February 21, 2021
Miami, Florida - Kevin Denning Kehoe, 56, passed February 21, 2021, with his loving wife Riza and friends by his side at home in Miami, FL after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in New York to John P. and Kathleen McManus Kehoe, Kevin grew up on Long Island and spent the majority of his adult life in the Miami area.
Kevin was a man with an abundance of friends and interests in his way too short life with a deep love for family, community and nature.
Kevin graduated high school from the Hyde School in Bath, Maine in 1984, after 2 years at Holy Family in Huntington, Long Island. Having discovered a love for cooking, Kevin received his diploma from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 1993.
After honing his skills at restaurants in New York City under the tutelage of Buzzy O'Keefe at The River Cafe and Rick Lakkonen at Luxe, as well as premier restaurants in New Jersey and Miami, Kevin co-founded Sparky's Roadside Barbecue in downtown Miami with his friend Hans Seitz in 2010. Kevin's love of food, flavor and BBQ was equally matched by his love of people. Together they built a loyal clientele and a regionally and nationally recognized restaurant appearing in Best in Chow on the Cooking Channel and Food Paradise on the Travel Channel, as well as numerous accolades in the press.
In addition to being a highly respected chef, Kevin was a man of many diverse hobbies. He brought a high level of passion and focus to each, becoming a certified beekeeper, purveyor of Pugabee Honey, and an accomplished scuba diver, motorcyclist, fisherman and golfer. He also learned to fly planes and jump out of them.
Kevin found sobriety on September 8th of 2008 and dedicated his life to maintaining his newfound freedom while helping so many people on the same life path. Kevin was an example of a sober life full of joy, love, outrageous laughter, selfless giving, unbreakable community and unconditional love. He married the love of his life, Riza Mallari, in 2019. They made a lifetime of memories in their abbreviated time together among family and friends.
Kevin was a generous donor of his time and food to local causes such as The Lotus House, South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Palace Senior Living Facility in Coral Gables. He was also active in the local bee rescue community and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Kevin is survived by his wife, Riza Mallari Kehoe; his sister, Maura Kehoe Collins (David); brothers John (Jennifer) and Brendan (Katie); nieces and nephews, Willa, Zach, Neil, Maddie, Thomas and Grace; step-daughters Jenil (Tyler) and Arriane; grandchildren Logan and Ellie; step-sisters Sandy, Kim, Teryl and Allise; and his pug Mickey.
A funeral mass will be scheduled at Saint Hugh in Miami. A memorial service will be held at a later date when travel to Miami is possible for his countless friends and family. Kevin's cremains will be placed on the Neptune Memorial Reef off Key Biscayne.
Donations can be made in Kevin's memory to Diveheart at https://diveheart.networkforgood.com/projects/66462-partner-with-diveheart-2019