October 31, 1965 - December 3, 2020
Kevin Ray Zylstra, 55, died peacefully in the arms of his loving wife Mary on Thursday, December 3rd at his home in Largo, Florida. Kevin had fought a brave seven month battle with Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo cancer. Kevin was born in Dubuque, Iowa on October 31, 1965. The second of five children, he is survived by two brothers and two sisters. Kendall, a year older, Mike, 5 years younger, Kirsten, 11 years younger and the apple of his eye, his baby sister Keri, to whom he affectionately referred as “Munchkin,” 12 years younger. Kevin’s childhood was dominated by athletics, where he excelled in every sport he tried. Consistently promoted to his older brother’s teams because he was so skilled, Kevin was a champion in basketball, soccer, swimming, track, baseball, and football. When he was a junior in high school, after passing on try outs for cross country, he asked the coach to join the team to help get into shape for the basketball season. The coach put it to a team wide vote; Kevin was accepted and was the only team member to make the state championship cross country meet that year, placing 7th in the state. As an adult, Kevin was an able truck driver who finished a stellar career without an accident or a citation, covering more than 5 million professional miles. He hauled everything from roofing materials to natural gas equipment. He was hauling cranes when he became too sick to work. His adult life recreation focused on golf and riding his motorcycle. He was better than average at golf – he was downright good. One summer he and Mary put 11,000 behind them on the bike – he was good at that too. Having a Halloween birthday, Kevin might have been expected to be ghoulish, ghostly, scary. To the contrary, he was warm, kind, funny and described by his sister – just so damn likeable. His trademark phrases – heavens to Mergatroid, yippee skippy, young grasshopper – never got old. He was unapologetically himself. Kevin is survived by a daughter, Kasandra, 32 of Kansas City, Missouri, her husband Nathan Woolley and his granddaughter Adelaide, soon to be 2 years old. Kevin is preceded in death by his son Kristopher who died in January at 31 years of age. Kristopher had a daughter, Kevin’s other granddaughter, Bria who resides with her mother in Kansas City. Kevin is survived by his wife of 23 years, Mary (“Baby Doll” or more frequently, “Blondie”) of Largo, Florida and Mary’s son Christopher Albers of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Christopher’s wife Natasha and their kids Jaxson, Rilynn, Finn, and twin Adlynn. He is also survived by Mary’s daughter Heather Borr of Rapid City, South Dakota and her husband Bryce and their children Brylee and Norah. Kevin is survived by his biological father Ray Freese of Sioux City, Iowa, his wife Julie and their two sons, Brandon and Beau. Kevin is survived by his parents Ken and Sue Zylstra of Grandville, Michigan. He is survived by his brother Kendall of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania and sister in law Whitney and their boys, Calvin, Kendall and CJ. He is survived by his brother Mike of Grand Rapids, Michigan, his sister in law Carrie, Mike’s kids Jordan, Sadie and Tyler and Mike’s stepchildren Charlotte and Nicholas. Kevin is survived by his sister Kirsten of Scottsdale, Arizona, his brother in law Milo and their kids Elle and Paycey. Kevin is survived by his sister Keri of Portland, Oregon and his brother in law Robb Beck and their kids Louise and Frances.
Kevin Ray Zylstra, 55, died peacefully in the arms of his loving wife Mary on Thursday, December 3rd at his home in Largo, Florida. Kevin had fought a brave seven month battle with Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo cancer. Kevin was born in Dubuque,... View Obituary & Service Information
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