drawn to Chad because of his loyalty and ability to connect everyone to one another. “He was always making people laugh and feel welcome,” his sister Kristin said.
Chad built on his social connections and avid pursuit of outdoor activities as an adult. “He never sat around,” Sarah said. “He always encouraged all of us to be doing.” He was a hunter, golfer, woodworker and gardener. He grew eight tomato plants each summer–not because he liked tomatoes—he just loved growing them and giving them away. “His joy was in doing good deeds,” Sarah said. Toward the end, the disease progressed to the point he couldn’t do that anymore. “That’s what made this so hard,” she said.
Chad loved spending time with Sarah and his girls as well as family and friends. He loved watching the girls participate in activities and never missed their games or events. At home, in days before the disease changed their lives, Chad always supported Sarah’s active community involvement by helping around the house and making sure the girls were at their various activities on time.
The farmers and colleagues he worked with during his career became his friends, some of them even stopping by the house once his movements were restricted. “He loved his job and the people he worked with,” Sarah said.
Chad was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Prairie Dunes Country Club, the Knights of Columbus, all of Hutchinson and Delta Upsilon Fraternity.
Parish Rosary will be 7 p.m. Thursday, February 7, 2019. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, February 8, 2019. Both the Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will be at Church of the Holy Cross, 2631 Independence Road, Hutchinson, with Father Aaron Spexarth officiating. Private family inurnment will take place in Memorial Park Cemetery, Hutchinson. Friends may sign the book from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Elliott Mortuary. The family will greet friends following the Rosary Thursday evening at the Church.
Memorials may be given in Chad’s name to Trinity Catholic Jr./Sr. High School in Hutchinson or to Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501