Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2003

Never-ending faith

March 13, 2003

Kevin Scott Verdict died in much the same manner he lived his life -- placing the needs of other people before his own.

Whether that meant helping another human being find sobriety, deal with an illness similar to his or go to work after a weekend of chemotherapy treatments, Kevin displayed a selfless attitude.

"He always wanted to help people," his wife, Annita, said. "I'm a better person for having known him. I'm sure a lot of people are, but he's in a better place now."

Kevin Verdict, 40, a Basehor resident and 1982 graduate of Bonner Springs High School, lost his battle with cancer and died at Providence Medical Center Tuesday, March 4.

He was a member of Basehor Baptist Church and an employee of Miles Excavating.

Kevin was the subject of a Sentinel/Chieftain feature story in June 2002 titled "The Power of Prayer."

The feature detailed Kevin's recovery from his illness -- stage four non-Hodgkins lymphoma -- which he attributed to his belief in God and prayer.

"To me, it's in the heart and in the soul," he said in June of his beliefs.

He also took time in the story, when the spotlight was shining solely on him, to offer advice to others, and warn them of his previous mistakes.

Kevin said he hoped men in their 30s who hadn't gotten physical examinations for years, would do so. And he offered to help or counsel anyone that came across the disease that he was battling.

This was just one example of how he placed the needs of others above his own.

An Alcoholics Anonymous speaker with three-and a-half- years sobriety, Kevin also offered to help anyone who wanted to get clean.

"A lot of people would come up to him and say 'I really think I ought to quit this', and he'd say "I'd be more than happy to go to a meeting with you or whatever you need'," Annita said.

Staying sober was a proud achievement.

"He was really proud of his recovery," Annita said. "It was about the same time he found his faith. He just had an angel come to him one day at the AA hall. He would say if it wasn't for God he wouldn't be clean."

For whatever reason, non-secular or not, Kevin remained cancer free for approximately seven months.

He and his family learned in February that the disease had returned.

This time, however, the cancer was more advanced and doctors told Kevin he would need a bone marrow transplant.

While undergoing chemotherapy treatments, Kevin kept working as a heavy equipment operator. He did this so he could keep providing for his family, Annita said.

"Kevin kept pushing," she said. "He said 'I've got to provide for my family. I have to work while I can.'"

Despite the obstacles, Kevin's trust in God was so strong, he never questioned or doubted his faith.

"He was ready spiritually," Annita said. "He read the Bible and prayed every day before he went to bed.

"He gave God everything."

More than 200 people attended his wake and funeral last weekend.

Kevin Verdict is survived by his wife, Annita; a son, Winston Gage Verdict; a stepson, Luke Whittemore, all of the home; father and mother, Frank Jr. and Louise (Michael) Verdict, Bonner Springs; and two brothers, Tony Verdict, Bonner Springs, and Jay Verdict, Shawnee.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Kevin S. Verdict Memorial Fund, c/o Commercial State Bank, P.O. Box 397, Bonner Springs, KS 66012.

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