OBITUARY

Kevin Michael Tobin

February 9, 1982February 9, 2019
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Kevin Michael Tobin was born on February 9, 1982 in Aurora, Colorado and passed away on February 9, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, February 16, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, February 16, 2019
REMEMBERING

Kevin Michael Tobin

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Biography

We gather to remember the little things that made a special place in our heart.
To remember those happy times when we laughed and those times when our hearts broke as one.
For who could put a price on memory?
We gather to share the pain
To hurt when you hurt without presuming that our pain is the same.
To cry when you cry and not try to hide or avoid our tears.
For who can ever take away the pain?
We gather to give the gift of grief
To stand beside you in silence and not be uncomfortable with your tears.
To allow you the gift of mourning the loss of Kevin and not lose patience
For grief is God’s way of healing a broken heart.

Good morning. I am Caleb Klein and I honored to be your Life Celebrant today as we celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Kevin Michael Tobin, who will be profoundly missed by his parents, Michael and Kathryn; his brother, William; his grandparents William and Edith Mae Masters; and the rest of his extended family and friends he made during his time among us.

On behalf of the family, let me thank you for your presence. It is an important day when we stop to bear witness to a person’s life and time among us, the difference his living and dying made among family and community, and to take time to express our grief, our hope, our wonder, and our memories. Thank you for being here for this important moment. We come here today with full hearts and numb minds. There are no words to express the shock, the pain, the anger, and the unbelievable sadness that surrounds us. The only way to survive such an onslaught of the incomprehensible is to know that an even bigger halo of love, support, understanding, and memories is circling the wall of grief and will sustain you and buffer you from being engulfed.

By coming here to be with his family and friends today you are helping them as they take their first steps down a long road of grief. Today is Kevin’s day. Together we will share memories in stories and pictures, and honor the memory of such a caring man. We are here to acknowledge that he left a handprint on your heart. You are here to express gratitude that he was in your life. Today we will leave knowing how lucky you were for having this man in your world.

Together we will bless this sacred event with a moment of silence followed by word of prayer. During this silence, you can center your thoughts, settle your heart, and grab your favorite memory of Kevin as a snapshot to hold in your mind during our service this morning.

Dear God of Broken Hearts – We gather together to remember, to reflect, and to revisit our memories of Kevin Michael. There are so many people in this world that Kevin touched in his own unique and special way. Lord, soothe their hearts and walk close to each one as they try to find new ways to live in a world without him. We call upon your mercy: open your ears to our prayers, and one day unite us again with Kevin, who, we firmly trust, already enjoys eternal life in your kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Let’s begin by lighting a candle in Kevin’s memory. The flame of a candle touches us in a unique way; the eternal flame stands for the remembrance of those gone before; the light of a candle has come to represent rebirth and renewal. We light this candle to signify that our sorrow and joy are woven together. We cannot deny the grief that death or loss brings. We must let it spill from our hearts. We must let our sorrow have its time, because our joy has had its time. It is because we knew, loved, and delighted in our relationships we remember today that we feel such sorrow in their endings. Our joy came first. Because of the joy, we feel such sorrow now. Though sorrow is strong, when we remember our grief, there will be a new day when once again our joy in life will be greater than our sorrow.

Light Candle

This is a fragile flame. It can be extinguished with a gust of air. Or, if left to burn, the flame will eventually consume the candle. A candle has its allotted span of time to burn. Yet, while the candle burns it radiates light and heat. So, long after the candle is extinguished or consumed, the fire of life and love still burns. Let this light signify the ever-present love and memory of Kevin which will live on in our hearts. While Kevin can’t join us, we are grateful that we can hold hands here today with those Kevin has brought together. Jim Butcher said this about the important of human connection. ““There is a primal reassurance in being touched, in knowing that someone else, someone close to you, wants to be touching you. There is a bone-deep security that goes with the brush of a human hand, a silent, reflex-level affirmation that someone is near, that someone cares.”
Together we can share and divide our pain through holding hands or a caring hug.

Parents are not supposed to bury a child. We are here when they come into the world, but we do not plan to be here when they leave. The pain for Michael and Kathryn will be immense and one that cannot be put into words. A man who loses a wife is called a widower, a woman who loses a husband is called a widow, and a child who loses a parent is called an orphan. But we have no word for a parent who loses a child — it is simply too big to capture and define.

Kevin’s journey began on February 9, 1982 in Aurora, Colorado when Michael and Kathryn welcomed their first son into the family. Two short years later, they were blessed once again with the birth of their second son, William. Kevin was a curious child and enjoyed spending time with his family. He would memorize the jingles off the television commercials and sing them for entertainment. The family lived in Colorado for a few years, and the time came for them to move to Nevada for Mike’s work. When Kathryn asked Kevin how he felt about the move, he had two very important questions that needed to be addressed. 1) Do the houses there have closets in them? And 2), do they have McDonald’s in Nevada? The mind of a child is always honest and genuine. Kevin and his brother had a typical sibling relationship. Kevin looked after William and wanted the best things for him. Sometimes they had the usual disagreements, but at the end of the day, there was nothing but love and the best intentions between the two of them. They were in cub scouts together and Kevin supported his brother in earning his badges and arrow points. Kevin went on to earn the highest rank in cub scouting when he received his Arrow of Light Award. William idolized his older brother, and I’m sure he taught Kevin many important lessons over the years as well. In the summer of 1997, the family was getting ready to relocate for Mike’s work once again. This time it was here to the Valley. This became a very important time for the relationship between Kevin and his father. Of course, the school year begins much earlier here than the rest of the country, which led to the family needing to make some choices for Kevin’s education. Kathryn and William remained in Nevada to get their home sold and things tucked away. Wanting Kevin to begin school right away, he moved here to Phoenix with his dad. They got to have their own Bachelor Pad and spent several months bonding. Once the rest of the family was back together, they remained a close-knit group. Kevin and Williams would go to Paradise Valley mall to the card shop and to explore the stores. Kevin grew up loving his mother’s hamburgers. Even though she gave him her secret; Worcestshire Sauce, Kevin just could never quite make it just the way she did. Kevin graduated school in 2000, and continued his education at Arizona State University. He began learning Computer Science before he fell in love with the study of Business. During college, he began his career at UPS. He would unload trucks overnight and then head to class afterwards. He received congruent degrees in both Business and Communication. His career continued to grow within UPS as well. He moved inside as an OMS, where he was able to help assist clients track packages and solve concerns. While working in the front line wasn’t his favorite aspect of the job, he still excelled at it. When it came time for the international supervisor to go on vacation, Kevin was often asked to fill in for her. After she received a promotion, they quickly asked Kevin to take over the position. Kevin was proud of his ability to show off his hard work and had been supervising his team. Kevin believed it was important to do the best he could in his role. He felt the level of work he put in was directly tied into the overall success of the company. Although Kevin wasn’t a fan of driving, and therefore never obtained his license; he still loved being mobile. He had no qualms with jumping on his bike and getting himself around town. He recently purchased a townhouse with his long-time friend, Paul. The two met during high school and have been friends ever since. It was thanks to Paul that Kevin has Scooter. When Paul got married, Kevin adopted Scooter; or should I say that Scooter adopted Kevin. Kevin and Paul enjoyed similar interests and that kept their friendship close. Kevin all of his video game systems; he was sure to get the newest one just as soon as it would come out. He enjoyed watching JapAnime and Kevin and Paul liked to attend the local Comic con events. Kevin and Kathryn shared a love for reading. Although Kevin was out of the house, he always made it a point to visit every other weekend. They would all talk about anything and everything going on. If it was a phone call, they could easily spend an hour or two before realizing where the time had gone. Kevin especially enjoyed reading Jim Butcher novels. He got his mother into similar books, and they had their own unofficial book club. Since Kevin and Paul would be done working late in the evening, they would often catch the 1 am showings of the newest blockbuster showing. Kevin used it as a preview for his family. He would go test out the movie and report back. If the movie was great, he would take them to go see it. If it wasn’t, you were quick to hear his familiar phrase; “I want my 2 ½ hours back. You’d be hard-pressed to find many with a bigger movie collection than him. Kevin enjoyed music as well, and had a wide variety of musical interests. If you came across him in the office with his playlist on shuffle, you might go from hearing heavy metal to Barry Manilow.

While I would love to enjoy spending more time sharing stories, I wanted to make sure we made adequate time to hear some other memories about Kevin. His last supervisor, Kelly, was somebody that Kevin truly looked up to. He had nothing but great things to say about him and respected Kelly. I’d like to invite Kelly up at this time to share some with all of us here today.

Kelly speaks

Thank you, Kelly. I would also like to invite up Kevin’s housemate and friend since his High School days, Paul.

Paul speaks

The unthinkable became the unspeakable on Kevin’s 37th birthday and now you all have holes in your hearts. When someone so young is gone too soon, we all have to catch our breath, focus on the memories of what was, acknowledge what could have been, and find small moments of gratitude for the time you had with him. And so, we stand here in disbelief. This was a special and loving guy. So why are we here? Why are you in pain facing this huge hole in your lives? Why is Kevin no longer among you, kidding you, encouraging you or loving you?

A life is not judged by the final page in the story. Instead we must look at the entirety of a live lived to the max, a life of intentionality and purpose. A star that burned so bright it just couldn’t be sustained and know that even though the time was not near long enough, the memories will last the rest of your lives. His light will now have to shine in your hearts.

For you, the journey of grief is long and no one should have to walk it alone. You are now the representatives and the ambassadors of Kevin’s legacy. He gave you wonderful gifts of dedication, love, and friendship. He showed you how to live with challenges and struggles and how to keep fighting. While not every moment was easy and not every memory etched in gold, in the final analysis, Kevin gave to each of you every inch of what he had to offer. He never held back and always tried to give it his all. He put all the pieces together in the very best way he could and always fought through every battle.
You are his future and his memories. Be kind and patient with one another and allow each of your family to experience grief in the way that fits them best. Be present for each other during those difficult times, the holidays, the anniversaries, the birthdays, the times when you will miss him the most. Be proud that you were his greatest supporters.

And those of you who stand with the family today, be available for their tears and be ears for their stories. In the next days, weeks, and months, call, email, or write and let the family know that you are thinking of them and that you miss the light of Kevin in your life too. No one should have to walk that journey of grief alone. You are now charged with being one of the supports that holds the window of her family together.
In Kevin’s name, stop and really take in the important things in life. In everything you do, honor the memory of this incredible young man who gave us such an example of living life to the fullest.

Kevin accepted Christ as his savior and through Christ we are given many things. Although it feels like the world is collapsing in on us when we face the loss of somebody so near, we must realize that grief is also a gift that comes from the Lord. Yes, it’s one that we would all like to return if we could. But if we’re willing to open this gift that God gives us when our loved ones pass away, we’ll discover that it contains blessings in disguise.
Grief is a gift because it can motivate us to use our time well by reminding us that our time here is limited. We know we will see Kevin again, but there are many things we would like to accomplish before our own transition. Grief also helps us value other people more as we miss the people we’ve loved who have died. Family feels more valuable after a loss, and friends share experiences that can only bring them closer.
Although grief is difficult, we really shouldn’t try to get over it like some might suggest. By viewing grief as a gift from our heavenly father and opening it more every day, we’ll encounter unexpected blessings.

The 23rd Psalm reminds us of those blessings from God.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Thank you once again for your attendance here today. Thank you for spending this sacred event with Kevin’s family and let us close with a blessing.

Let us close with a prayer:
Dear Father, we thank you for the life of Kevin. He left too soon and left such a legacy of strength for us to remember him by. We are grateful for the strength, curiosity, and love that he gave to his world. We ask that you be a comforting presence for his grieving family and help them as they carve a place in their hearts for new memories. Stitch up their wounded hearts in your own good time and grant them peace. In your name, as we remember Kevin. Amen.

May you be kind and forgiving with each other, remember to offer hugs, help, and I love you’s every chance you get. May you find your own special way to honor Kevin’s life, give him a voice, and claim his spirit in your heart while being grateful each day for the existence, enthusiasm, and example of Kevin. Go in peace and love one another in his memory.

Thank you all again for your attendance here today. As we conclude our service today, please come join the family in our hospitality room for some fellowship and to share even more stories and memories of Kevin.