Kevin Thomas Caldwell, a former long time board member of Community Link, unexpectedly passed away on February 2nd, 2024 at age 62. He left behind his partner of nearly 24 years, Kirk, and is survived by his sister Maureen of Redding.
Kevin was well known in Fresno’s LGBTQ+ community, as well as in leather and bear communities, because a large portion of his life was spent in service to others. He was born and grew up in Stockton, but lived on and off in Fresno until he moved here permanently in 2001. He was a mentor to
many, and a friend to everyone he met. He loved volunteering, and always wanted to do something and for everyone to have a good time at events he helped put on. He truly believed in the concept of “united we stand, divided we fall” when it came to the LGBTQ+ community working together, which he stressed in his speech while accepting Community Link’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2008.
He was either a founding member of, or was on board of, or simply belonged to many, many social clubs throughout the Central Valley: The Motherlode Chapter of the Knights of Malta (Modesto), Sacramento Valley Bears, The Knights of Malta Yosemite Chapter (Fresno – many years spent as President), The Golden State Bears (Fresno – one of the founders), and Imperial Dove Court de Fresno/Madera…
He, along with Kirk, helped Jeff Robinson restart Pride in Fresno in 2003 and was involved with it for several years, being on the board of organizers, attending pre-Pride weekly meetings and working fundraisers. On day of event, he was often in the color guard in the Parade, carrying flags with The Knights first, and then rushed to work the festival gate and greeted everyone coming in. He loved people, he was very outgoing and social. Even if you don’t think you knew Kevin, he probably knew you. He also spent countless hours driving from Fresno to Bakersfield to Stockton and everywhere in between delivering NewsLink (he also wrote articles for it) and Pink Pages; helped organize and run Bowl-A-Thons and supported Rainbow Bowling League; and was on the organizing committee with Fresno AIDS Walk for a few years. He was always willing to help and offer advice and wisdom.
More recently he stepped back, especially as the social clubs started folding, and his health didn’t allow him to participate in as many events as he used to, especially once COVID hit. But please remember, Kevin was important in facilitating a lot of social happenings in Fresno’s LGBTQ+ community from 1990s through 2010s.
Kevin didn’t want a memorial or a funeral, but myself and a few very close friends are hoping to have a celebration of his life closer to his birthday (in May). If you’d like to make a donation to help with some expenses, they’re all appreciated. If you’d rather donate to a charity in his name, The Oral Cancer Foundation would have been his choice. He beat tonsil cancer over 15 years ago but the very recent side effects from the radiation were instrumental in ending his life prematurely.
United we stand, divided we fall.