Our wonderful, adventurous, kind hearted and most lovable dad, Kevin, passed away peacefully and surrounded by love on February 9, 2020 after a courageous battle with ALS. Just as he did with everything else in life, our dad handled ALS with a positive attitude, the best sense of humor and a smile on his face. His strength and bravery were inspiring to everyone who knew him.
A truly one-of-a-kind guy, our dad lived his life to the fullest. He packed so many happy memories, funny stories, good friendships and unbelievable experiences into his almost 65 years. Every day he reminded us how lucky he felt to have lived such a good life.
Our dad loved his family and friends more than anything and, in return, we all loved him back even more. He was incredibly loyal to everyone he knew and could always be counted on by anyone who needed him.
We hope the next time you are out enjoying the sunshine, a starry night or doing something that you love, you will take a moment to think of our dad Kevin and know that he is enjoying that moment with you too.
A celebration of Kevin’s life will be held on March 1, 2020 at 5:30 PM at Cactus & Tropicals:
12252 Draper Gate Drive
Draper, UT 84020
Kevin Thomas Whitehead was born on February 27, 1955 in Billings, Montana to Dewey and Arlene Whitehead. Along with his two brothers, Kurt and Kreg, and his two sisters, Debbie and Penny, Kevin was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Growing up, Kevin loved spending time with his family and friends. Whether he was water skiing or fishing at Flaming Gorge, riding motorcycles and dune buggies in the desert, or snow skiing in the mountains, he was always surrounded by his loved ones and friends.
In 1968, the Whitehead family started their family owned and operated business, Shag-Rug-La, where they all worked together as a team for many years. Working side by side with his family was something Kevin was extremely proud of.
Throughout his life, Kevin enjoyed being outdoors and close to nature. That was his happy place and where he always had the biggest smile on his face. He was an avid water and snow skier, softball player and golfer. He could also beat almost anyone in a game of pool or horseshoes.
Kevin married Chrissy Kichas in 1982. They created so many happy memories in their time together: purchasing their first home in Salt Lake; their vacation home near Flaming Gorge; traveling; spending time with family, friends and pets; and, in 1986, their most treasured memory, welcoming their daughter Brittni into the world. Being a dad was Kevin’s greatest joy and anyone who knew him, knew what a present, patient and amazing dad he was to Brittni.
Kevin married Jennifer Ostler in 1990 and gained a second daughter, Jessica. During their marriage, Kevin and Jennifer had so many fun adventures camping, boating, spending time at the Gorge and laughing endlessly with their two daughters. The special bond between their daughters was the greatest gift that Kevin and Jennifer could have ever asked for.
Brittni and Jessica were Kevin’s pride and joy. He taught them both that they could do anything they wanted and to live in the moment. He was always the first to support their hopes and dreams, no matter what they were, and he always made sure they both knew how much he loved them.
Kevin continued to run Shag-Rug-La after his parents passed away and his three siblings retired in 2013. Continuing the family business with the help of his brother Kreg and keeping the Shag-Rug-La name around was one of his greatest accomplishments and he felt so honored to do it.
Kevin spent the last few years of his life doing all of the things he loved; running his business, fishing and rope swinging at Flaming Gorge, golfing near his home in Saint George, traveling with friends and spending quality time with his daughters and their moms, his two sons in law and all of his friends and loved ones.
Kevin is survived by daughters, Brittni and husband Jeff Vega; Jessica and husband Cody Moore; former wives, Chrissy Kichas and Jennifer Ostler; siblings Kurt and Lindy Whitehead, Debbie Ryan, Penny and Don Raddon, Kreg Whitehead, lots of nieces and nephews and far too many friends to name.
Kevin was greeted in death by his parents, Dewey and Arlene, brother Roger, grandparents, great grandparents, good friends who passed on before him and his favorite little buddy, Sage.
Our family would like to give special thanks to; Dave and Boots Gannuscia, Rodney and Dawnie Benard, Don and Roxanne Riches, Ed Dugdale, Kevin Ellis, Kathryn Elliott, Dave and Laura Killian, the entire Raddon family, the Vega family and so many other dear friends who made Kevin’s last year so meaningful.
We would also like to express our gratitude to the management and staff at Beacon Crest Senior Living for all of their love and care, Kevin’s incredible nurse, Allison Evans, and his entire hospice team at Inspiration Home Health who all worked together to keep him feeling comfortable.
Dad, we will miss you and think about you every second until we see you again. You made such an impact on so many lives and were the source of so many laughs and smiles. We hope you know how totally “far out” and “awesome” you always were and that your dream of water skiing all over at the Gorge one more time came true.
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly
Into the mystic
Love you always.