April 15, 1978—April 4, 2019
Kevin Sterling Hanks, 40, born April 15, 1978, in Longview, WA, died in a tragic automobile accident near Pahiatua, New Zealand, on April 4, 2019. Two of his sons and a friend were also in the accident. His oldest son, Kasen, has recovered from his injuries while his second son, Koben, is recovering from serious head injuries after waking from an induced coma, but has not yet come home. Koben’s friend Mac also died in the accident.
Kevin graduated from Kelso High School in 1997, where he ran track and cross country. He was an excellent student known for his genuine kindness and always taking an interest in others, which continued throughout his life. He graduated from Boise State University in 2001 with a Bachelor Degree in Radiological Science.
In December of 1999, he took a trip to New Zealand during his university Christmas break and met Robyn Graham and they fell in love. They were married January 3, 2001, and lived in the USA for a time before making NZ their home in 2005. Kevin worked in radiology in Wendell, ID, and Vancouver, WA, before they moved to NZ. There Kevin worked on his in-laws’ dairy farm for 10 years before becoming a supervisor at a local nursery, where he loved working with native species. His appreciation for the outdoors was shared with his family through their many adventures. Kevin was a competitor and his enjoyment of playing squash became a family affair. He volunteered his time as a chairperson for the Woodville School Board of Trustees for several years, coached children’s soccer and was a valued member of the Tararua Search & Rescue. He also had a passion for photography.
Kevin is survived and is greatly missed by his wife of 18 years, Robyn; three sons, Kasen, Koben, Ryker; and daughter Allyka, all of Woodville, New Zealand; parents Larry & Bev Hanks of Kelso; older brother Scott of Kennewick; and younger brother Jason, his wife Lina and their daughter Wilhelmina of Shoreline. Kevin is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and many, many friends. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Ernest & Virginia Hanks and Wendell & Helen Breeding and an uncle and a cousin.
His funeral was held on April 15, which would have been his 41st birthday, at the Tararua College Hall in Pahiatua, New Zealand. He is buried at the Woodville Cemetery, just a 20 minute walk from their home.