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1956 Kevin 2024

Kevin Gafford

October 8, 1956 — March 28, 2024


Kevin Kent Gafford, known affectionately to his grandkids as "Papaw", embarked on his final journey on March 28, 2024, after a valiant yet brief battle with cancer.


After making his grand entrance into the world on October 8, 1956, in Odessa, TX, Kevin's early years set the stage for a life as varied and vibrant as his interests. With a childhood rooted in Midland, he absorbed the rugged charm, resilience, and warmth that would become hallmarks of his character. As he grew, so did his reputation as the man who could make friends with any stranger, solve any conundrum, and fix just about anything that dared to break, from household appliances to hearts.


Throughout his life, Kevin developed many talents and careers. From machine shops to car lots, from hotel management to insurance sales, from the oil fields of the Permian Basin to retirement, he tackled each new challenge with wit and confidence as sharp as his intellect. His work in oil and gas wasn't just a job; it was a testament to his enduring spirit and tireless work ethic. But ask him his proudest achievement, and he'd tell you without reservation that it was raising his three sons, Chris, Chad, and Chance. It wasn't an easy feat, but he managed it with great pride and ultimate success. He dedicated 10 years of his life to Indian Guides where he would spend fondly remembered quality time with his sons during their most formative years. Later in life, Kevin was instrumental in helping his boys to understand how literal God was when he said in John 3:16 "Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." What a simple gift from God that Kevin accepted many years ago.


Kevin's love for all things western knew no bounds. His ability to decorate a home showing extreme Texas Pride was unparalleled. Whether he was crooning to country tunes or embarrassing his sons with Tejano, his passion for music was as infectious as his personality. He derived the most joy in the hymns he sang as a child and later, on the church worship team.


The great outdoors was Kevin's happy place, and he spent countless hours reveling in the beauty of God's creations. He learned the love of nature from his grandmother and quickly passed it on to his three sons. His grandchildren were the apples of his eye and one of his last good days on Earth was spent playing and laughing with them outside. What a memory for them to take through their own lives. Their memories with Papaw will be filled with laughter, adventure, and the occasional dumb joke, each as beloved as the man himself.


Kevin's sarcasm and wit touched the hearts of all who knew him. If he wasn't picking on you, he probably didn't like you. His intelligence was as evident as his humor, with a mind as keen as a tack. You'd be hard-pressed to find a topic he didn't know at least a little bit about. Kevin could sell ice to an Eskimo and was the truest sense of self-reliance. If it was broken, he could probably fix it. If not, he simply took the attitude of "it's not any more broke than it was."


Kevin leaves behind a legacy of joy and hard work, a family who adored him, and a lifetime of friendships. There simply aren't enough words in the English language to fully describe his bigger-than-life personality.


He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Ellen Burns, and father, Wylie Kent Gafford.


He is survived by his loving sisters, Debbie Swafford and Lorrie Burt; his sons, Chris and wife Vonda, Chad, and Chance and wife Renee; along with the grandchildren whom he adored, Genesis, Ryan, Christian, Kaden, Case, Natalee, and Lilah.


As we bid farewell to Kevin, let's take the time to remember that he is no longer suffering the ravages of a worn-out body. He's now at "Home" with a new, pain-free body and rejoicing with his Savior. Kevin fulfilled the Hunter S. Thompson quote that he was so fond of....

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"


A celebration of Kevin's life will be held sometime in the Early summer at a time and place to be announced. Be watching for that notification and come ready to throw a celebration as large as Kevin's life and personality.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Kevin Gafford, please visit our flower store.

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