Jul 6th 1961 - Jun 14th 2013
Although his days numbered far less than many are given in which to compose their life’s song, Kevin Thrasher was an inspiration to so many others. He was warm and personable - the sort of man who people were naturally drawn to. Kevin’s days were all about being surrounded by his friends and family, and with his contagious zest for life he was always so much fun to be around. He was a loving and devoted father to the daughter he adored more than life itself. Kevin leaves behind timeless lessons in patience, courage, and unwavering strength that will continue to inspire his loved ones.
The 1960s were a colorful time in American history. Civil rights and women’s rights made unprecedented strides forward, yet our nation grieved the death of President John F. Kennedy during this time as well. Televisions were becoming our lifeline to the world around us while rock ‘n roll music continued to saturate the airwaves. Nestled within this eventful time was the year 1961 that was filled with great joy for one young couple from the southwestern region of Michigan as they welcomed a healthy baby boy into their hearts and home on July 6th. Kevin Edwin was the older of two boys born in Lakeview Hospital in Paw Paw to his parents, Edwin and Pat (Saxton) Thrasher, and he was raised in the family home in the Mattawan/Lawton area alongside his younger brother, Keith, who was one year his junior. He was easygoing right from the start.
For the most part Kevin experienced an upbringing that was reflective of the times. He was a typical boy who loved doing many of the things that young boys so often do such as playing in the woods and riding bikes. Kevin also played Little League baseball for several years. When he was 13 he took up hunting, and this was an interest that he continued to pursue throughout the rest of his life. Kevin was also a student at local schools including Mattawan High School where he played football. He went on to graduate from high school in 1980.
Ready to embark all that life had in store, Kevin fully embraced a new phase in his journey. He went to work in the construction industry, which he greatly enjoyed. Kevin did everything from new construction to bringing new life to old buildings. He was overjoyed with the birth of his daughter, Shalana, in 1983. Kevin was a great father who was an active part of his daughter’s life. He spent as much time with Shalana as he could over the years.
Throughout his life Kevin was a man of many interests. He love riding his Yamaha motorcycle as this was his idea of the perfect day. Kevin enjoyed fishing and golfing for a time and continued to deer hunt in addition to going to stock car races. To wind down he liked watching old westerns on television, and comedies were usually his choice in movies. When it came to his favorite foods, the spicier the better. Kevin loved things like tacos, spaghetti, and ham, yet there was nothing like a great steak on the grill. He enjoyed going to a local coffee shop, the Java Joint, to eat and just hang out either on his own or with friends.
There was never anything of greater importance to Kevin than spending time with those he treasured. His Fourth of July parties every year were something his family and friends always looked forward to. There were often nearly 100 people in attendance, and some would even stay the night, too. In that case, there was a lovely campfire breakfast the following morning. These gatherings were not only a time to celebrate the holiday, but they were also simply a time for people to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. Kevin’s Halloween parties with hay rides were something that others looked forward to as well. He made being with his family a priority, and he often came down to his mom’s for dinner. Kids were naturally drawn to Kevin, which was evident when his cousin’s daycare children sent him get well cards after he became sick this past December. He was so touched by their gesture that he put the cards up on his refrigerator.
Life became more difficult for Kevin and his loved ones when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in January after he came down with flu like symptoms on Christmas in 2012. This was such a shock to his family since Kevin was so strong and healthy. The idea of riding his motorcycle again was the drive behind his desire to get well again. Throughout his illness Kevin was tenderly cared for by his mother in a way that only a mother could.
A kindhearted, loyal, and fun-loving man, Kevin Thrasher was a blessing in the lives of those around him. He could be serious at times, yet he was also so funny and had a great sense of humor. A loving son, devoted father, and true friend, Kevin will be deeply missed while his memory is forever cherished.
Kevin Thrasher of Lawton died at his home on Friday, June 14, 2013. Kevin’s family includes his mother, Pat (Tom) Pfannes; father, Edwin Thrasher; brother, Keith; daughter, Shalana Roden; several aunts, uncles, and cousins; and very special caregiver, Kevin Bradley. There will be an open house to celebrate his life on Sunday, June 30th, 2013 from 1-5 P.M. at the Paw Paw Eagles, 63237 M-40. Please bring a dish to pass. Please visit Kevin’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo and sign his guest book. Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society. Arrangements by Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Thompson, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw (657-3870).