At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Susan Mast ALS Foundation
2500 Waldorf Ct NW b
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Kevin Wade was a loving son, brother, uncle, and friend. He had an infectious belly laugh and lived a life deeply involved in Chicago service organizations and the Archdiocese, spending time with family, and cheering on his Chicago Cubs. While he has gone too soon, Kevin leaves behind a life marked by a standout sense of humor yielding a collection of wonderful memories cherished by his loving family and friends.
Dan and Sharon (Summers) Wade welcomed the arrival of their newborn baby boy, Kevin, at Bronson Hospital on December 21st, 1977 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Arriving home on Christmas Eve, his birth brought much joy and holiday blessings to the family home and his big sister, Kelly.
Growing up in Portage, Kevin lived a blissful childhood stretching days past sunset out with neighborhood friends, Brad and Troy, and his sisters, Kelly and Colleen. As Kevin grew, he developed a voracious appetite for baseball and all things history. His deep interest in baseball Kevin credited to his mother, Sharon, for getting him involved in his first local teams where she saw an opportunity for a lifelong passion that he himself did not yet realize. While Kevin’s sports fandom would eventually expand to include his MSU Spartans, baseball was a mainstay. Though a professional career in baseball might not have been in the books for Kevin, a passionate fandom for both the sport, and the Cubs specifically, would play out through visiting over 20 baseball parks and seeing what few in history have - a Cubs World Series Win in 2016!
From presidents and politics to diving deep into the recesses of the family tree, Kevin was possibly at his happiest diving into history - be it through reading biographies or excitedly listening to the personal stories from older generations wherever he went. He was likely most engrossed and prideful, however, taking in his grandfathers’ and uncles’ stories of important family and historical events. This appetite for knowing and understanding history would of course also be on full display in Kevin’s foray into the Forensics Team and Student Senate at Portage Northern High School where he also built lasting friendships with his close buddies, Paul and Brian. Graduating with the Class of 1996, he set off for Michigan State University to study Supply Chain Management and later received his Masters Degree in Accounting from DePaul University in Chicago.
Maybe the biggest standout of Kevin’s deep investment in learning and experiencing history was the special relationship he had with his father, Dan. Earlier, when Dan was frequently traveling for work, it ignited a deep interest in airplanes in Kevin. Dan would lean into this through reading together about planes throughout history as well as taking trips together to air shows and even to just watch the planes at Kalamazoo Airport or visit what is now the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. Through the years, Kevin would expand this love of history by taking numerous trips with his dad, seeing major landmarks and historical sites like Civil War battlefields, presidential libraries, and Alcatraz or visiting quirky museums, small town diners, and ghost towns. Other times they would go white water rafting, pan for gold, or just sit on top of a sand dune and gaze out at Lake Michigan while talking about life. Kevin cherished those times with his father which continued throughout Kevin’s life, always taking long walks whenever they were together.
The tie that binds across his love of history and baseball is, of course, Kevin's love for his family. He always looked forward to holidays as a time to get together with his sisters and his nieces and nephews. Holding dear his own memories and traditions surrounding Christmas and Thanksgiving, he always looked forward to getting the family together to relive some of his favorite times from childhood. Whether it was watching A Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life, setting the table for family dinner, or helping his mom perfect her gravy recipe - traditions, even down to details like using the right milk pitcher, meant a lot to Kevin and served as a bit of an anchor for his focus on family around the holidays.
Sadly, Kevin was diagnosed with an aggressive form of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and returned to his childhood home to be tenderly cared for by his loving parents. While the effects of ALS are devastating, Kevin was able to pass peacefully on Sunday, March 28th, 2021 surrounded by his loved ones and listening to kind words and memories from his closest friends and relatives. Kevin will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Kevin is survived by his parents: Dan and Sharon Wade; his two sisters: Kelly (Shane) Johnson and Colleen (Seamus) Egan; eight nieces and nephews: Marty, Sam, Nora, Molly, and Henry Johnson and Fiona, Quinn, and Brendan Egan; and several special aunts, uncles, and cousins. A private service for the family will be held. Please visit Kevin’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook . Memorial contributions may be made to The Susan Mast ALS Foundation or Hospice Care of SW Michigan. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.