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Kevin Frank Whitley

November 12, 1952 November 7, 2022
Kevin Frank Whitley
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Obituary for Kevin Frank Whitley

Love Remains


Kevin Frank Whitley was born November 12, 1952, in Los Angeles, California, the first child of Frank and Arleen Whitley. Two years later he became loving older brother to baby sister Leslie. In 1960, their family of four moved from Whittier, CA to a new home in Orange, CA, where the landscape was dotted with many fragrant orange groves. Here Kevin grew up, attending Taft Elementary School, Peralta Junior High School, and Villa Park High School, graduating in 1970. He then went on to college at Cal State Fullerton, earning a degree in Physical Education.


Kevin’s childhood and young adult years were characterized by personal relationships intentionally nurtured with family and friends, as well as a strong sense of stewardship. His appreciation of clean cars began early; after receiving a set of toy cars for Christmas, he was so keen to keep them pristine he decided to wash them in the dog’s water bowl. His affinity for leading and encouraging others also started young; Kevin was known by all of the cousins as the one who ensured everyone else had a good time, whether playing games, flipping tricks on the trampoline, or throwing frisbees at the beach.


During the 70’s and 80’s, Kevin’s network expanded. He worked at the Anaheim YMCA, teaching gymnastics and fitness classes, later acting as the assistant physical director. Eventually Kevin decided to follow his dad into the insurance business. Though an entirely new industry, he continued to apply his strong people skills, finding satisfaction in connecting and meeting the needs of others. Another avenue of service was his active participation in the local Lions and Rotary Clubs, acting as Rotary president in 1988.


The signal relationship of Kevin’s life began in college. Just before graduation, Kevin met Lani Sue Aldrich through Lani’s brother, Gwynn, and the young adult group at Lake Hills Community Church. From the start, theirs was a special friendship that blossomed into love. Kevin and Lani married on January 21, 1978. Lani was the love of his life, and Kevin was hers.


The couple welcomed three daughters into the world, Candice, Wendy, and Amy, whom Kevin often referred to as his greatest treasures. From Saturday breakfast dates to Indian Princess adventures (a YMCA program for dads and daughters) to college-related trips and the countless moments in between, Kevin inspired the girls to follow their hearts. He rejoiced in supporting them every step of the way, always there to listen, invest, and cheer them on.


In 1993 after falling in love with the Rocky Mountains, the Whitleys moved to Colorado, determined to try life in a new setting - one with four distinct seasons, no less. Kevin embraced the excitement of a different environment, getting to know those at MONY and Guardian insurance agencies and joining Cherry Hills Community Church as a family. He invested considerable time into relationships, including mentoring students from Denver Seminary, serving as an elder and youth leader at CHCC, attending men’s bible studies and small groups, and helping to start Solid Grounds Coffee House in Highlands Ranch.


Fond memories include many return trips to California for special occasions with family and friends. The designated planner of new family adventures, Kevin led biking, hiking, and exploring trips. One stand-out trip was to Costa Rica in 2005 where they ran from crabs in the hotel room, rode a zipline hundreds of feet high, and chased howler monkeys, emboldened by Kevin’s “Let’s do this!” attitude. No less cherished were times of one-on-one conversations with many people he loved. These sentiments were expressed on his 64th birthday…“You actively live out a busy life of ministry to every person who providentially crosses your path”... “You know no strangers, and it’s as true today as it was back then”...”You love people, and you share God’s love and plan for them every chance you get.”


In 2014, Kevin was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimers and in December 2016, transitioned to full-time care at Garden Terrace. There he was re-diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia and soon developed ALS (which often accompanies FTD). Through the six years he lived at Garden Terrace, though paralyzed and mostly non-verbal, Kevin still fostered relationships with the community around him. The staff, nurses, pastors, and fellow families at GT were a blessing to Kevin and all the Whitleys, who are forever grateful for their loving care. Kevin passed away peacefully on Monday, November 7, 2022, after a long and strong battle, succumbing after a mercifully brief bout of pneumonia.


Kevin is survived by his wife Lani, three daughters (Candice Whitley, Wendy Mengel, and Amy Sweetin), two sons-in-law (Charlie Mengel and Mike Sweetin), four grandchildren (Judah Scott and Shepherd Kevin Mengel; and Juliette Lani and Charlotte Whitley Sweetin), and one sister, Leslie Ausmus. He is predeceased by his father, Frank. Six weeks after Kevin’s passing, his mother, Arleen, joined him in Heaven on December 18, 2022. He is forever loved by his sisters- and brothers-in-law (Bob Ausmus, David and Wendy Lewis, and Gwynn and Kathy Aldrich), along with his niece and six nephews.


For those who are unable to attend in person, please join us via livestream: http://dixonchapel.cherryhills.com


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Upcoming Events

Celebration of Life

Sunday

19

Feb

1:30 PM 2/19/2023 1:30:00 PM
Dixon Chapel at Cherry Hills Community Church

3900 East Grace Blvd.
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

RSVP is requested by February 5, 2023, using the Eventbrite website at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrating-the-life-of-kevin-whitley-tickets-499075366857. There will be a reception following the services in the Atrium.

Dixon Chapel at Cherry Hills Community Church
3900 East Grace Blvd. Highlands Ranch 80126 CO
United States

Memorial Contribution

The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration

2700 Horizon Drive, Suite 120
King of Prussia, PA 19406
In Kevin Whitley's memory

Denver Rescue Mission

P.O. Box 5206
Denver, CO 80217
In Kevin Whitley's memory
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