It is with great sorrow we announce the loss of our precious son Kevin Philip Slocum, age 37.
Kevin is survived by his parents Terry and Arlene Slocum of Fairbanks, Alaska, brother Danny Slocum (wife Leigha) of Overland Park, Kansas, and sister Diane Slocum (husband Jerry Lyon) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Rumsey Yost funeral home in Lawrence Kansas on Saturday April 29, 2023 from 11:00am-12:30pm. Afterwards we will have a picnic lunch at a local park. Please come to share your memories of Kevin and join us for lunch.
Kevin had been missing since June 30, 2022. Kevin battled mental illness for much of his adult life. His condition worsened in the spring of 2022. His family and coworkers encouraged him to seek help and he did try, but he could not overcome the nightmare of paranoid schizophrenia.
He remained convinced that assassins were planning to kill him. In his last conversations he said he had to hide from them and could not tell us where in order to protect his family. In November 2022 the police found his remains in a remote area in Kansas. He had hung himself.
In his younger years Kevin excelled in sports, playing baseball, tennis, and basketball and running track. He graduated with many honors from Wentworth Military Academy in Missouri. While at Wentworth he was captain of the basketball team, a medalist in the 400 meter run at the state track competition, and inducted into the National Honor Society. He was quiet and polite and would hang out with friends, playing sports and video games. As an adult he developed social anxiety disorder, but through the JobLink program was able to find a good job delivering flowers for Englewood Florists. He was well liked at work and by the customers.
He is missed by them, and by the staff at First State Bank and at the funeral homes where he delivered flowers every day. As recently as 2019 Kevin was still a competitive runner. He joined his brother Danny at some Kansas City area races.
Kevin’s anxiety disorder made it awkward for him to relate to people in person. He spent a lot of time on line gaming and in chat rooms. During the pandemic he hosted a podcast on youtube. It was a forum for single guys to talk about relationships with women.
Like many in our country, Kevin believed conspiracy theories and refused medication because he thought it was a government plot. The seriousness of Kevin’s illness was not recognized by mental health professionals until it was too late. Privacy laws and HIPAA impeded us from learning about his treatment or trying to find him when he went missing.
We are sharing our son’s sad story because we know he was part of the larger issue of mental health treatment gripping our country. If you want to help, put down your phone and tell someone that you care about them. If you teach, let your students know how happy you are to see them. When you go out, thank the server or clerk and look at them when you say it. By connecting to someone in person each day, we make the world a better place.
If you want to make a donation in Kevin’s memory, we recommend the Lawrence Kansas Boys and Girls Club (he was a member) or Lawrence Humane Society, P.O. Box 1260 Lawrence, Kansas 66044.
Kevin, you are loved and missed every day. Love, Mom and Dad
Messages & Condolences
I didn’t know your son, nor do I know you, unfortunately. But your son’s story and your sorrow have touched many readers. Having just lost my brother, who had struggled in life, too, I can relate to the pain of your loss. Your openness about your son and his struggles will help others who are suffering, too. It is evident in this obituary, the depth of love and concern you had for your Kevin. With time, you will no doubt take comfort in that. But for now, your pain feels very raw; the world seems so bleak. I send my condolences to you from Norway. May your Kevin’s memory be for a blessing.
Terry and Arlene, you are great parents and I commend you for sharing Kevin’s story. I’m sure it will result in someone reaching out for help who otherwise may not have.
My condolences to the entire family for this loss.
Dear Terry and Arlene,
I’m thinking of you. I can’t make it to the service, but please reach out if I can be of any help. I live near Lawrence. Home number: 785-843-2455.
I am so sorry for your loss and that Kevin is gone from this world. While I didn’t know him or your family, I wanted to express my deep appreciation for the honesty and love conveyed in his obituary. Schizophrenia is a painful, evil disease. Since we have shared a somewhat parallel existence via a family member, I understand some of your pain and am saddened that his demons took him down his chosen path. Sending love.
While I did not know Kevin or members of his family I was deeply moved and grateful for his obituary. It is written with grace, clarity, balance, intelligence, and love, and beyond that it brings the reality of mental illness and death by suicide out in the open while honoring the fullness of Kevin’s life. One rarely if ever sees this in a public obituary. As a psychologist and psychotherapist I’m well aware of the costs of silence, stigma and shame surrounding mental health challenges and especially suicide. I want to thank Kevin’s family for the most meaningful obituary I have ever read.
Oh Arlene. Our deepest condolences to you and Terry. And gratitude for your openness in telling Kevin’s life so fully. We send infinite love your way.
I am so very sorry for your loss. As a parent myself I can’t imagine how difficult and heartbreaking it is to lose a child. My thoughts, prayers and hopes are with you.
Thank you for your act of bravery in honestly sharing Kevin’s story and your family’s journey. It matters.
Peace be with you.
I truly appreciate you sharing candidly about the nature of his challenges and the influences that played a role; Understanding the patterns that contribute can be so helpful to those who are similarly frightened for a loved one and unfamiliar with this illness and what it can involve in these times. Its clear this young man had wonderful qualities that made his challenges heartbreaking to witness. As frustrating as it is to come to terms with the difficulty of being able to do something that could help change his course, I hope you are able to recognize all of the support you have, of so many people who are thinking of you and wish to be there for you during this time.
I am so sorry for your loss. I remember our fun days bicycling together with your young children with you. Thank you for sharing Kevin’s story. These are such hard times for our young people. We need to be there for each other
We are so sorry for your loss. We lost our son Trent to similar circumstance a little over a year ago. Thank for your courage in telling Kevins story for others to hear and learn. God Bless
We do not know one another but I am deeply saddened by the loss of your sweet son. My heart goes out to you in your grief.
Terry and Arlene, I am so sorry to hear about Kevin. Words cannot help the pain, but I am proud of your sharing. I’ve had other friends who’ve gone through a similar losses as you and have spoken out trying to help others. You have such a wonderful family.
I’m so very sorry for your loss and the long road that led to it. Mourning a parallel loss of a family member last July and dealing with the ongoing grief and joy of the memories of him. Sending so much love in your direction and out there, to your son, wherever he is flying free now. Holding you all in my heart.
Thank you for sharing your sons story.
I too have known people in my life who were affected by this awful disease. Their stories also ended in tragedy. Please continue to share your beautiful sons story. Our country needs to do better in treating mental illness. May peace always be with Kevin’s family and those who knew and loved him. My heartfelt condolences. Linda B
I don’t know your family but I’m so sorry for our Family. I would like to see stories like your out in the in the Media for all to see. My Stepson has this illness, He is one of lucky ones He’s getting the help he needs!
The board learned from Liz Ross about your son’s passing and I just read your above honest account. Fairbanks is a challenging home and sometimes I forget how challenging life can be for anyone.
Together we make the world better.
You and your family are in our thoughts.
Dear Terry and Arlene,
Craig and I are both so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing his story and shining a light on mental health issues that affect so many of us.
Terry & Arlene, So grateful that you have the courage to write Kevin’s story. We lost a nephew, Marques, exactly the same way at Kansas State University about 4 years ago. Their lives sound very much alike. We are praying for your comfort. I don’t believe you ever get over such a tragedy. We are here in Alaska for you if you need anything. J
I was Kevin’s platoon leader at Wentworth. Not long ago I found myself wondering what had ever happened to Slocum. Yes, he was quiet. He was extremely intelligent. One of the few guys in my platoon who I could count on to deliver, no matter the task. I always figured as smart and hard working as he was, he would go far in life. I could tell the boy had demons, but hell we all did at military school.
I am so sorry to hear of his passing. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.
I live in Topeka. If I can get childcare lined up for that day, I’ll try to make the memorial.
Terry I am so sorry to hear of this. I know the pain must be terrible. My thoughts are with you and your wife. best wishes, Barney
I don’t know the family, but what a real life, honest obituary that may even help someone else. Thank you. RIP.
Thank you so much for sharing Kevin’s story. We live in difficult times. We all need to watch out for each other. I hope that his story encourages folks to reach out for help.
May Kevin rest in peace and his memory be a blessing.
Thank you for sharing his story- it will inspire me and others to connect with others.
Hopefully there will be reforms to a mental health system that only reacts to severe, accute crises and often hampers help from loved ones.
We are so saddened to learn of Kevin’s tragic passing. This is so disturbing. Your message to us is ever so important. We can all do so much better. Fran and Dan Breslauer
I am so very sorry for your unnecessary heartbreak.
Thank you for sharing your story . Just reading it I feel the love you have for Kevin. Bless you all!
Thank you so much for your brave message about mental health and the deep sorrow of being unable to care for your child because of his age or other circumstance. My parents faced the same heartbreak with me. Thank God I was able to recover to the point that I could safely live independently. Blessings to you!
I’m so sorry. I pray you can feel God wrapping you in his loving arms. Rest in peace Kevin!
I didn’t know Kevin but I want the Slocum family to know I am thinking about you and send my condolences.
Thank you for sharing this very personal story! My older brother took his life in 2009, leaving behind a wife & four sons, our dear Mother and many others. May you find comfort in the wonderful memories of Kevin. Peace be with you. Sincerely Margy Rose
As a mother I understand your pain. May his memory bring you joy and comfort every day.
Your story touched my own grief for our son. May you grieve this terrible loss well.
I have lost several loved ones due to mental illness, it is truly heartbreaking. Thank you for bringing light to a topic that is so misunderstood yet so prevalent. Prayers for you all during this difficult time.
Terry & Arlene, I’m so sorry for your loss of Kevin and applaud you for telling his story. Mental illness needs much more attention in this country than it gets. I will be following your suggestion to make more connections with people, and also making a donation to The Lawrence Humane Society in his name.
I had the privilege of working with Kevin at Englewood for 8 years. He was a genuine, caring & fun person to work with. He was quiet but so sincere, humble and hard working. The news of his passing is so sad and the loss of this sweet man is beyond words.
I didn’t know Kevin or the family. We lost our son to suicide in Dec. 2008. Our world was turned upside down. It is a parents worst nightmare. Please know all of you are in our thoughts and prayers as you try to create a “new normal.” ❤️🙏
I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. The shop isn’t the same without Kevin. I miss him very much!