Obituary: Kevin Healy, 1954-2019 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Kevin Healy, 1954-2019

Musician and soundman was the first licensed performer on the Church Street Marketplace

Published November 19, 2019 at 7:00 a.m.
Updated November 19, 2019 at 12:41 p.m.

Kevin Healy
  • Kevin Healy

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, musician and “Soundman to the Stars” Kevin Healy. Kevin passed away peacefully on the morning of November 14 in the arms of his family after a long battle with a rare cancer.

He leaves behind the love of his life, Arlene, and their children: Michael, his wife, Brianne, and their daughter Lydia, aka “Monkey"; and Kaitlin and her partner, Eric Weiss, aka “the Bear.” Kevin is also survived by his brother Michael and his wife, Bitte; his sister Patricia and her husband, John Lazarus; his sister Barbara Joan and her husband, Frank Okonski; and his brother Rob and his wife, Dayna; as well as many nieces and nephews. Kevin also leaves behind his extended Gratton family, all of whom looked forward to his baked beans at every family gathering, most especially his father-in-law Roland. Kevin was predeceased by his parents: Ralph Scott Healy, Nancy Riling and Raymond Riling; as well as his sister Kathleen.

Kevin turned an early passion for music into a successful sound-production company, becoming the go-to “soundman” for countless bands and events all over Vermont for nearly 40 years. In addition, many knew Kevin as a friendly face behind the counter at Advance Music. He loved introducing people to music and working with them to find the perfect instrument or piece of gear to bring home. He greeted his clients and customers with a trademark crooked smile and his wickedly dry sense of humor. He had a knack for getting people’s stories and remembering small details about others that helped him to build connections with hundreds of people in the music community and beyond.

Kevin was an accomplished musician himself. He was an avid guitarist and played in dozens of bands, contributing his passion and advocacy to the live music community in northern Vermont. He was the first person ever to receive a license to perform on Church Street many years ago, spearheading a movement of live music that continues to this day.

We would like to thank all of the medical teams who worked with Kevin over the past few years and with whom he developed close friendships: the many doctors and nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center, particularly Dr. Littenberg, Dr. Holmes and Kathleen McCarthy, RN; his transplant team at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, especially Dr. Romee; and the many doctors and nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

We hope that you will join us for a celebration of Kevin’s life on Friday, December 6, 11 a.m., at St. Mark’s Parish in Burlington. A gathering will follow at the BCA Center between 1 and 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf or the New North End Food Pantry, two organizations that Kevin was passionate about supporting. Please also consider donating blood or platelets if you are able to. During his treatment, Kevin told everyone, “The best way to help me is to help everyone: donate blood and platelets.”

Kevin truly was the Soundman to the Stars, and now he is among them. The world will not sound the same without him.

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