MYRTLE BEACH—Kevin Eldridge Clontz passed away at home on Aug. 2, after a seven-month illness of liver failure and colon cancer.
He is the only son of his father Bill Clontz and his late mother Rosalyn Eldridge Clontz , both of Myrtle Beach.
Kevin was born May 17, 1970. He was a lifelong resident of Myrtle Beach.
In addition to his father, he is survived by his son Gage Tanner Clontz; his son’s mother, Tish Clontz; sisters Danna Clontz McKnight of Myrtle Beach, Kristin “Christy” Clontz Bell (Brian) of Austin, Texas, and Neva Clontz Campbell (Josh) of Myrtle Beach; nieces and nephew Amelia and Olivia McKnight, Bella and Zoe Campbell and Sydney and Keenan Bell; beloved uncles, aunts and cousins Ronald and Bonnie Eldridge of Myrtle Beach, Donald and Libby Clontz of High Point, North Carolina, David and Karen Clontz of Moncks Corner, Judy Moir of Irmo, Roddy and Janice Bean of Hickory, North Carolina, and Rhonda Eldridge Todd and Robin Eldridge Politis.
He is predeceased by his precious mother who passed away in June 2019. She could not bear to watch Kevin die and after her long illness, went to Heaven to wait for him. He is also predeceased by sister Dona Lane Clontz; brother in law Jimmy McKnight; grandparents Elbert and “Sonny” Lizzette Vereen Eldridge of Myrtle Beach and Mallie and Vera Hall Clontz of Hickory, North Carolina.
Kevin graduated from Myrtle Beach High School in 1989. He was an outdoorsman and avid hunter. He loved boating on the river, inlet and ocean. He enjoyed the beach and even got to go one last time a week before he died.
He took pride in his skill and accuracy as a foreman, directional driller and heavy equipment operator.
He was tough, aggravating, hard headed and reckless at times. He was smart and kind. Kevin was a friend to all. He never met a stranger and was always willing to help someone in need.
He built a playground set for a friend’s child. He stopped in snow and ice to pull many people out of a ditches. He stopped in pouring rain to change a tire for a couple dressed in formal attire.
In his younger years, he was also quick to stop his truck and jump into a fight, always pulling for the underdog. He even saved his baby sister two different times.
By far, the most important thing in Kevin’s life was being a dad. He adored his son and was a hands-on father. He went to school conferences, field trips, doctors’ appointments and ball games. He spent his life after Gage started to school coaching baseball games and practices.
It was important to Kevin to include players of all abilities. He used an encouraging approach to help players overcome their fears and grow as individuals, with improvement of baseball skills as a byproduct. He loved and was very proud of his son.
Above all else, Kevin was a Christian. He was a member of First United Methodist Church and New Horizons Sunday School Class. Kevin was the first to admit that he was a sinner. Kevin regretted many of the choices he made in his alcoholism; however, by the grace of God, he was able to get sober and to find his way back to God.
He repented and received forgiveness from his family and Jesus. He was quick to share his testimony with anyone and everyone throughout his illness. He also wanted all his friends to know that finding Jesus would allow them to see one another again one day at a glorious feast, where Kevin said, “I’ll probably be cooking chicken bog to welcome you to Heaven.”
During his illness, Kevin was able to reconnect with friends that he hadn’t seen for years. Many contacted him on social media, all with heartfelt well wishes. They even had a party that Kevin got to attend. It was a celebration of his life.
He was always a great story teller and they reminisced about a lifetime of funny, crazy and often dangerous times.
Kevin’s story is a story of redemption. We know that he is at peace and is pain free now. He is with his and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our precious mother. Yesterday was a day of rejoicing by and for Kevin.
A memorial service for Kevin was held Aug. 6 at First United Methodist Church of Myrtle Beach with the Revs. Tom Brittain and George Howle officiating.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Kevin’s nephew has CF) or the Grand Strand Miracle League (a group dedicated to making baseball possible for all kids, no matter their disability.)
Goldfinch Funeral Home, Carolina Forest Chapel, was in charge of arrangements.