I did not know Kevin Chernoff on a personal level — our relationship was mostly that of reporter pestering a public figure; but as I sat through his memorial service Friday I discovered the impressions I had of him were pretty accurate. The public figure and the private man were one in the same.
My view of Kevin was that he was passionate about his family, his relationships, his city and having fun. He frequently had a smile on his face and tried to see the lighter side of things.
Several stories were shared at his memorial service about pranks he pulled and how he enjoyed getting back at others for fun. The first time I saw Kevin after last year’s Remembrance Day services, he asked me with a smirk if I had seen the photo montage he had created on Facebook. I hadn’t, so of course I went and watched it right away. Included in the stream of photos was a not-so-flattering one of me preparing to take a photo. He let me know that it was payback for all the times he had ended up in one of my newspaper photos.
I have decided to give Kevin the last word and share some quotes from the columns he has written for the Castlegar News. His recent submissions highlight some of the things he cared about.
After attending a bridal show with his daughter, Kevin wrote some good advice about marriage:
“Relationships cannot be complacent, they are something you need to work on each and every day.”
“Marriage unites us, but we are not two halves that make one whole; we are two whole people that come together to make something extraordinary.”
“Work it. Commit to it. Pay attention. Preventative maintenance is a lot easier than cleaning up a disaster.”
“This is the biggest investment we can make in our lives and together we can accomplish so much more.”
On Mothers Day, he wrote about relationships:
“Maybe the greatest gift that we can give to one another these days is simply to genuinely be with one another without distractions… I think focusing on our moms is a great place to start this habit.”
“Of more importance is never missing that opportunity to tell her how much she means to you or how much you love her, Mother’s Day or not.”
He also wanted to show his appreciation for those that — as he put it — heed the call:
“We fail to say thank you often enough to these men and women who serve us as volunteer firefighters and volunteer first responders. We all hear the sirens when they go off, but that sound means something very different to them.”
“They don’t do it for the glory, but rather to satisfy their desire to help others in need and to keep our community safe.”
“So next time, take a minute to tip a hat, give them a thumbs up or just say thank you as they all deserve it.”
Kevin, for your sacrifice and commitment to our community — our hats are tipped and our thumbs are up.