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Death in the University Family

Date: March 14, 2013

Kevin DeLeon, an undergraduate student at Andrews University, was found deceased in his University apartment Wednesday evening, March 13, 2013. Funeral services were held for Kevin on March 17. The following is the life sketch of Kevin that was shared at the funeral. 

Kevin DeLeon | 1989–2013

After years of waiting, hoping, and praying, an 8-year old girl named Winnelle received an early 9th birthday gift, a baby brother. At 5:08 p.m., on October 19, 1989, within the walls of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, Kevin Roy Paulo DeLeon was welcomed into the loving arms of Winnie and Elizabeth DeLeon.

Kevin, or “Kevoy,” was named in honor of both his grandparents, Roy and Paulo. Even in his name, he was firmly rooted in his family, a theme that would continue throughout his life. While growing up, Kevin had to overcome many medical obstacles such as severe episodes of asthma and food allergies. As the youngest cousin of both his mother and father’s family, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins would collectively ensure Kevin was safe. This was a challenge because he experienced allergic reactions to almost anything he ate, touched or breathed.
While he was often sick as a child, Kevin grew up to be a very strong and athletic boy. Reaching Voyager rank, he loved the outdoors since his days as a Pathfinder. He played any sport his hands could find, including baseball, tennis, football, volleyball, hockey, swimming, basketball, snowboarding and pool. In his later years, he especially enjoyed weightlifting. The child who could be weakened by the air grew into a man of strength, able to leg-press almost 700 lbs., squat 300 lbs., and was training to bench-press 300 lbs. so he could join the “300 Club” at the Andrews Men’s Health Club.
Kevin was very musically talented. Throughout his life Kevin used his talents to serve God. Often alongside his cousins, he helped lead in praise songs, performed in musicals, and sang baritone in choir. Additionally, he played trombone, guitar, piano and the drums for fun.
Through the relationship Kevin had with his father and grandfathers, Kevin learned a strong work ethic. Throughout his life he would help his dad by mowing lawns, repairing houses and helping family members whenever they were in need of heavy lifting. When he was 10, Kevin’s giving spirit and hard-working mentality allowed him to raise the most money for the first Illinois Conference bike-a-thon, winning a rare Schwinn bike as first prize. Kevin worked as a golf caddie, physics TA, Citgo cashier and, during his time at Andrews, a greenhouse gardener. He also loved to volunteer at Camp Akita, and every summer he enjoyed working there as a staff member.

Kevin Roy Paulo DeLeon

Kevin was known for being a happy and fun-loving individual. He could brighten a room with his smile, sense of humor and ability to make people feel happiness with his gentle laugh. Throughout every stage of his life, Kevin’s friends knew him to be humble, genuinely caring and limitlessly forgiving. Kevin gained an exceeding amount of friends throughout his life, because behind his brown eyes there was no judgment, count of wrongdoings or jealousy. He often called friends for no reason other than to see how they are doing or ask, “Is anything wrong? Are you sure?”
Kevin was known for his unique mannerisms and endearing habits. He would try to cover up his smile when he laughed; he would greet his friends with funny sayings from movie lines; and he never failed to say “I love you” at the end of every phone conversation with his mom. He loved his family. His older cousins can tell you that whenever he greeted them by name it would always be preceded by “Ate” or “Kuya,” a sign of respect. His uncles and aunts knew him to be respectful and considerate, while his nieces and nephews knew him as fun and spontaneous Uncle Kevin. Through all periods of his life he lovingly placed the needs of his friends and family above his own without expecting anything in return.
At the funeral service for Kevin, it was shared that Kevin’s goal of completing his college degree would be fulfilled. “The Andrews University family of faculty, staff and students join you in mourning the loss of Kevin. He was your son. He was our student,” said Frances Faehner, vice president for Student Life at Andrews University. She continued, “Kevin was very close to completing his studies at Andrews and was looking forward to graduating this year. Therefore the University has determined to confer his degree posthumously during our May 5, 2013 graduation. On that day he and you will have reached the first goal in his adult life: a college degree. The next goal for Kevin will reunite him with his family on the resurrection morning.”
Kevin touched all the hearts and lives of those he came in contact with. He lived his life with humility, forgiveness and love. In his short life, he brought joy to whomever he could. We will earnestly wait for the day when we can see his smiling face, hear his gentle laugh, and hold our Kevin in God’s kingdom.

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