Kevin's Eulogy

Written by the family and read by Pastor Tim Kellgren at the funeral service on July 1, 2008.

Kevin was surrounded by the love of family and by many strong friendships all of his life. This can be seen by the number of family and friends who came to his bedside in the hospital in Santa Barbara and by the number of family and friends who are here today.

Some of the friends here today met Kevin in Little Shepherd Pre-school. Some met Kevin at Grant Elementary School. Some of these friendships began at Petaluma Junior High School. Many of these friendships were formed at Petaluma High School, where he graduated in 2003. At Petaluma High, Kevin participated in golf, wrestling, track and football. He loved football. The highlight for Kevin was when the Petaluma High School football team won the 2002 Sonoma County League Championship. Kevin was both the starting quarterback and starting defensive-back for that team. His teammates elected Kevin to Team Captain which he felt was a great honor. He also earned recognition as 1st Team All-League on both offense and defense. Participation in sports helped Kevin learn about teamwork, leadership and discipline. Many of his strongest friendships were made through sports.

The friendships formed while growing up stayed close even after high school graduation when Kevin moved to Santa Barbara to attend Santa Barbara City College. And he formed many new friendships in Santa Barbara. Kevin decided to pursue his father's career as a Firefighter/Paramedic and began to do so with great enthusiasm. He earned his Emergency Medical Technician Certification in 2007 and had just graduated near the top of his class from the Oxnard College Regional Fire Academy on April 11, 2008. He was currently enrolled at Oxnard College and would have completed his degree in Fire Technology this fall. He wanted to go to paramedic school in the spring. He would have been an asset to any fire department. He had so much enthusiasm for the career and was so proud of what he was doing. He had the ability to get along well with all kinds of people and he could be depended on when there was a crisis. He loved the idea that he was going to be doing something that would help other people.

On Kevin's MySpace website, this is how he depicts himself:

Kevin's Blurbs

About me:It's almost summer...and that means Santa Barbara is more beautiful than ever. I'm going on my fifth year living down here and i'm just starting to really understand how great of an area it is. I recently graduated as one of the top cadets from the Oxnard Regional Fire Academy and am working on getting hired, hopefully in a place that's equally as beautiful, but anywhere would be nice. It's an extremely long process which makes it easy to get off track, but it's a goal i'm determined to reach...In the mean time I work as a bartender at two restaurants, The Harbor, which is fine dining, and Longboard's, which is a casual bar and grill. In my free time I enjoy going to the gym, going on long hikes, and camping when i'm able to get away. I'm learning a little about myself everyday, which is both scary and exciting...but I know that hard work and motivation are the only ways to reach my goals.

Kevin's friendships were strong because he chose his friends well and because he was always a fiercely loyal friend. Kevin had a strong, independent, enthusiastic spirit. He loved to laugh and had the wonderful ability to make others laugh with him. His laugh was infectious. He had a really big and generous heart. His bright smile, sparkling eyes and quick wit brought happiness to everyone whose life he touched.

Kevin loved his family and that love was strongly returned. He was a bright light in the lives of his parents and they loved him deeply. They were very proud to call him their son, very proud of the young man he had become. Kevin and his sister grew closer and closer as they grew up and he looked to her for advice and she was always there for him. When his step-parents and step-bothers and sisters entered his life, he greeted them openly and endeared himself to them. His step-parents loved him as their own, as did his step brothers and sisters. Kevin was cherished by his grandparents, his aunts and uncles and his cousins. He was one of the binding forces that made the family so very close.

Kevin's passing will leave a hole in the hearts of all of his family and friends. The world won't be quite as bright without him. But we were blessed to have had Kevin in our lives for 23 years and we will carry his smile in our hearts forever.

News Articles and Photos

Santa Rosa Press Democrat Article

Pre-school 1989

1st Grade 1991

2nd Grade 1992

3rd Grade 1993

5th Grade 1995

6th Grade 1996

7th Grade 1997

Kevin's Obituary

As printed in the Sonoma County Press Democrat newspaper June 27-30, 2008.

Kevin Brian Whitney passed away Monday, June 23, 2008 with his family and many friends at his side at the age of 23 years old, after a tragic accident Sunday morning.

He will be lovingly remembered by his father Brian Whitney and his step-mother Jamie Tanner, his mother Judith Boles and his step-father Ronald Boles and his sister Laura Whitney. He was the loving step-brother of Jon Minadeo, Courtney Boles, Jennifer Boles and Michael Boles. He was cherished by his grandparents Richard and Margaret Whitney and Barbara and Greig Hudson. He will be missed by his aunt and uncle Susan and Richard Whitney, his cousins Scott Whitney and Jennifer Whitney, his uncle Roger Purdy, his aunt and uncle Sharon and John Sarle, his cousins Kevin Maloney and Rani Maloney, and by many additional devoted family members and friends who were so important in Kevin's life.

Kevin graduated from Petaluma High School in 2003, where he participated in wrestling, golf, track and football. His senior year, he was the starting quarterback and defensive-back for the 2002 PHS Sonoma County Championship Football Team. He attended Santa Barbara City College and was currently attending Oxnard College in pursuit of a Fire Technology degree. He became a certified Emergency Medical Technician in 2007 and graduated from the Oxnard College Regional Fire Academy on April 11, 2008. Kevin had a strong, independent, passionate spirit. He loved his family and was a loyal friend. He loved to laugh and to make others laugh with him. His bright smile, sparkling eyes and quick wit brought happiness to everyone whose life he touched.

Family and friends are invited to a visitation to celebrate Kevin's life on Monday, June 30th from 1:00pm to 8:00pm with the funeral service to be held on Tuesday, July 1st 11:00am at the Parent-Sorensen Mortuary located at 850 Keokuk Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 (707-763-4131). Memorial contributions may be made in Kevin's name to either Oxnard College Regional Fire Academy Trust and Agency Account (4000 S. Rose Ave., Oxnard, CA 93033) or to the Petaluma High School Athletic Dept. (201 Fair St., Petaluma, CA 94952).

Highschool 1

Highschool 2