Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kevin Brent Large 1950 - 2014

Kevin Large, January 23, 2010, Valencia, CA (photo by Kent Gardiner)
Kevin Large is my friend.

Kevin grew up in Westchester, CA near the airport.  

His father worked as an artist at North American Aviation in Downey. He was assigned the job of designing and making a large mosaic mural out of glass tiles to be installed at the facility. With the extra tile he made a mosaic for his home which he named Easter Island. Friends admired it and wanted to make their own mosaic art for themselves. This is when his mother and father decided they would make mosaic kits. There were 80 kits to choose from, but the most popular one was the first one with the Easter Island heads.

His artist father made Tiki/Surf type mosiacs out of small tiles and sold kits. He applied for a patent on the instruction sheet in 1957, which went with the mosiac pieces and the board so someone could create their own art.  Phillip is listed as a California artist.  Kevin said he could sit down with a pencil and draw out an entire scene with very little effort.  Kevin's brother and father owned a frame shop called Framewright Gallery in Fountain Valley. Brian also owned a “Woodie”.

Kevin's mother was Gloria Eileen Brandt. She had three children, Brian Murray, Kevin Brent and Carol.  The boys were twins.  Gloria worked with her husband in the shop. 

Kevin joined the church when he was 19 and went on mission a year later. While Kevin was on his mission, his twin brother, Brian was on scholarship for gymnastics at BYU.  A year after Brian graduated he was baptized (May11, 1974), by Kevin who was a year back from his mission. That must have been some sight.

Kevin attended BYU and was a huge Cougar fan right up to the end of his life.  A week and a half before he died Deborah and I went to visit him and he was talking about the latest BYU football game.  BYU was ranked 25th in the nation which was of particular interest to Kevin.

Around 1980 Kevin and Nancee moved into the Brock Citation homes up Bouquet Canyon in Saugus.  Suzanne and I moved a few streets below them and we became fast friends.  We played basketball together on Wednesday evenings, went to church together and hung out.  We were both putting our yards in at the time and talked a lot about landscaping.  Kevin taught a family history class which Suzanne and I attended.  We enjoyed his teaching style and his enthusiasm for family history.  I believe Kevin was in the bishopric over scouting.   I have a photo of Kevin and I turning one of my sons upside down so we could pin his tenderfoot pin upside down.

Kevin's brother owned a frame shop called Frame Right Gallery in Huntington Beach and a "Woodie."  Kevin also took an interest in old cars.  In 1988 three of us, including Kevin, took a car restoration class in Temple City.  The fellow who ran the class owned quite a few antique cars and had a saying: Do something on your car every day.  

We moved out of Saugus in 1990 but kept in contact with the Larges.  September 26, 1994, the night my wife Suzanne, passed away, Kevin and Nancee came to our home and we told stories about Suzanne late into the night. They were a great comfort.

During the next few years I saw Kevin at garage sales.  We both enjoyed looking for treasures and often compared what we found.  In time, my new wife Deborah and I went garage "saleing" (going from one garage sale to another) and we would see Kevin and Nancee and took time to compare notes.  One day we walked up to the same driveway and both saw a set of very expensive shoes.  Because we wore about the same size we both reached for them and he got them first.  Later he gave me the shoes and I wear them today.

One time Deborah and I were invited to a wedding in Huntington Beach.  As it turned out Kevin's twin brother was there.  We talked about his battle with cancer and enjoyed spending time with him.  We met his wife Linda and a couple of his children.  He lost the battle in 2000 which was very hard on Kevin.

One day I was sitting in our Via Bocina home when a knock came at the door.  In came Kevin.  He asked if I would be his assistant over the Family History Center in Santa Clarita.  I said, "I love doing things with you, of course."  He wanted to do a brochure on the center and we found a very nice professional looking brochure from a center in San Francisco.  I copied and worked it in Photoshop, but even though it looked perfect to me, Kevin didn't think it perfect enough and it was never printed.  Kevin's perfectionist nature was perfect for all the family history he did and also helped in the two businesses he started.  One was selling drafting software and printers in Burbank and the other was renting tractors and large equipment and clearing land.  It was in the second job he contracted valley fever which plagued him until his death.

Kevin hung three large photos in the Valencia Family History Center, which I think represented who he was.  One was a photograph of his ward attending a ward temple day at the Los Angeles Temple while he was a Bishop.  Everyone is smiling as they stand shoulder to shoulder in front of that great edifice.  The second was a large vertical pedigree chart with hundreds of names.  He told me that he had made contact on the internet with a relative in Europe.  Over time they developed a trust in each other and eventually the man sent him hundreds of names in the form of an unusually large pedigree chart.  He had the names translated and did the temple work.  I believe the key name was Hinterberger.   He confided in me that it was his greatest find.

His ward created and played this video for him the morning he died:

The third photo was of a carriage shop owned and run by Alfred Phillip Large on Prince Edward Island east of Canada.  Kevin was very proud of his connection to the Large family on Prince Edward Island and did a lot of research on the subject. An example of his work can be found on the page detailing the family of Alfred Phillip Large.

Alfred Phillip Large, carriage builder and wife Lilly Eliza Taylor Large.  They had 10 children
nine of which are pictured on FindAGrave.

For many years Kevin and I met at the Family History Conference held in the LDS Stake Center in Valencia.  We always had lunch together and shared what was happening in our lives. The conversations usually revolved around family history, church service, children and our latest score at garage "saleing".  We both enjoyed speaking and participating in the conference.  He often had a turn-away-crowd when he spoke on how to find anyone on the internet.   Kevin had a talent at finding living relatives.

A story he liked to tell was about his next door neighbor who was adopted.  One day Kevin volunteered to find the man's mother.  He worked on the project for some time and eventually decided the man's mother was a principal in Los Angeles.  Kevin went to her school, told her what he found and gently asked if she was this man's mother.  She said absolutely, not.  Later she softened and called Kevin and said yes, she was his mother.  Kevin arranged a meeting and things went well.  The woman took an interest in her son, his family and in her grandchildren and eventually began attending soccer games and being a real honest to goodness grandmother to her long lost grandchildren.  

In 2012 Nancee shared some health concerns with Deborah and I while garage "saleing."  We invited them to our home to watch Forks over Knives.  A few months later we heard they both felt great on their new diet which included lots of vegetables.  It was like old times hanging out together.

I retired in June of 2013 but before I left for Utah I visited with Kevin and Nancee.  I asked if they would be willing to be video taped sharing their memories of Suzanne for my children.  They were most gracious and we treasure both interviews. Kevin's video is at the end of this page.

From June of 2013 when I retired to Utah until September 2014, I kept in contact with Kevin and followed his battle with cancer.  Being an optimist he would tell me different procedures the doctors at City of Hope were trying.  He always had an upbeat tone to his voice.  I never heard him feel sorry for himself or down. He sold off the equipment from his Big Valley Equipment business.  He also made arrangements so Nancee would be well be taken care of.  This was Kevin's way; caring with plenty of attention to detail.

On September 3, 2014 we went to visit the Larges.  Kevin was his normal cheerful self but didn't seem to have any plans on what to do next. I told him I loved him and he said he loved me. From his weakened condition we surmised that he didn't have long but a week and a half later, on Sunday the 14 we were shocked to hear he had passed away.  I'm lonely for my friend but know he is doing well in the next life and look forward to catching up in a few years.  Miss you Kevin. Kent Gardiner, 2014

Large kids, Westchester, CA, 1954

Kindergarten picture with Kevin Large, middle row 2nd child from rt, Jerry Garns
middle row 4th child from rt, and Jim White, middle row last child on the left,  
Westchester, CA, Kentwood Grammar School, about 1955

Brian and Kevin about 1963
Kevin about 1967

Mission photograph of Elders Large and Brooksby who organized a youth service project 
in the winter of 1973. We picked up trash off of Highway 78 just west of Bremen, Georgia.

Kevin, senior companion and Robin Brooksby, junior companion. 
These two became lifelong friends, LDS Georgia Mission, 1973

Kevin, Kent Gardiner and ________, Car Restoration Class, Temple City, 1988

Car restoration class with spouses 1988
LtoR Kent, Eric, Kevin, Saugus, CA 1988

Brittany Dawn Large

Suzanne Brown Gardiner's journal: In church today, Kevin Large bore a very moving testimony about his decision to go on a mission and how grateful he was for the church's true principles, including no paid ministry, which allowed him to serve in the Bishopric and fumble around.

1989, Today we blessed Brett in church. He was blessed on the same day as Jeremy Todd Mefford, Brittany Dawn Large, and Spencer Barnes. His dad blessed him and he was assisted by Bishop Spencer Parkinson, Kevin Large, Grandpa Gardiner, Mark Gardiner, J.T. Gardiner, Uncle Frank Gardiner, Gerry Kroksh, Grandpa Brown, David Brown, and Mike Wooten.

1989: In Priesthood, Kevin Large (with dad assisting) set Chad apart as the Deacon's Quorum Class President. Chad was promised that he would set a good example for the boys and be able to lead the deacons to do good work. He was also promised that he would do well in his schoolwork. Kent said that he felt that Kevin was very Christ like in his manner.

Sunday 12/17/89 Today I stayed home from church with Ashley (who has a bad cold) and Brett. This evening we went down for Tithing Settlement at 6:30pm, after watching "Miracle on 34th Street" and playing computer monopoly. Then this evening Kevin Large came by to help Kent give me a blessing. Brett kept crying every time he saw Kevin which was kind of funny.  (Note: Suzanne was diagnosed with cancer in November 1989)

Kevin facing Kent at Suzanne Gardiner's funeral, Eternal Valley
Cemetery, Santa Clarita, CA. September 1994

Balena, Parkinson and Large

2003 LtoR Deborah Gardiner, Nancy, Kevin.

Saugus residence back yard.

Kevin with Spencer Parkinson, former Bishop and family friend

Kevin and Spencer Parkinson, good friends.

Kevin with his family and grandchildren.
Nancee and Kevin, Valencia Stake Center, 2010 (photo by Kent Gardiner)
 2010 Items on the wall of the Valencia Family History Center:

Signal Newspaper, January 27, 2012

Kimberly Finley, left, and Kevin Large, director of Valencia Family History Center, discuss material gathered on Finley’s father’s ancestors at the center, 2012.

Signal Newspaper January 24, 2013
Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin received a special gift of family history on Thursday from a delegation representing the Santa Clarita Valley Family History and Technology Fair.  Kevin Large, director of the Valencia Family History Center, presented Striplin with a thick, blue, three-ring binder of information that featured generations of Striplin’s family.

“I think it is a great opportunity to learn more about where my family came from,” said Striplin. “I mentioned this to my father a couple of weeks ago and he is excited as I am, if not more so, to find out about our family.”

Striplin said he was very appreciative of the information provided by the SCV Family History Center.

“I have family who don’t know half of this information,” he said. “To go back five generations is very impressive.”  The Family History Center will host the SCV Family History and Technology Fair 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.  The free event will feature classes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on subjects ranging from “How to Start Your Search” to “Beginning Korean Family History.”

Kevin Large, director of the Family History Center of Valencia, presents a family history to Santa Clarita City Manager
Ken Striplin on Thursday. Signal photo by Jonathan Pobre. (Note: I believe that Kevin Large
did most of the leg work when books like this were presented to dignitaries in the community.)

Kevin's growing family.

Kevin always spoke highly of his family.

Kevin and Nancee, Catalina, CA

Kevin had a great love of old cars.

Big Valley Equipment, Saugus, CA

I found this awesome company via Craigslist to do some brush clearing on a vacant land parcel that I own. Kevin was very quick to respond to my email, professional and went above and beyond the job description. When he got to the job site, there was debris that neighbors dumped on my property and Kevin took pictures and talked to the neighbors to make sure that they cleared their trash.

So I got a landscaper and enforcer for a very competitive price! It was so incredibly refreshing to work with someone who takes initiative to provide the best service instead of doing the very minimum of what is required or expected.

I will definitely be using Kevin for all of my landscaping needs and will confidently refer him to anyone who needs the same.
Kevin landscaped this home and added many improvements, 20902 Susan Carole Dr Saugus, CA 91350-1972

Kevin and Brian, twins.
Family at 20902 Susan Carole Dr Saugus, CA 91350-1972

Large Home, December 13, 2010 

Kevin and Nancee

Nancee, as pretty and sweet a wife as one man could have.

City of Hope, 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, 2014

Today, ( September 14, 2014) after fighting valiantly for the past year and a half to overcome his battle with Leukemia/Lymphoma my Father and Hero left the world that he came into 63 years earlier.

He was (and is) a great man that touched the lives of countless people. I feel honored, completely honored to be his son.

There is no doubt, he left a LARGE Legacy! — with Kevin Large and 5 others

Jeremy Risser:
This morning we said goodbye to my wonderful father-in-law, Kevin Large, who had been battling leukemia for more than a year. Kevin was a great man and will be missed tremendously. He was so much more than just my father-in-law but at one time or another he was also my boss, my landlord, my Bishop, a mentor and most importantly my friend.

I'm grateful that I arrived in CA with time to say my goodbyes and tell him I love him. He blessed the lives of many, both those in this mortal world and those already beyond the grave. Thank you for your example of faith and hard work.

I looked forward to the day when we will all be united again.
Until we meet again, my friend...God be with you till we meet again.

Kristy Large Risser:
Today one of the greatest men I've ever known, my father, departed from this earthly life to join the ranks of the nobel and great ones. My father fought his battle with leukemia with bravery and with faith. Not once, did he waiver in his conviction that what would be, was meant to be. He has complete trust in our Heavenly Father's plan. He treasured every moment of his life, living each day he had to its fullest.

This morning my father was called home but I know, as my father knows, that this is not the end. Victor Hugo, author of the classic Les Miserables, spoke with precious foresight about the opportunities that he sensed beyond this earthly life:

"The nearer I approach the end, the plainer I hear around me the immortal symphonies of the worlds which invite me… For half a century I have been writing my thoughts in prose and verse; history... I have tried all. But I feel I have not said a thousandth part of what is in me. When I go down to the grave I can say, like so many others, 'I have finished my day’s work,' but I cannot say, ‘I have finished my life.’ My day’s work will begin again the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare…My work is only beginning.”

A new day dawns for my father. I am confident that he has already rolled up his sleeves and is getting to work. He might even be humming the BYU fight song as he goes.

I am so honored to be the daughter of Kevin Large. I sure love you dad!

Grateful for our Eternal Families Jeremy Risser, Dad, Mom, Dallin Large, Nathan Large, Brittany Dawn Large, Jessica Large

Tony Stark:
I am so saddened to hear of your passing. You are an amazing man. You are truly a hero who helped a young girl in the midst of turmoil change her life around. You were there for me when I needed a guiding light back to the truth. You held my hand as I transformed from a rebellious teenager into a woman ready to embark on a new path. You held the hand of my future husband and guided his as well. You married us almost ten years ago. You helped put us on that road that led to our marriage and family sealing. My six children will always know that you helped us become sealed for eternity. You are a hero. You have left a profound legacy and just from our family, you helped change the course of 8 lives just by being you. —

Nathan Large:
I have a great Dad and this morning he passed away. I am so proud of him; all that he is and will continue to be. I know that families can be together forever with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He taught me many things and set a great example for me to follow.
There is so much that can be said but what I want you to know more than anything is that I truly believe that I have the best DAD ever.

Ashley Gardiner:
Dad, Sorry about your friend passing away. Kevin Large is such a great guy, to know him is to love him.

Tom McKinney
Alpharetta, Georgia


Tom McKinney here... Thank you so much for your magnificent tribute and cataloging of Kevin...

The young man standing next to him on that slide I posted from his mission was his mission companion... Robin Brooksby. I've kept up with both of these gentlemen over the years and they kept up with each other.

I had called Robin last week and told him I was coming to California to sit with and tell Kevin good-bye. On Saturday, with Kevin's entire family gathered around him, I placed the call to Robin who offered the most beautiful farewell and tribute, over a speaker, a mission companion from the past could offer...

In his farewell, he told Kevin that he was the senior companion on their mission and he looked forward to being his junior missionary companion again in an army of angels...

You know first hand what it was like to work with Kevin. I'm sure you, as well as myself, look forward to that day when our mission work will be conducted from a much higher sphere than we're able to work here in mortality.

I genuinely enjoyed your interview with Kevin.... it captured the essence of the man we loved....

Once again thank you for your labor of love.

Saturday was a blessing beyond all imagination. It was my first time to interact with his kids as adults....and they are unbelievable. We sang hymns, read scriptures, told stories, watched home videos. I was honored to stand with his sons and son-in-law to give him a farewell blessing... and upon leaving at the end of the day so his family could be alone with him while he slept what ended up being his last night there, I was able to give my old friend a kiss on the forehead and bid him farewell. My last words were... "I'll catch you on the flip side...".

Nancee and Kevin, days before his death, Saugus home driveway. 2014

Announcement posted on Facebook

Kevin's Funeral:

Kristy Large Risser:   I could not have hoped for a more beautiful funeral for my father Kevin Large. The day was perfect, the future is full of hope. Thank you to all our dear family & friends who were with us today and to those who couldn't make it, your love and prayers have been greatly felt. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. — with Nathan Large, Brittany Dawn Large and Dallin Large. Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary, Saturday, September 20, 2014


Kevin's parents:
Kevin Large's parents, Phillip Murray Large (1920 - 1987) and Gloria Eileen Brandt Large (1921 - 1997)
Phillip Murray Large:  Born in Calgary, Canada on Sept. 14, 1920. Large moved to southern California with his parents about 1923. He later operated a frame shop-art gallery while painting in his leisure. He made his home in Huntington Beach until his death on Aug. 30, 1987. Exh: Calif. WC Society, 1944.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family; Death record.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

Arrival Date: 26 Mar 1922
Port of Arrival: Eastport, Idaho, USA
Age: 2
Birth Date: abt 1920
Birth Place: Okotoks, Alberta
Gender: Male
Race/Nationality: Scotch (Scotish)
Record Type: Cards


Kevin's father attended USC in 1942:

Daily Trojan, Vol. 33, No. 91, January 19, 1942

Name: Phillip Murray Large
Social Security #: 556125086
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 14 Sep 1920
Birth Place: Canada
Death Date: 30 Aug 1987
Death Place: Orange
Patent application, 1957:

 Rose Hills Memorial Park
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of Serenity, Lot 981, Grave 3

Kevin's twin brother: 

  Brian Murray Large (1950 - 2000), Kevin's twin brother

Orange County Register, The (Santa Ana, CA) - Saturday, January 8, 2000
Deceased Name: Brian M. Large
Brian M. Large, 49, of Huntington Beach, owner of Frame Right Gallery, died Jan. 5, 2000, of cancer (brain tumor). Services: 10 a.m. today, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Huntington Beach.
Arrangements by New Options Funeral Service, Placentia.
Survivors: wife, Linda; sons, Brandon, Tyler, Spencer; daughter, Michelle.

Brian M Large

Brian M Large
Brandon N Large
Brian N Large
Linda P Large
Linda S Large

Kevin's mother's mother or grandmother:

Cleo Elizabeth Fravel Brandt (1897 - 1934)
Cleo's husband or Kevin Large's grandfather on his mother's side:

Rudolph F. L. Brandt (1889 - 1977)

Kevin's great grandfather on his mother's side, parents of Cleo Elizabeth Fravel Brandt

August Friedrich Ludwig Brandt
August's wife: 

Elise Hinterberger Brandt

Kevin's grandfather on his father's side:

Frank Brewer Large (1890 - 1943) Frank was born and raised in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada the sixth child of eleven born to Alfred Philip Large and Lily Eliza Taylor. Frank migrated to Calgary, Alberta with his close friend Hammond Steele about 1916, and worked in real estate for awhile. It was there that he met his wife Marion Murray, who lived in Okotoks, Alberta, which was about 25 miles south of Calgary. The two were married in Oct 1918, had their first and only child (a son) together in September 1920, and emigrated to Los Angeles about two years later. Shortly after the family's arrival in LA, Frank opened a restaurant on Hoover Street. Apparently the chief was a good cook, who had worked in expensive restaurants before, but didn't know how to prepare less expensive meals. The business failed after a short time because of this reason. Frank later worked at a variety of odd jobs, including a house painter, a bar owner, and a short stint as a cameraman in the film industry. He was known for repeating the phrase, "some day my ship will come in." Frank and Marion were separated for several years during the later part of his life. He died in Toronto, but was buried with other family members in the Inglewood Cemetery.

Frank's wife or Kevin's grandmother on his father's side:

 Marion Murray Large Washington (1899 - 1977)
Marion was born in High River, but was raised in Okotoks. She worked in a local bank after high school. While working in the bank she meet and married the handsome Frank Large from Prince Edward Island in 1918, and gave birth to her only child Phillip Murray Large in 1920. About 1922 the Larges felt that business prospects looked better in California, so they moved to Los Angeles.
more to follow.
Marion and Frank:

Kevin's father: 

Phillip Murray Large, Kevin's father, Born in Calgary, Canada on Sept. 14, 1920. 
Large moved to southern California with his parents about 1923. 
He later operated a frame shop-art gallery while painting in his leisure. 
He made his home in Huntington Beach until his death from a stroke on Aug. 30, 1987. 
Exh: Calif. WC Society, 1944.

Birth: Sep. 14, 1920
Alberta, Canada
Death: Aug. 30, 1987
Fountain Valley
Orange County
California, USA

Family links:
  Frank Brewer Large (1890 - 1943)
  Marion Murray Large Washington (1899 - 1977)

  Gloria Eileen Brandt Large (1921 - 1997)

  Brian Murray Large (1950 - 2000)
Rose Hills Memorial Park
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Garden of Serenity, Lot 981, Grave 3

Kevin's father's patent application: 


What is chronic lymphocytic leukemia?

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer that starts from white blood cells (called lymphocytes) in the bone marrow. It then invades the blood. Leukemia cells tend to build up over time, and many people don't have any symptoms for at least a few years. In time, it can also invade other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. Compared with other types of leukemia, CLL usually grows slowly.
Doctors have found that there seem to be 2 different kinds of CLL:

In 2015 the family listed their home:

Another Rare Find. This custom home is located on a quiet street at the end of a cul-de-sac providing lots of privacy. It?s nestled in a park-like setting surrounded by hills. This home has been very well cared for and is one you will be proud to show to your friends and family. The floor plan is open from the kitchen to the dining room & large family room. The kitchen features Corian Counters, hard wood floors & lots of oak cabinets. The formal living room boasts a large wood-burning or gas fireplace surrounded by beautiful marble. The family room also features a fireplace. The master bedroom suite has a very large sitting area and exits onto a very spacious balcony that overlooks the rear yard, pool and hills. The balcony continues around to the side of the house and features a staircase to the side yard. The over sized pool, 25ft X 46ft, features a raised diving board and extra deep end, along with an automated pool cover. In addition to the attached two-car garage, there is a detached garage-type structure. There are many more amenities to this truly amazing home. This home will sell itself!