KEVIN MICHAEL BEAVER
Kevin M. Beaver, 40 of Kansas City's West Plaza neighborhood died Friday, December 18, 2009. A Rosary Service will be held 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at tgeMcGilley Midtown Chapel, 20 West Linwood Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri. Friends may call from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, Kevin's family requests that memorial contributions may be made to the Guardian Angels Food Pantry, 1310 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64111.
Kevin was born December 19, 1968 in Kansas City, Missouri to Dewey Lando and Diana Lynn (Wesselmann) Beaver. He was a graduate of DeLaSalle High School and attended various culinary schools in Kansas City. Kevin cooked for several four and five star restaurants in Kansas City. In addition to being a gifted chef, Kevin was very creative as a painter, woodworker and musician and was an avid disc golf player.
Kevin was preceded in death by his father: Dewey Beaver. Kevin's survivors include his wife of four years, Susie Beaver of the home; his mother Diana Bille and her husband Ralph Bille of Kansas City, Missouri; his brother: Sean Beaver and wife Stephaney of Kansas City, Missouri; sister: Renee GotviAghya of Carthage, Misssouri; and his full blooded Blachowsky: Spike.
From the Kansas City Star Newspaper.
Kevin Beaver usually walked from his West Plaza home to his Westport workplace, McCoy's Public House and Brew Kitchen, stretching the 15-minute walk into an enjoyable 20-minute stroll.
The Kansas City chef didn't see well enough to drive, and he never sensed any danger in his early-morning ritual.
Friday morning seemed no different. The man everyone called simply Beaver woke up before dawn, figured it was warm enough and kissed his wife goodbye.
By 6:20 a.m. he had reached 43rd and Wyoming streets. There, a would-be robber cut short the life of the simple, sweet, silly midtown man who taught himself to cook and worked his way into the kitchens of Kansas City.
"I bet you can't walk into a kitchen in Kansas City without somebody in there who will know him," said his friend, Melanie Roberts. "I guarantee it."
Beaver struggled with the assailant. Police said the man pulled out a handgun and fired several shots into Beaver's torso. Beaver ran around the corner and collapsed in the street, where neighbors found him. Neighbors rendered first aid until police arrived.
Police said Friday they had no suspects in the case.
Beaver's wife, Susie, missed the first call from authorities about the shooting but rushed to St. Luke's Hospital once she found out.
"Beaver would say, 'Don't panic,' " Susie said. "I kept hoping it wasn't serious. Couldn't possibly be. I didn't want to believe it. That sort of thing happens to other people, other sad people on TV."
He would have turned 41 today. (Saturday) He was going to cook for his friends at his house to celebrate.
Beaver worked hard to become a chef. He grew up cooking for his older sister and younger brother, and after he left home at the age of 15, a priest told him he should graduate from high school rather than simply earn his GED. So Beaver worked at restaurants while completing his education at Rockhurst High School.
As an adult he was sous chef at Capital Grille, Webster House and Accurso's before he became a prep chef at McCoy's, making soups, breads, sauces and desserts. There he invented the chocolate peanut-butter ice cream sandwich, his wife and Roberts said.
He cooked for friends' birthday parties, for his wife on their first date, and even for his own wedding.
"He could make something amazing out of nothing," his wife said.
Other midtown denizens knew Beaver for sitting on the porch of his wooded bungalow with his big bear of a dog, Spike, a black lab-chow-husky mix. He called it a Blachowsky.
"He liked his dog, his house, his lady and his home," Roberts said. "He was a homebody."
Endlessly creative, when not stirring up a favorite dish in the kitchen, Beaver entertained friends with trivia or stories - embellished perhaps for entertainment value.
" 'Susie, what's rule Number 1?' he'd say," according to his wife. "Believe the Beave."
Four years ago he and Susie married. He promised her that even though he hated the cold, they would move to northern Wisconsin upon retirement so she could be with her family.
Susie said she didn't feel the need for revenge against the gunman. She just misses Beaver.
"Everyone who knew him loved him," his wife said. "Everyone should know what a good person he was."