Kevin Matthew Rudnicki passed away on September 2, 2018.  He was born on March 3, 1998 to Laurence Augustine Rudnicki and Melissa Ann Reynolds-Bass.  He was 20 years old.

Kevin was a remarkable young man, deeply loved by his family and friends.  His life here was much too brief, but we will always be grateful for the time we had with him.

Kevin was kind, clever, and complex.  He shared himself with us generously, especially in intimate, timeless settings – on long hikes, on family road trips, lounging at the fire pit, at the dinner table, and in “the pink chair” at his sister Megan’s house.  His passionate curiosity, his precocious perception, his well-defended opinions, and his sharp wit kept us tightly engaged. Kevin was well beyond his years in examining the deeper questions of life.  He could be light-hearted as well, and we have fond memories of playing video games with him; listening to him play drums and the songs he wrote with his friends; musing over the merits of various movies, music, and books; creative writing and illustrating with his brothers; and just goofing around.

Kevin’s exploratory spirit ran deep and was most clearly manifested in his love of the outdoors. A conqueror of at least fourteen of Colorado’s famous “14-ers” and innumerable other trails and summits, Kevin reveled in the unspoiled wilderness – from America’s great National Parks to the Pike National Forest just outside his front door in Palmer Lake where he spent considerable time as a young man.  His plan was to make a career of his passion for the outdoors through the study of watershed management at the University of Wyoming.

Kevin was brilliant and focused.  He was blessed with many talents and interests that he pursued vigorously.  Through persistent hard work, he became a Varsity distance runner at Palmer Ridge High School as its Cross Country and Track programs were rising to be the best in Colorado.  He simultaneously became a phenomenal mountain hiker, ascending and descending steep trails with blazing speed.  He was a skilled artist, writer, map maker, puzzle solver, chess player, baker, and beekeeper.  We were always intrigued to watch where Kevin would go next.

Words cannot properly express the heartbreak of our loss.  Kevin, we will always miss you – we will always love you...

Kevin is survived by his mother, Melissa A. Reynolds-Bass, and his stepfather, William T. Bass, of Palmer Lake; his father, Laurence A. Rudnicki, and stepmother, Amy F. Rudnicki, of Larkspur; his grandparents, Lee J. Reynolds of Lakewood and Marianne B. Danks of Pleasant Lake, Michigan; his siblings, Megan A. Reynolds & Benjamin J. Brown of Palmer Lake, Brendan P. Rudnicki of Larkspur, Andrew M. Rudnicki of Golden, Joseph A. and John X. Rudnicki of Larkspur; his nephew and niece, Marlena A.K. and Emmett J.T. Brown of Palmer Lake; his aunts and uncles, Brian L. Reynolds and Sarah S. Lester of Andover, New Hampshire, Heather M. Aberle & Justin J. Aberle of Lakewood, and Genevieve M. Rudnicki of Corona de Tucson, Arizona; and his cousins, Matthew W., David J., Sophia S. and Mychal G. Reynolds of Andover, New Hampshire.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Janice K. Reynolds, and his grandfather, Laurence S. Rudnicki.

Kevin’s family would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue ( and especially to one special dog named Lola, who was instrumental in leading us to him so we could bring him home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Kevin’s name to El Paso County Search and Rescue ( or in Lola’s name to Gentle Jake’s Coonhound Rescue (

A Vigil Service for Kevin Matthew Rudnicki was held at 6:30pm on Thursday, December 27, 2018 at Saint Peter Catholic Church, 55 Jefferson Street, Monument, Colorado 80132.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:00am Friday, December 28, 2018 at Saint Peter Catholic Church, 55 Jefferson Street, Monument, Colorado 80132.

Arrangements are under the direction of Return to Nature Funeral Home, Colorado Springs, Colorado