Kevin Lowell West
Oct. 16, 1954-Sept. 25, 2013
On Sept. 25, 2013, Kevin passed away peacefully at his home in Brookings, after a lengthy battle with metastasized melanoma.
Kevin was born Oct. 16, 1954, in Alliance, Ohio, to Fletcher Lowell and Carrol (Davis) West.
Kevin — Kaveman to his friends — grew up in Northern California, attending Campbell High in Campbell, Calif.
As a young teenager, Kevin developed a lifelong passion for surfing. Spare time was spent riding the waves of Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz, Calif. After graduating from high school in 1972, the scent of saltwater lured him 30 miles over the hill to the east side of Santa Cruz.
A few years later, he uprooted again, this time to the warm, tropical waters of Honokowai, Maui.
Kevin spent 12 years in Hawaii before returning to Santa Cruz in 1986.
In addition to his passion for riding waves, Kaveman loved to fish. During his years as a custodian for the Live Oak School District (LOSD), he spent many long weekends and summer vacations fishing on the South Fork of the Eel, Trinity, Russian and Chetco rivers. Kevin’s friends and family benefited from his fishing expertise with fresh fillets and the best smoked fish on the planet.
Kaveman remained an eligible bachelor until he was 49 years old, when he married coworker Carol Jeanne Dodd on April 3, 2004.
Carol and Kevin happily set up housekeeping with Kevin being the primary cook — much to Carol’s delight. Kevin was truly gifted as a cook, surfer, fisherman, conversationalist, artist, guitarist, gardener/landscaper, family man and home decorator.
After retiring from the LOSD, Kevin worked as a Seafood Team member and helped open the Whole Foods store in Santa Cruz in 2009. He also helped open the Bi-Mart store in Brookings in 2012.
Carol and Kevin had fulfilled one of Kevin’s dreams by moving to Brookings in July of 2010. He could fish his beloved Chetco River and the Pacific Ocean to his heart’s content. During his final year of life, Kevin overcame many physical difficulties, which didn’t stop him from catching (and releasing) 27 steelhead in the Chetco last season alone.
Kevin is survived by his wife Carol West; brother Steve West of Santa Cruz; sister Kelly and her husband Brian Johnson and their children; Kevin’s nephews Scott and Kevin Johnson of Ozark, Mo.; and sister Dani West of Kanab, Utah; Also surviving are grandchildren Carina, Nathan, Taylor, and Desmond — who lovingly called him “G’mpa Kave.” He will be missed dearly by his family and dozens of lifelong friends.
A celebration of Kevin’s life will take place in Santa Cruz at a future date. Kevin loved God and God’s creation, and will be picking out a “mansion in heaven” for Carol and himself.
Contributions in memory of Kevin West may be made to support the wonderful work of Hospice by going to the Donate Now tab on http://coastalhomehealthandhospice.com/ or by sending contributions to Coastal Home Health and Hospice, P.O. Box 6042, Brookings, OR 97415.
Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.