Kenneth Jerome Yekovich

Kenneth Jerome (K.J.) Yekovich, Canon City, passed away on February 7, 2013. K.J. was born in Canon City on November 19, 1973 to Frank Yekovich and Mona (Burns) Patrick. K.J. lost his father, Frank, in 1975. He lived in Canon City for the majority of his life, and was raised by a man he very much loved and admired, his step-dad Jesse Patrick. K.J. grew up in Canon City, and graduated with the CCHS class of 1992. He had a very close knit gang of school buddies and leaves behind Neil Tracy, Kevin Shea, and Josh Trainor. After graduating high school he attended the then University of Southern Colorado, receiving a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Social Sciences with a minor in Outdoor Recreation in May of 1997. As his studies suggest, K.J. loved people and fun. He was the driving force for why many of his beloved family members continue to pursue outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. K.J.'s real passion was music, especially heavy metal, and, specifically, live concerts. His spirit was never more alive than when he was at a "rock show." Since July of 2000 K.J. was employed locally with the Colorado Department of Corrections as a Correctional Officer, where he made many friends. His favorite years were spent working in the Recreation Department where he developed especially close relationships with James Gallardo, Michael Clark, Kevin Wilcoxson, Dave Wilson, Kelly Arriaga, Olivia Valdez, Randy Brinker, and Rodger Wright. He also spoke very fondly of housing supervisors Joe Aragon (retired) and Becky Ernster (retired). K.J., the baby of a very large blended family, had 17 siblings, and because of this was closer in age to many of his nieces and nephews. Through the years he led them through many adventures, and had a special bond with them that transcended the typical family relationship. K.J. also had a special bond with his sister Laurie, and her best friend Vanessa Whitney. In 2008, K.J. (pet name "Spike") met his soul mate and the love of his life, Chrissy Pallaro (pet name "Chikes") whom he wed on March 21, 2009. Those who knew him could see that he obviously spent the best years of his life with her. He told her on their wedding day that, since he met her, "Everything in my life is better." K.J. is survived by his wife, Chrissy Pallaro, son Kendrick (K.C.) Yekovich, mother Mona Patrick, father and mother-in-laws Les and Teri Pallaro, siblings Debbie (Joe) Peter, Linda (Dan) Slater, Lester (Sue) Cecil, Bert (Dave) Stiefel, Travis (Apryll) Cecil, Johnny Walden, Laurie Yekovich, Linda Sue Coke, Bob (Michelle) Yekovich, Connie Yekovich, Debbie (Tommy) Barlaan, Hoopie (Charlotte) Patrick, Joe (Karen) Patrick and Roger (Jamie) Patrick; brothers-in-law Jeff (Shawnae) Pallaro and Steve Pallaro. He is also survived by nephews and nieces, whom he loved so much: Nathan (Heather) Peter, Trevor (Joy) Peter, Dustin (Alisha) Peter, Matt (Rachel) Peter, Stan (Karen) Hartzman, Andi (Doug) Wilson, Jeremiah (Kristi) Slater, Mandy (Chad) Bowman, Felicia Cecil, Angie (Brian Salameno) Cecil, Sam Cecil, Liz (Paul) Fay, Josh Chavez, Ashley Cecil, Chase Cecil, Conner Cecil, Cole Cecil, Jamie (Tim) Reed, Scottie Patrick, Morgan Patrick, Mary Beth Patrick, Scott Pallaro, Tyler Pallaro, Jessie (Brandi) Patrick,, Lisa (Brian) Wright, Harmony Shannon, Kris Coe, Lauren Coe, Bianca Barlaan, Alejandro Barlaan, Orlando (Sam) Barlaan, and Wayne Colbert. He is survived by his two dogs, whom referred to as his "kids," Jax and Gemma, and may other aunts, uncles, cousins, great-nieces and nephews, and loads of fabulous friends. K.J. was preceded in death by his grandparents, his dads Frank Yekovich and Jesse Patrick, very dear friend Scott Peter, brothers Rick Yekovich and Keith Yekovich, sister Becky Colbert, and niece Tammy Colbert. Remembrances include a viewing at Holt Family Funeral Home, Tuesday February 12, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., and a Celebration of Life gathering at the Florence Elks Club following, from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m. In honor and celebration of his life, preferred dress is band or concert tee shirts. Arrangements handled through Holt Family Funeral Home.

Published in The Canon City Daily Record on Feb. 12, 2013