Obituary: Gavin Greene, 17, a loving brother and friend with ‘wicked smart abilities’

"Gavin may have been quiet to many, but once he got going, he had a sharp wit, wicked smart abilities (especially when he turned in his homework) and the best sense of humor if you appreciate it a bit dry and laced with sarcasm."

Gavin Cameron Greene was born on December 16, 2003, to two very proud parents Tom and Missy Greene of Redondo Beach, Cal. Gavin spent his early years making sandcastles on the beach, eating Roscoe’s chicken and waffles, and memorizing EVERY fish in the Long Beach Aquarium while strolling his baby sister, Addison, who made an appearance a couple of years later. He always loved his sister.

When the Greene family moved back to Lenexa, he was almost 3 years old. They hit the family jackpot with all the grandparents nearby. They moved into Nani and Papa’s while their new home construction was wrapping up. They enjoyed Grammy and Grumpa Fridays with their cousins, Katie and Harrison Greene, and sleepovers at B & E’s with more cousins Dylan, Abby and Bella Snodgrass. Gavin will always hold special the adventures he would take with his Grandad and the good times and more mature laughs with his older cousins Doug, Alyssa and Amanda LaCroix. He was well-loved by his adoring aunts and uncles.

Gavin and Addison traded in the beach for a neighborhood filled with the best kids who played hard until it was time for belly bumps and bath time. He enjoyed near-weekly playdates with his pseudo cousins — Kyle, Ryan, Harrison, Callen, Jagger, Kanyon, Ezra, Owen and Daks. Yes, poor Addison was always surrounded by lots of dirty, stinky boys and probably why she is so tough today. The other girls in our little group came later (Ainsley, Isla, Hayley, and Finley).

As Gavin grew up, so did his love for sports, especially soccer. He had the great fortune to learn fundamentals, teamwork and sportsmanship from some pretty great coaches: Mike Russell and Nate Huppe in the early years, followed by Coach Graham and Coach Weber at Olathe Northwest before he hung up his cleats his junior year. There are so many others, and our apologies for any names missed. Regardless, he loved playing a pick-up game with his soccer buddies and friendships that extended well beyond soccer. This super special group of kids brought Gavin so much joy and even more laughs.

Gavin may have been quiet to many, but once he got going, he had a sharp wit, wicked smart abilities (especially when he turned in his homework) and the best sense of humor if you appreciate it a bit dry and laced with sarcasm; his Blue Moose work buddies knew this well. He really enjoyed beating his dad at golf, his uncle at chess and claiming bragging rights after leaving the tennis courts or following a heated online game. Although, his gaming friends always gave him a run for his money, and he loved the camaraderie and competition.

Gavin had plans. Our yearly trip to Manhattan for “The Purple Propaganda Tour” (24 hours, 4 mommas, 9 boys and 2 girls) must have worked. We explored campus, swam at Pillsbury Crossing, raced across the Kansas State football field, toured the basketball locker room and yes, Coach even came out for some photo ops with this rowdy crew. Gavin was accepted into Kansas State University’s School of Business for Fall 2022. He was awarded a Merit Scholarship Award even after the academic challenges he faced last year in the height of the pandemic.

In his short 17 years, 11.5 months, Gavin accomplished more than most achieve in their lifetime. He forged real friendships, enjoyed spicy food, skied down way too steep mountains, ascended to the top of the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, rafted white rapids, raced through the parks in Paris, played swords in European castles, road gondolas in Spain, ziplined through the rain forests of Costa Rica and tried to surf, but really just preferred to hop the waves.

Ultimately, Gavin struggled with mental illness that surfaced like it did for so many of our children during the pandemic. He had a teacher advocate who took the extra step and made a really tough call home. He had a very talented therapist who brought him back from some very dark depths, but Gavin hid the darkest part from all of us. For anyone who is struggling, please connect with someone you trust. Don’t wait! We can save each and every one of you, but you must stay alive in the process. We just celebrated a beautiful holiday weekend with so many laughs. Our last night together as a family was spent decorating the Christmas tree. Gavin added his humorous finishing touch by climbing the ladder to place a make-shift tree topper — an elf hat from a little kid art project.

Please join us for a public celebration of life, Thursday, December 2nd beginning at 4pm. It will be held at the Main Pavilion at Sar-Ko-Par Park off 87th Street Parkway in Lenexa (near 87th and Lackman).

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Gavin Greene Foundation at: https://gkccf.kimbia.com/gree35. All monies donated will be appropriated to worthy charitable donations in Gavin’s name. Thank You.