Kevin Irvine was on the adventure of a lifetime, riding his touring motorcycle south through Mexico, Central America and South America when tragedy struck.
According to an article in a Bolivian newspaper, Irvine, 44, was riding his motorcycle in the Potosi Department region en route to the resort town and salt flats at Uyuni when he was involved in a fatal collision with a dump truck carting materials from a mine in the area.
The crash occurred on March29, but word didn't reach Whistler until the weekend.
Irvine, who has called Whistler home for more than two decades, has worked in a variety of jobs over the years before finding his niche as a massage therapist at Vida Wellness Spa.
He was an avid skier, and was into Capoeira and yoga. He was also a big mountain biker, though his first love was motorcycles. He had been planning this trip to South America for over a decade.
Jodi Aaron, who has been close friends with Irvine for more than a decade, always respected her friend. "There was just so much about him, he was a pretty complex guy," said Aaron. "Just his zest for life was huge... and he was true to himself all the time. He always knew what he wanted to do and when he wanted to do it, and never compromised in any way.
"He was also really accepting as a person — he didn't care where you came from or your background. If you were a person, a human being, then you were worth getting to know."
While Irvine, the youngest of five brothers, liked to do everything at a fast pace, he was also good at teaching others, whether it was skiing or mountain biking, and used to walk others through the skills. "He would help people or spot people, and he was extremely patient," said Aaron. "I know I'm a better skier because of him."
Andre Duguay met Irvine when he was managing La Bocca, and Irvine was the weekend bartender. They quickly became close friends and did everything together.
"I worked with Kevin every Friday and Saturday, I skied with him seven days a week, and when the skiing stopped we went mountain biking together. We had dinners, celebrated birthdays — we even own real estate together."
Duguay said Irvine's biggest passion was his collection of motorcycles. He owned four of them, one back in Scotland, the one he took to South America and two others that are still at his house in Spring Creek. "He had a car as well, but he didn't drive it — he'd ride until the snow started flying. In the spring he'd tie his skis to the back and head out to the mountain wearing his ski boots. He loved to be on his bike and he loved the open air."
Friends are planning a Whistler celebration on Wednesday, April 11 at Dusty's. See the ad for details.
gary repo remembered
Tourism Whistler has expressed its condolences to the friends and family of Gary Repo after he died suddenly on March 27. Repo was at work at the time in the building operations department.
"All of us at Tourism Whistler are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our colleague and friend, Gary Repo," said Tourism Whistler president and CEO Barrett Fisher. "Gary worked at Tourism Whistler for many years. Gary was a constant in our office. Most of us saw him every single day. He was always positive and ready to help whenever called upon. Gary was a valuable member of our team and he will be missed."
A Celebration of Life for Repo will take place on Monday, April 9 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Grand Foyer of the Whistler Conference Centre.