Live like Kevin

Kevin Rose volunteered with our sustainable transportation program in 2011. We weren’t aware at the time, but at home, Kevin was telling his family how much he loved working with OEC, how he felt like we were making a difference for Oregon’s environment.

Today, OEC is honored to establish the Kevin Rose Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.

Kevin had a palpable passion for Oregon, for volunteering and for making the world a better place. It is the kind of passion we hope to inspire and support in others and do whatever we can to cultivate it for a better future for Oregon. Please read on for a letter from Kevin’s family about his life and passion for Oregon. We hope Kevin’s legacy inspires you as much as it has inspired us.

Kevin Rose, a fifth generation Oregonian, spent his early childhood camping at Loon Lake, hiking Spencer’s Butte, exploring tidal pools in Florence, and of course, cheering on the Ducks at Autzen Stadium. He fell in love with Oregon at a young age, and even after he moved to the East Coast with his family, his desire to return was unwavering. He visited family in Baker City, Eugene and Portland frequently throughout his middle school and high school years. During this time, his passion for protecting the environment, vegetarianism and commitment to sustainable living developed, undoubtedly influenced by all the time he spent outdoors appreciating Oregon’s immense beauty.  And after graduating from Arizona State University, he was finally able to return to Portland and begin to lay down roots.

Like many young people in Oregon, Kevin was full of energy and passion; ready to make a meaningful contribution to society.  He found it difficult to find a position in Portland that allowed him to focus on the causes that he cared so passionately about. He finally secured an internship with the Oregon Environmental Council, working on various research projects during his year there. He enjoyed the work and was very impressed by OEC’s commitment to the environment as well as the high standard by which it was run. After his internship ended, he worked with an organization called Conscious Capitalism, focusing on implementing and encouraging ethical and responsible business practices.

Unfortunately, it was during Kevin’s time with Conscious Capitalism that he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. While the diagnosis was devastating, Kevin remained optimistic.  He focused on healing through a healthy vegetarian diet and spent the remaining months of his life as an impassioned advocate for the environment in Oregon and beyond. In the last few months, he was able to  enjoy hanging out with friends at The Blue Moon, hike at Council Crest with his dogs, spend time with his nieces in Northwest Portland, camp in Eastern Oregon, continue to cheer on the Ducks, and have many long talks with his family members.  His heart and voice remained strong, and it was in these last months that he was able to truly articulate and live by the ideals that guided his life.  Kevin passed away in June of 2014, and is missed beyond what words can express.

We found a to-do list in Kevin’s room after he passed. It said:


  • Take time to breathe
  • Express gratitude
  • Acts of selfless help
  • Remember to nurture relationships
  • Always forgive
  • Commit to goals
  • Spend more time outdoors
  • Savor life’s joys
  • Repeat positive affirmations
  • Challenge negative thoughts

Kevin continues to teach us so many lessons in life.

Our family is so honored that this award is dedicated to Kevin’s life and work. He truly was an inspiration to all that knew him. He was passionate, dedicated and thoughtful–all qualities that undoubtedly embody any recipient of this award.  Kevin not only understood the challenges that interns face, but valued volunteerism and the meaningful impact volunteers have in our society. Thank you to the recipients of this award for all of your hard work and it’s greater impact to our world.


The Rose Family

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2015 Kevin Rose Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award

There are exit signs everywhere. Apathy is contagious. But thankfully, individual passion trumps apathy, again and again, and the world is left a better place because of it. Here at Oregon Environmental Council, we are privileged to have passionate, driven volunteers step forward to help protect Oregon’s clean air, clean water and healthy communities, and we want to recognize them for their significant contributions. This year we are thrilled to offer the Kevin Rose Memorial
December 14, 2015, 11:38 pm


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