Carpe Diem: Celebrating The Life of Kevin Austin
Rick Wolf gives you the recipe for the perfect life by examining a thrill seeker, fantasy pioneer and beloved husband & father, Kevin Austin.
Celebrating Kevin Austin, Founder MyFantasyLeague.com
On May 16th, one of our own was taken from us. Kevin Austin had a heart condition, but the way he lived should be an inspiration to all of us. He lived the American dream as a fun loving, thrill-seeking family man, a great father, a community leader and a pioneer of a $2B industry.
Last weekend, I had the honor of attending his memorial services in Souderton, Pennsylvania. I felt compelled to attend. I was not sure exactly why. I simply HAD to be there. At the ceremony, his daughter Eve said that a month before he passed, her Dad asked her and her sister to celebrate his life when he died. He wasn’t sick at the time so they had no idea the courage they would have to muster up only a short time later.
So on Saturday, that is what happened. Everyone celebrated Kevin Austin.
This week, I had a many conversations with people in the industry and I realized that very few, including me, knew the real Kevin Austin. So I began to spread the word since the day in Souderton validated some of my life’s choices and made it easier for me to recognize that it is true…FAMILY FIRST.
The perfect life may be a myth, but if we were figuring out what that looked like, we would have a checklist. Something like this for Kevin:
- Embrace having as much fun as a kid as you can with a great family that loves and supports your daredevil attitude. Love your brother and sister and help guide them even though you are in the middle. Fly high and play hard including riding motor bikes at top speed through farmland. CHECK.
- Meet your soulmate. Become best friends before the courtship leads to marriage. Go to college to learn, live and find out your soulmate is the ONE. Go back and forth on weekends for each other because you need to be together. Develop a connection that completes each other. CHECK.
- Put your priorities in the right order: family, friends, community, fun, contribution and legacy. Live the life you want and not the one others want you to. Invent something that gives others the joy that you have for something you are passionate about. Share your time and energy to make others feel the ZEAL you feel about life. CHECK.
- Raise wonderful children and be a great father. Coach them in life & sports and never forget who you are in that process instilling in them what you believe so they have a chance at a great life. CHECK.
- Leave a legacy in all areas of your life. Affect your family to celebrate your life, enjoying every day knowing that your love was with them. Affect your community through your work with non-profits. Affect an industry by creating MyFantasyLeague.com and by relaying the message that we can be innovators, pioneers, create things that make people happy and still be grounded in our beliefs of family first. CHECK.
- Embrace the things you love. For Kevin, he loved his family, friends, minor league baseball and was an avid thrill-seeker. He did everything from sky diving, piloting a glider, bungee jumping and just about anything that was fast and fun. CHECK.
- Never be forgotten. CHECK.
So, when I reflect on this and other things like it, I always try to do something. If his story affects you and somehow grounds you in what life is really all about, please do something. There are some choices on this page and you can learn more about Kevin: http://www.memorialsolutions.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1586256
I decided to write a check to help his two incredibly courageous young woman get college educations by making a donation to the Eve and Emma Austin College Fund, c/o Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Federal Credit Union, 335 W. Butler Ave., Chalfont, PA, 18914.
I hope you learned more about the thrill-seeking, community servant who prioritized family at the highest level. Thanks Kevin. You helped me.