Kevin Leslie Tinney died December 25, 2019, in Eureka, as a result of sepsis, after a two-week hospitalization. He was 50 years old.

A longtime resident of Humboldt County, Kevin lived in McKinleyville and Eureka for 25 years after graduating from Humboldt State University in 1994. An avid outdoorsman and accomplished athlete in many sports, Kevin led the HSU Lumberjacks as its quarterback for a season.

It was also at HSU where his lifelong passion for kayaking was first kindled. In 2002, Kevin took first place in the Men’s International Classic at the Santa Cruz Kayak Surf Festival.

Kevin lived life large and loud, always as a positive spirit, fierce competitor, and inspiring leader to his family and wide circle of friends.

Through the years he was both enthusiastic coach and cheering parent for his children’s athletic events, as well as for those of his friends’ children.

Kevin loved backpacking, camping, kayaking, surfing, golf and disc golf.

Born in Walnut Creek on September 14, 1969, Kevin was reared in Sacramento. Growing up, he played soccer, baseball, and football. As quarterback for the Cougars at John F. Kennedy High School, he until just recently held the California record for the most touchdown passes (eight) completed in a single high school game.

He worked for more than 20 years at Arcata-based Kokatat, manufacturer of paddle-based apparel and gear, and was instrumental in bringing in millions of dollars in federal contracts during his eight years as government sales manager.

Kevin is survived by his teenage children, Keith and Kathryn; parents Mike and Bonnie; sister Holly Avila; brother, Ryan; nephews, Michael and Gregory Collins; the love of his life, Kelly Ward; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A Celebration of Life fundraiser party will be held January 17, 2020, at the Eagle House, 124 C Street, Eureka, California, 95501. “The Undercovers” will play from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. at this all-ages event. This is an appetizer potluck with a cash bar.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Kevin Tinney’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.