Share a special moment from Kyle's life.

Garter Snakes

Shared by Charlotte and Mom on May 10, 2021
Kyle was a collector of garter snakes. Unfortunately, he didn't realize what was needed to keep them corralled. The first 2 or 3 he attempted to house in buckets or waste baskets with no lids. Those were the ones I knew about.

When he was 35 or so, he told me that, all together, there were probably 15-20 snakes that came to live in our house. None of them remained in their confinement. But we did have a warm rock room that was part of an early solar heat storage system that my dad had installed. I think they somehow made it to the rock room, and then made their escape through a tiny hole which later admitted mice.

When he finally fessed up to the actual number he had brought in, I was relieved that I hadn't known about it at the time. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

Looking Out of Place in the Neonatal ICU

Shared by Charlotte and Mom on May 9, 2021
Kyle's entry into the world of humans was a stressful one. He was delivered by c-section after experiencing fetal distress. He had something called meconium staining, which is when the baby is so stressed that he passes the first stool while still in utero, it mixes with the amniotic fluid, and he inhales it. Kyle had to be suctioned three times below the larynx before he breathed on his own.

His Apgar scores at one and five minutes after birth were 1 and 3 (on a scale of 10). He was an almost 9 lb. baby with a full head of long, dark hair in a bassinet next to preemies in the neonatal intensive care unit. It would not be the last time his size set him apart from his peers.

Despite this rather rocky start, he hit the ground running and never looked back! My dad said he had never known someone who lived so much in the moment as Kyle did when he was a kid.
Shared by Oqua Gowin on May 8, 2021
Over the past few weeks I have found myself replaying many memories of Kyle. I find myself reminded of him throughout the day. Looking out my window and seeing my dog reminds me of the time Kyle willingly wore a bite sleeve and let our Belgium Malinois bite him for the fun of it. Out to dinner with my family remembering that he worked at Olive Garden at some point and his favorite dish there was the chicken Alfredo. Thinking about the birthday parties he attended for my kids. I always thought it was great that he took time to come to my kids birthdays.

The way Kyle and I became friends was unusual. I was eating lunch in the break room and he overheard a conversation I was having with my Mom. I told my mom that we got “Jewed”. Kyle being Kyle decided to take the opportunity to let me know he was Jewish. Luckily we both laughed and became fast friends. 

Kyle was my lunch buddy, we shared many meals and of course many talks. Anyone who knew Kyle knows that he enjoyed being smart and “winning” any verbal sparring match. I am very competitive and Kyle and I enjoyed communicating in this fashion. I am notorious for saying funny words and Kyle once made a dictionary with all the funny words I say. One of my fondest memories was when we were debating something and he said “you can do anything I can do and do it better” instead of saying “I can do anything you can do and do it better.” He rarely slipped up and this was one of those times, we laughed so hard and it became a running joke.

Kyle and I loved to binge watch drunk history and laugh so hard we cried. Kyle always thought of me, he was so kind....he made note of my favorite things and I would show up to work and he would leave a tea or breakfast at my desk. He always tried to make me feel better or make me laugh when I was having a rough day. He was the brother I never had.
Sometimes we would get so frustrated with each other and the next minute we would be sharing a laugh.

We went on quite a few work trips together. On one such occasion we went to Disneyland. The whole time we were there he was trying to find an alligator to wrestle. On the day we were supposed to go to the park instead we had to take a student to the hospital. He was excited that he finally saw an alligator near the hospital. We eventually made it to the park about an hour before close. Kyle and I raced through the park to find any rides still open. We managed to get on the Pirates ride and had a blast. He was good at making the most of any situation. 

One of my favorite memories of Charlotte and Kyle was when they met our family for dinner at Pizza Ranch. My son out of nowhere made the statement that he didn’t like Germans. I looked at him and reminded him he is part German. I had to explain to that my son plays a lot of Call of Duty. Charlotte was a great sport about it and we laughed for days about it. 

The things I will remember most is the laughs, we laughed about everything and relentlessly teased and picked on each other. Kyle will forever be in my family’s hearts. He will forever be our dear friend. 

Shared by Teddy Wilson on April 28, 2021
Kyle was my nephew, and the first grandchild my parents ever had. They adored him, of course. He was the happiest, cutest baby you ever saw, and in those baby pictures you can see the cheerful, exuberant, outgoing young man he grew into. Because Bob and I live in California, we didn't get to see him often once he grew up, but he was always a joy when we did meet. I'm not surprised to see how many friends he had and how much he was loved, especially by his wonderful wife, Charlotte.

And please, out of respect for Kyle, get vaccinated. It couldn't be more important.

Don't Let This Happen To You Or Your Family

Shared by Charlotte and Mom on April 22, 2021
I am writing this because I don't want anyone else to have to go through what Kyle went through, or what we are going through now.

17 days. That's how long it was from the day Kyle got sick to the day he died. These photos are disturbing. If you think you might find them offensive, please don't look in the gallery. If I could attach them all to this entry, I would, so that those who didn't want to see them wouldn't have to.

I am sure that many of you will think I am a ghoul for taking these photos. I am on a medication that makes it very difficult to store new memories. I knew I needed these photos as reminders that this really happened. If seeing these saves even one person from experiencing this, it will be worth having my name cursed for all eternity.

We suspect that Charlotte was infected with SARS-CoV-2 by a co-worker at her new no-patient-contact job at an urgent care clinic, and developed COVID-19. Kyle contracted it at home. No one at his workplace was ill. They got their groceries at a no-contact store, and did not go out for any other reason during that time.

If you are wondering if Kyle's weight was a contributing factor to his death, I can tell you it was. It's right there in black and white on his death certificate. Morbid obesity, and hypertension (from the excess weight). He weighed the equivalent of 3 of me. Nevertheless, he walked into the first hospital's ER with an oxygen reading of 57. At the next hospital, he walked into his ICU room with an O2 level of 54. Most people would be unconscious at those numbers. He was tough and determined. Those qualities did not help him in the end.

If you think Kyle was just a couch potato who ate too much, let me disavow you of that notion right now. Kyle worked for 1800GotJunk, initially working on the trucks picking up anything and everything you can imagine, including 5,000 lbs. of broken concrete slab. (Later, he worked both on the trucks as needed and in the office.)

For his size, he was in very good shape. And he was strong as an ox. Before the pandemic, he routinely picked up his second-dad Mike as a silly greeting, and Mike weighs 200 lbs. He carried one of the 80 lb. roof rings of our house around his neck like a piece of jewelry, and he positioned 96  24' long rafters from a scaffold so Mike could screw them in. He cut and bent innumerable pieces of #5 rebar for our walls.

He once told me he was a food addict. I now wish I had gently pursued a conversation about what, if anything, he was going to do about it, and kept following up with him. I made several suggestions over the years, but it is a difficult pattern to break.

I want to now, not so gently, urge anyone reading this who knows that he or she is not at the optimal weight for optimal health, to get help today. Even if all you can muster the energy for right now is a small reduction in portion size, do it, and continue doing it. And Move Your Body. Our bodies are designed for motion. Even a little bit more than you are doing right now will help, regardless of age.

Don't wait. We cannot predict what is coming. I want you to be healthy when the next big thing comes at us. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your family. If you can't do it for them, do it because Kyle doesn't want to greet you for many, many years.

And wear the danged mask.

With Love, from Kyle's mom

More MTC

Shared by Jessica Kohlbacher on April 19, 2021
A highlight at the MTC was checking the mail. We always looked forward to hearing from friends and family. This picture is outside the mailroom when we finally got our travel plans to go to the mission field.

MTC language training

Shared by Jessica Kohlbacher on April 19, 2021
Learning Spanish was challenging but Elder Spiller didn’t let it slow him down. This picture is from the computer lab as we did our Spanish lessons. This picture captures his fun personality.

Memories from the MTC

Shared by Jessica Kohlbacher on April 19, 2021
I served with Kyle in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) from Dec 2002-Feb 2003 as we prepared to learn Spanish and teach the gospel to go on our missions (we weren't in the same mission). Elder Spiller had an infectious smile and a great personality. He was always very cheerful and fun to be around. We spent hours and hours learning the gospel and Spanish. The days were long but we all quickly became a tightknit family. He had a very strong testimony and I was sad when our time in the MTC was over and we all went our separate ways. 
Prayers for you all-Jessica (Ferguson) Kohlbacher

Kyle and Go Fish!

Shared by Charlotte and Mom on April 13, 2021
When Kyle was little - I'm talking 2 or 3 years old - he and I spent many hours playing the card game Go Fish! The game consisted of cards of several different colors, so there was no reading involved, but I was surprised and pleased at how quickly he caught on. He was always a sharp minded guy!

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