Tribute to Kevin Anthony Chang 4/19/1975 - 3/21/2021
If Kindness was a person, his name would be Kevin Anthony Chang. Kevin was born on Saturday the nineteenth of April, in the year nineteen hundred and seventy five, on the island paradise of Jamaica, in a small town called Ocho Rios. I believe that on that day and in that moment, God lent a piece of himself to us. Not just any piece, but the biggest part of His heart. He lent Kevin to us to light our way when we could not see, to hold our hands when we could not find our way, to hug us close when we needed love, and to stand as guard when we were too weak to protect ourselves. Kevin brought joy and a sense of comfort wherever he went and you could see it clearly by the smiles left in his wake and the longing in the hearts of those he touched.
As the firstborn son of a chef and a housewife, Kevin was the integral piece to the start of the family and brought joy to his parents daily. He was a happy and curious child always exploring his surroundings with avid intent. At about 4 years old he moved to Seville Heights, Jamaica, and began to attend Ms. Mama's school where he excelled at math above all else. He made numerous friends and within a short time was known and loved by everyone at his school. Kevin grew older and stronger but never lost his youthful energy and never lost his ability to make people laugh. He had such an innocence that was almost unbelievable.
His highschool years were spent at York Castle High School in Brown's Town, Jamaica, and in typical Kevin fashion, he became the most popular kid on the campus with students and teachers alike. His humor and spirit earned him the epitaph "Benny Hill," and he was always such a joy to have around inspiring laughter and general feelings of mirth every day. Kevin continued to excel at math and found his artistic talents in dancing and drama. He was extremely active in the dance club and represented the school in a winning capacity at a regional dance competition. Boy did he have moves then and now, never failing to showcase his talent at family get togethers to make everyone smile!
After highschool, he attended Brown's Town Community College because it was the fastest route to a paying job at the time. He saw the need and decided to cut his education short to find a job and help with the family finances. He was that kind of person, and though it was a heavy price to pay, Kevin did it without a second thought. He not only was our big brother, but he began to act in a paternal capacity as a teenager. He gladly gave his entire paycheck to help support his younger siblings and those in need and never ever complained or held back. We all owe our academic successes to his sacrifices for us. Though he had so many career and educational prospects, he put it all on hold for his younger siblings.
Continuing a culture of service and selflessness, Kevin joined the police force in a special tactical unit because he saw the injustices in our homeland and was committed to helping in whatever capacity he could. He saved numerous lives while putting his directly in the line of fire on a daily basis, and made many brothers within the force. He protected political leaders, impoverished communities, and the downtrodden and less fortunate from the ravages of crime and violence, and won the respect of his peers and of the people he protected and served. What is most impressive is that despite spending 5 years in the force as the tip of the spear, and seeing the darkest elements of humanity firsthand, he never lost his youthful innocence, his loving smile, and his strong belief in the power of good and the power of God.
After leaving the force to emigrate to the United States, Kevin continued to be a force for good in the world, and after working for many years as a service counselor for students preparing for standardized tests, gravitated towards a career in nursing. Kevin advocated for his patients on a daily basis and when the coronavirus pandemic hit, never stopped putting himself on the line to care for patients and their families. It was this final act of selflessness that cost Kevin his life, and though we are extremely sad and heartbroken, we know that Kevin would have it no other way than giving his life for others and in the service of those in need.
Kevin was a devout Christian who loved God so deeply and so fully. He was baptized as a youth and attended church services regularly at the St. Ann's Bay SDA Church and was a Deacon at the North Bronx SDA Church. They say only the good die young, and I never believed it until now. The bible says there is no one good but God, and I believe if it were written today that verse would be different because of our dear brother.
He is survived by his beautiful wife Rheta and their two wonderful children Rhyanna (14) and Kayle (6). His loving and dedicated mother Thelma, his father Vincent, his biological brothers Gary and Keron, his only sister Dinnisa, his nieces and nephews Daniel, Matthew, Micaiah, Raechel, Kaitlyn, and Nael.
He is also survived by his engrafted brothers Walkeen, Raul, Marlon, Michael (Greg), Mark (Okefe), Andrew Gordon, Andrew Gillings.
Kevin will be remembered for many things, but if we could sum it all up into a few words it would be kindness, loyalty, protectiveness, integrity, strength, humor, gentleness, selflessness, and honesty. Kevin, you will be sorely missed and though we may never truly heal from this tragedy, we take joy in knowing that we had you for 45 wonderful years, and we will see you again in the earth made new.