Emily Riegel paused, took a deep breath and recounted how she, her children and her late husband had spent recent weeks watching “The Flash” on television.
Riegel, husband Tom Pickert and their two sons were drawn to the superhero’s lightning speed and devotion to protecting his family and closest friends.
Those characteristics could describe Pickert, a Kansas City attorney found slain Oct. 25 on the front porch of their home in the 200 block of West 66th Terrace, Riegel said.
“He was our superhero,” she said.
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Riegel spoke to hundreds during a public memorial Thursday at the Community Christian Church near the Country Club Plaza on what would have been Pickert’s 40th birthday. She told a somber crowd the family has not watched an episode of “The Flash” since his death.
“My boys said we can’t watch it because Dad wouldn’t know how the season ended,” Riegel said.
Pickert had just returned home after walking his children to school when he was shot. Police have not released any suspect information or identified a person of interest in the shooting.
“This is not the way any of us imagined we would be spending this day,” Riegel said.
Colleague Ryan Fowler praised Pickert’s passion for helping others. He said Pickert’s biggest weakness was he did not hide emotions well.
“Tom may have cried more than any man I know,” Fowler said.
Family friend Jonathan Butters said he would most remember Pickert’s competitive nature. Pickert, Butters said, did not like to lose court cases, pingpong or any contest that involved a score.
“When he won he would let you know about it, too,” he said.
After the memorial, Riegel thanked well-wishers for their support the previous 15 days. She also said she appreciates the privacy afforded to the family since Pickert’s death.
Pickert worked for the firm Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger LLC in Kansas City. As a personal injury lawyer Pickert focused on medical malpractice, nursing home and long-term care abuse cases, according to his biography on the firm’s website.