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Obituary of Kevin Carson
The Legendary Life of
On Super Bowl Sunday, February 12, 2023, Kevin Carson passed away at the age of 62, surrounded by his children and family. In true Kevin form, he refused to leave the party until his third favorite NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs, won the game.
Kevin was born on July 31, 1960, in Santa Maria, California to Mary Formo and Don Carson. Kevin spent his early childhood in sunny California, but when he was nine, he moved to Wenatchee, Washington with his mom and younger sisters, Kim and Kelly. Kevin’s remaining school-aged years were spent in the Wenatchee Valley. Always the entrepreneur (he was a Leo, after all), Kevin had countless part-time jobs growing up—delivering papers, mowing lawns, working as a cook, and working at a bank (where he eventually got promoted to teller). He graduated from Wenatchee High School in 1978.
In 1984, Kevin received his Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University, specializing in Business and Information Systems. He then launched his career as a programmer in the Seattle area—long before “tech” was cool or even a career path. He first worked as a programmer at Great Northern Insured Annuity (or GNA) and then went to work as a programmer and project manager for Airborne Express (now DHL). After 15 years at Airborne Express, in 2006, Kevin went to work as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. He spent the next 17 years of his career as a manager at Microsoft, including many years managing MS support for the X-Box and Windows teams.
In these roles, Kevin traveled all over the country—including relocating to Beaumont, Texas at one point. His work at Microsoft also took him to many parts of the world, including the Philippines, Panama, Ireland, and many other places throughout Europe. According to his colleagues, Kevin was wicked smart, reliable, and a dedicated mentor who always produced “excellent” results (and he expected the same from those he managed). Kevin was committed to bringing his best to work every day. One colleague said: “Individual accountability was his mantra.” Kevin also had an uncanny ability to connect with people, which explains why he made dozens (if not hundreds) of lifelong friends while working at GNA, Airborne Express, and Microsoft. It helped that Kevin often planned “work reunions” with colleagues.
Kevin was a bachelor for many years, but he finally met Michela Bowman in 1993. In 2000, they had their first child, a daughter, Kyerra. The following year, in 2001, they welcomed their son, Kaius, to the world. Kevin adored his children and believed it was important to show them the world—they traveled as a family to Ireland, Graceland, Alaska, and, most recently (in November 2022) to Hawaii. When they were growing up, he loved attending Kyerra and Kaius’s lacrosse games, usually with his camera in hand. Before his passing, he said he was fortunate to have been around to take his kids out on their 21st birthdays and drink a beer with them (Kyerra is 22 and Kaius is 21).
Kevin was also a loyal son, brother, and uncle. After his step-father, Al Formo, passed away in 2005, he promised his mother that she would not have to endure life’s hardships alone. He worked day and night to ensure Al’s memorial was perfect (just as he had done for other lost loved ones). When his mom, his sisters, or his cousins asked for his help—e.g., navigating technology, moving across the state, and dealing with life’s other challenges—Kevin was always there. Even though he lived in Seattle, he often went back to Wenatchee for holidays, birthdays, his nephews’ baseball games, his nieces’ recitals, and many other life events. He gave the best advice and the most thoughtful gifts.
When Kevin wasn’t working or spending time with family, he was either traveling or working on his next big idea. At one point, he bought his very own food truck called “Just Jacks,” which he liked to set up outside of Watershed, the country music festival at the Gorge Amphitheater. Beginning in the 1990s, Kevin planned an annual birthday golf trip in late summer, which brought together sometimes 12+ friends at various golf destinations across the West Coast and in British Columbia. His favorite places to golf were near his hometown, like Desert Canyon or Bear Mountain. Kevin never missed an opportunity to explore the country on his Harley Davidson—as he was a self-proclaimed “dive bar” and “biker bar” connoisseur. One year, when he was headed home from Sturgis, he unwittingly spent the night drinking with members of the Hells Angels somewhere outside of Deadwood. On another trip to Hawaii’s Big Island, he spent the evening drinking beer with Hawaiian bikers (and his sister Kelly and cousin Kris) at the “southernmost bar in the United States.” He learned, according to two locals, his Hawaiian name was “Kewina.” He never lived it down from his sister or cousin. Kevin also loved to visit his properties in Chelan and Gig Harbor.
Kevin had a lot of loves—Elvis, the Seahawks, fantasy football, golf, photography, motorcycles, and good Kentucky bourbon. He had a lot of secondary loves too—the Mariners, sports in general (and sports gambling), the horse races, NASCAR, classic rock, Kid Rock, Chick-Fil-A, cigars, manhattans, quirky independent films, Drew Barrymore, to name “just” a few. His love for sports took him to the Super Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona in 2015 to watch the Hawks. He was a Mariners season ticket holder for many years in the 1990s (with his best friend, Lee), when Baseball Hall of Famer, Ken Griffey, Jr., was in his prime.
On the flip side, Kevin had a few pet peeves too. He despised almost all “white food”—mayo, sour cream, eggs—if it was white (or off-white), he probably hated it. On the rare occasion he ordered eggs, he would force the restaurant to “blacken” them, i.e., burn them to a crisp (because, according to Kevin, they no longer tasted like or resembled eggs at that point—nor were they even white). Not only was Kevin a picky eater, he often peppered waiters with dozens of questions about the menu. It is rumored he once got kicked out of a California Pizza Kitchen for his excessive menu inquisitions. He also detested spiders.
Kevin was one of the world’s great conversationalists—not just because he was a critical thinker and knew a little about everything (and a lot about certain topics, like Elvis and sports), but you could always count on him to tell you the truth in a respectful way. Above all, Kevin was considerate, thoughtful, and selfless. He always remembered birthdays, and he was always ready with his camera, to document life’s big events.
Kevin’s love for and loyalty to his family and friends—and his zeal for life—transformed the lives of everyone he encountered. Kevin will be deeply missed and survived by his children, Kyerra and Kaius Carson, his mother, Mary Formo, his sisters, Kim Williams and Kelly Doherty, and his two cousins, four nephews, two nieces, three grand-nephews, one grand-niece, and hundreds of friends.
We will miss you, Kewina!