For those of you who knew Kevin, please forgive my delay in posting this. It took me a bit to get to a place emotionally to address his death and, more importantly, his life.
Kevin died on November 12, 2011, after a lengthy battle with cancer. I observed, at close proximity, the entire term of his illness. A more poignant example of grace, good humor and courage under the yoke of a terminal illness I could not imagine. He was 55 years old at his passing.
Prior to his illness, Kevin was in the food and beverage service business. More specifically, he was a restauranteur par exellance. After moving to Los Angeles from his place of birth (Kingston, NY), Kevin managed several high end eateries. He was the kind guy investors would go to and say, “Here’s $5 million bucks – make us a restaurant.” He moved to San Diego around 2003, taking over management of the popular El Torito bar and grill in La Mesa. Unfortunately, his alcohol consumption finally got the best of him, and in 2008, he was referred to the San Diego Freedom Ranch in Campo for treatment of alcoholism. Kevin took his recovery very seriously, and he became something of an institution at the Freedom Ranch, where I first met him in 2009. Dozens of residents sought Kevin out for advice and counsel regarding their own issues with addiction. Without exception, Kevin made himself available to whomever requested his help.
In August of 2010, Kevin was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. He thereafter began a nine month regimen of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the tumor was positioned immediately adjacent to a lymph node, and spread was inevitable. He was to die fifteen months after his diagnosis.
Kevin was my best friend, though I knew him for less than two years. I will miss him deeply. So will many others, who would bear testament to the fact that Kevin will be remembered not for the battle he ultimately lost to cancer, but for the battles he helped so many others win against addiction. Via con dios, my friend. You were a helluva guy.
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