Kyle Scott Reece, born May 31, 1985, in Fairbanks, passed away during February 2013.
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Kyle attended Fairbanks area schools before attending Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla., earning a degree in audio/video arts in 2006.
Kyle was preceded in death by his mother, Lavonia Reece; grandparents, Sam and Harriet Reece, and Bob Shefchik Sr.
Kyle is survived by a son; sister, Lauren Reece, of Kansas City, Mo.; father, Don (Marceile) Shefchik; grandmother, Carol Shefchik, of Fairbanks; uncle, Sam Reece, and cousins. Richard and Diana Reece of Tulsa, Okla.; uncle and aunt, Chuck and Jackie Bisbee, of Payson, Arizona; aunts, Debbie (Ole) Olson, of Mena, Ariz., Janise (Tom) Cross, of Huntington Beach, Calif.; uncle, Bob (Barb) Shefchik, of Fairbanks; cousins, Rick Irish, Cindy Benford, Chris Hagen, John Hagen, Friz Bisbee, Mike Shefchik, Donald Irish, David Gillitzer, Julie Shefchik, Mandy Irish, Keith Pineault, Jordan Sundberg, Andrea Gillitzer, Dylan Hagen, and Johnny Hagen; dear friends, the Cartier, Mensik and O'Kelley families, and many other loving family members and friends too numerous to list.
Kyle was the second of a gang of five cousins who were born in a two year period and who played, laughed and loved their way through childhood in Fairbanks. He loved all his family, but this group was something very special.
Kyle had an open heart and an unconditional love for the people in his life.
He didn't judge people on anything other than the good that he saw in their hearts. Kyle was passionate about injustices and unfairness that he saw, while at the same time being very forgiving of the weaknesses of others and any wrongs he may have experienced from those he loved.
Kyle had many interests. At age 5, his mom bought him a dirt bike and he raced motocross with a passion for the next eight years until his 13th birthday when he had a bad crash resulting in fractured vertebrae in his back and neck. Against his wishes, Dad retired him from racing.
At age 5 he took up hockey, playing and loving the game into his teens.
At 14, during a family Christmas trip to Oceanside, Calif., his cousin, Friz, bought him his first surfboard, and on his own he began learning how to surf. He became quite good, surfing in California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
He enjoyed family hunting trips, more for the sessions around the fire than the hunting. He had a fond memory of a fishing trip to Valdez with his friend, Ben, and he seemed most at peace in the quiet of natural surroundings with his loved ones.
In the fourth grade, he learned to play the saxophone, beginning his lifelong love of music.
His interest in the sax changed to a love for the guitar that lasted the rest of his life. He would sit for hours playing and writing, enjoying nothing more than sitting around with friends making music.
Kyle had the soul of a wanderer combined with an adventurous spirit. After high school Kyle and his good friend, Larry O'Kelley, tramped through Australia and New Zealand, variously living in a teepee, on a farm, working in a pizza restaurant, sleeping on the ground, surfing and having a beer.
In addition to the Australian adventure, Kyle spent a couple of winters in Hawaii, lived in Florida for school, spent a great deal of time in Kansas with his mom and sister, visited his sister in New York and North Carolina, and traveled to Texas, Oklahoma, California and Washington, and made a trip to Mexico with a church group to help build orphanages.
Kyle made lasting friends everywhere he went with his warm smile, infectious laugh and loving heart, endearing him to many people along his path.
It is not possible to capture the full essence of a person in a few words on a page and this tribute to Kyle is a very incomplete picture of all that he was. Those of us who loved and were loved by Kyle will miss him terribly and carry him in our hearts until we meet again.
There will be a celebration of Kyle's life on May 31, 2013, in Fairbanks, with the time and location to be announced at a later date.
Published in Daily News-Miner on May 5, 2013