Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Kevin K. Kuhn, it is easy to see that his primary focus was on making the world around him a better place. A lifelong resident of the community he loved, he served others in a variety of ways until he drew his last breath. Kevin’s devotion to his family was easy to see, and he was so proud to become a grandfather later in life. A man of faith, he exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. Life will never be the same without Kevin here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
During the first half of the 1940s the eyes of America were focused overseas as WWII raged on. Countless young servicemen men and women had answered the call to fight for our country’s freedoms, and rationing on numerous common goods became a way of life for those who remained stateside. It was just prior to the day our nation celebrated the end of this horrific event that Kevin was born on March 23, 1945, in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. When he was three years old, he was adopted by Kenneth and Ann (Vidro) Kuhn, at the same time as they were adopting his sister, Karen. Kevin and Karen were also joined in the Kuhn clan by their sisters, Gina and Katie. Raised in the family home on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids, Kevin attended Holy Spirit Elementary. From there he went to West Catholic High School and then graduated from East Catholic High in 1963.
As a young man Kevin was eager to hit the ground running. He spent some time working as a stocker at Meijer. On June 1, 1966, Kevin joined the Air Force where he trained service dogs for the Philippines. After one year, he went back to work at Meijer. A bit later, he was in the process of joining the Michigan State Police, but a broken collarbone brought him back to Meijer. While at Meijer, he applied to the Grand Rapids Police Department.
Not to be forgotten during this time was Kevin’s re-introduction to the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Pat Idziak, and although they had been classmates they never took notice of one another until the fateful night they were bowling with friends at Westgate Bowling Lanes. A first date soon followed when Kevin and Pat went back to Westgate for a night of dancing. It didn't take them long to fall in love, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together the sweethearts were married on September 7, 1968, at St. Anthony Parish. After a honeymoon spent in Traverse City and on Mackinac Island, the newlyweds returned to Grand Rapids where they lived in an apartment near Lincoln Park on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids. Together they welcomed two children, Marcy in 1969 and Todd in 1973, into their hearts and home. Kevin was active in the lives of his children, and he loved just having fun with them. Playing catch was one of his favorite things. As someone who played on both softball and football teams with his work and his church, Kevin was his kids’ baseball and softball coach for years. Every summer their family rented a place at Wolf Lake or Bills Lake for a week.
As his family and friends can attest, Kevin had an extraordinary work ethic. He joined the Grand Rapids Police Department in 1969. He spent a few years working patrol, and from there he was the youth common wealth officer at Seidman and West Side Youth Center for five years. Kevin then worked in evidence and property management for GRPD. For years he also worked for Camp O Malley. They also spent a lot of time there as a family where there was plenty of time spent playing in the pool, rafting down the river, playing frisbee golf, and having fun with archery.
Changes were in store for Kevin after retiring from GRPD in 1994. Kevin took a job in merchandising Hallmark products for Meijer. He also spent a year babysitting his grandson before ultimately settling into a security position for D&R Security.
Throughout his life Kevin preferred to be active and enjoyed so many things. He loved playing softball with GRPD and Fraternal Order of Police, and after tearing his ACL and a shoulder injury he spent more time playing golf. On Sundays he would often golf with his father and son before heading up to his sister's place up North on Lime Lake. Kevin and Pat liked to attend Nascar races together in both Bristol and Daytona, and for years they spent their winters at their place in Leesburg, Florida. Kevin liked to collect sports cards, knives, guns, and Nascar memorabilia, and for a while he played the harmonica. More recently, he liked to watch football games on Sunday with Todd as well as Nascar races with Pat. Kevin was an avid New York Giants fan along with his granddaughter, Emma. His favorite meal was ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans, and he liked anything chocolate. When grandchildren arrived Kevin was thrilled, and he especially loved being involved with their sports as they got older. He liked playing football with his grandchildren and even acting as their coach. Kevin also became the official scorekeeper for his grandson’s baseball games at Southern Little League. For years he found fulfillment in going to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans every morning, usually with his dog, Nevaeh, to spread happiness to his fellow veterans. Sadly, Kevin’s health declined over the past five years, which left him more limited.
Caring, friendly, and outgoing, Kevin Kuhn was a special part in the lives of so many. He was talkative and generous with an energetic zest for life that was easy to see. Kevin was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and he was happiest when surrounded by his family and friends. He will be forever missed.
KUHN – Kevin K. Kuhn age 74, of Grand Rapids, passed away unexpectedly at his home and was welcomed into the eternal presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Ann Kuhn; sister, Katie Kuhn; and his in-laws, Joe and Anne Idziak. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Patti K. Kuhn; children, Marcy (Rob) Henkey and Todd Kuhn; grandchildren, Bryce, Matt and Emma Henkey. Also surviving are his sisters, Karen Averill and Gina (Virgil) Armstrong; nieces and nephews; and Pat’s daughter, Cathy Premo. Kevin served in the U.S. Air Force, training service dogs for the Philippines. He retired after 26 years with the Grand Rapids Police Department fulfilling his roles as a patrolman, acting director of Youth Commonwealth at Seidman and West Side Youth Centers and Camp O’Malley, and supervisor in the property management department. After retirement Kevin continued to serve others by volunteering his time at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, often bringing along his faithful companion, his dog Nevaeh to visit with his Veteran friends. Kevin loved the Lord and lived out his faith through his passion for helping others. His leisure time was spent playing golf and having lunch with his friends from the police department and cheering on his grandchildren at their weekly sporting events, even becoming the official scorekeeper for his grandsons’ Southern Little League teams. The Celebration of Life service will be held at 12 PM on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Visitation will be held from 10 AM until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Humane Society of West Michigan or Southern Little League. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Kevin’s life story, submit a favorite memory or photo or to sign the guestbook online.