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Commentary: Help me celebrate my late son's life

August 17, 2012|By Pat Kovalcheck

My son, Kevin McRoberts, who always considered himself a "Costa Mesa boy," died of cardiac arrest in his sleep on Aug. 19, 2010.

As the second anniversary of his death, or "un-birthday," is this weekend, I wanted to reflect on who he was.

Kevin lived by TeWinkle Park in Costa Mesa with his wife. He grew up here.

He died after working his 10th year at the Orange County Fair, first in food services and for eight years in security. For three years, he was a math teacher in Huntington Beach.

He was remembered as being steadfast, quiet and soft-spoken, easily approachable.

Kevin grew up on Palmer Street in Newport Heights, attended Newport Heights Elementary, Ensign Intermediate and graduated from Newport Harbor High School in 2001.

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He was a member of Harbor's marching band, and as Mr. Henthorn reminded me, he was also in band at Ensign, so he played for six years.

He was in DaVinci and was so inspired by his teachers and his namesake, Orange Coast College math teacher Kevin Shannon, that he became a high school math teacher.

Kevin was also in AVID as he was considered developmentally delayed after two heart surgeries to repair a congenital heart defect. He also had lung complications, which kept him from being involved with sports or physical exercise classes.

He grew, thrived and made wonderful friends who were later in his wedding to his classmate since middle school, Nicole.

Kevin had an incredible work ethic. He left for band class at 6:20 a.m. daily, was involved in night practice and weekend band functions. He also helped tutor some of his classmates in math.

He started working summers at the fair at age 16. He worked his way through college, at the bookstore at Cal State Monterey Bay and at the community center at San Luis Obispo, tutoring math in an after-school program.

The teaching department staff told me that Kevin was already a teacher with natural skills when he entered their program after completing his bachelor's in math at Cal Poly.

Kevin's friends and students all said he had a smile on his face every day. He found things to share with others with glee.

He played with his family often and we enjoyed the fact he had a full life outside our home, yet he wanted to spend time with us too. He knew the best gift he could give us was himself, his personal time and undivided attention.

We loved loving Kevin. We know that his students and the staff at the Hebrew Academy, his friends scattered across the country, our neighbors and his extended family all appreciated what Kevin brought into our lives every day.

We miss Kevin.

We are so glad he was in our lives for the 27 years he "visited this planet." He appreciated "Star Trek" and "Star Wars," our trips to San Diego and Hawaii to be with family, going to the snow the week before Christmas every year and attending the Scottish games at the fairgrounds.

Kevin taught me the meaning of love. I thank him for that.

Please help me share the anniversary of my son Kevin McRoberts' unbirthday, Aug. 19, 2010.

His 27th birthday was Aug. 3, 2010.

I love you, Boo.

Mom

PAT KOVALCHECK, also known as Mrs. James McRoberts, lives in Newport Beach.

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