We thought Kevin was incredible. He was extremely disciplined, curious, intelligent, and driven to understand how people, things, and the universe worked – a modern Renaissance man. Like his dad, he enjoyed robotics and working with computers. He taught himself basic coding, how to use 3D rendering programs, and photo compositing. In 2016, he created A Quick Perspective, which was a series of images that place famous objects in everyday environments to give you a sense of their size. He posted it online and it quickly went international, appearing on over 2,800 websites, including Reddit, Bored Panda, The Daily Mail, Business Insider, and Huffington Post. His series caught the attention of executives at A&E Television Network, who reached out to him. Kevin was able to collaborate with the creative managers, then research and develop topics of interest and content for their digital media channels.
He was learning how to master drone photography, and a few years ago bought a 3D printer that he taught himself to use. He designed and printed several useful and fun items, including a part for the printer to help it produce higher quality items. His love of robots led him to a California company that offered online users the opportunity to remotely steer robots through rooms, buildings, and mazes and complete various tasks (including destroying other robots) along the way. He worked with them remotely for a bit before traveling for a month-long stay for a hands-on assessment and adventure. They still use his ideas today.
He was a tinkerer and an artist, with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He was among the top of the hardest working people we know and possessed a “leave-it-all-on-the-field” mentality. He’d put in countless hours and so much energy into his projects, often juggling a few at once and jumping back and forth among them. He possessed strong business and product foresight. We can recall quite a few times when he’d mention an idea that would later be developed by someone else and become mainstream. He was looking forward to the day when his income and schedule would allow him to bring his ideas into reality so he could reap the rewards. In 2016, he bought six Go-Pro cameras, software, and an Oculus headset, and taught himself how to work them all. He used them to film the inside of homes so real estate agents and potential home buyers could take a virtual tour to help them find the perfect listing faster and more efficiently. He pitched the idea to a national company who didn’t share his enthusiasm at the time but has since incorporated the idea into their offices and advertises it frequently.
He was an introvert at heart, preferring to re-charge his mental and emotional batteries at home, but his passion for his projects would drive him to make cold calls and visits to reach his end goals. He presented his Virtual Reality ideas to the heads of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Museum and the Cincinnati Art Museum and got the go-ahead from both to use the Go-Pro cameras and accompanying technology to film their exhibits so kids and schools without the money to visit would still have access to all the wonderful things inside. Later, both institutions wrote how impressed they were with his professionalism and results.
His first name meant kind and caring, and he embodied that in so many aspects of his life. At work, he was quick to jump in and help both individuals and the companies he worked for. He’d spend extra time off the clock upgrading, reorganizing, or creating things that would benefit others. While working for a casino, he developed and created a program that saved them thousands of dollars a year. His helpful and service-oriented attitude led him to pursue an education and employment as a police officer, like his grandfather. He put himself through the law enforcement academy and received special recognition by graduating third in his class. He worked for a while with the Waynesville Police Department, leaving only because the town’s budget wouldn’t allow him to become a full-time officer.
At home, he often offered good advice, helped out, and would go out of his way to find solutions to problems that would pop-up. He happily shared his time with our family pets and nightly gave up half his bed to our cat. When his two-year-old niece would visit, he’d willingly enter her pretend world. We can still picture him “eating and drinking” the imaginary culinary creations she offered and fondly remember him speaking on her toy phone with whomever she told him was on the line. He delighted in hearing about the cute things she said and did and would still randomly smile and laugh when he thought of them later.
He enjoyed music and was born with a pitch-perfect singing voice. One of our fondest memories of his early life is the time when he was about a year old. When he’d get tired, instead of fighting it or perhaps while he was trying to, he’d start singing and would often sing himself to sleep. It was adorable! Years later, in typical Kevin fashion, he taught himself to play the guitar. In 2004, he merged an interest in acting and music by appearing in a music video featuring the band The Get Up Kids and their song, The One You Want. You can still view the video today at https://genius.com/The-get-up-kids-the-one-you-want-lyrics. Fourteen-year-old Kevin can be seen at the 1:38 mark, wearing an orange shirt and a camo jacket.
He was quick-witted and had a dry sense of humor. We’d often find the funny parts of life in its everyday moments and occurrences and we’ll recall fondly all the pun battles we shared.
Finally, Kevin shared his older brother’s love of guns and blowing things up. (Who doesn’t enjoy a good explosion now and then?). We don’t recommend random shooting in the air and we’re pretty sure the fire marshal would frown on a large explosive display, so we think a safer remembrance display option would be sparklers. The next time you light one (or even light a candle), say a prayer of gratitude for whatever spitfire and sparkle Kevin brought to your life, and add a prayer that he finds his way to God’s embrace as quickly as possible.
Thank you for the role you played in Kevin’s life and for sharing our grief at the loss of his way too short life.