Camp Wawona Employee Kevin Canavan Dies as a Result of Drowning

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Kevin Canavan
Photo supplied by the Central California Conference


The Central California Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been notified by the Mariposa County Coroner’s Office that Kevin Canavan, the summer camp employee from Camp Wawona who was found deceased last week, died as a result of drowning.

According to Camp Wawona summer camp leaders, the incident occurred in the Merced River, while he and several others were on an outing during their day off.

The 21-year-old, according to an Adventist Review article, graduated from Monterey Bay Academy (MBA) in Watsonville, California, in 2013 and enrolled at Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. Canavan worked this past year as a resident assistant at Grainger Hall, one of three men’s dormitories at the college. He had planned to return to that position for his senior year.
“Kevin’s RA status at Grainger Hall placed him in the forefront of leadership, care, and concern for others at PUC, and truly he lived up to these ideals,” said Lisa Bissell Paulson, vice president for student services.
“The loss of Kevin is such a tragedy, not only to those who are close to him personally, but for all the of the summer camp staff and leaders throughout the North American Division. We were praying for him as soon as we heard that he was missing,” says Tracy Wood, associate director of Young Adult Ministries in charge of Young Adult LIFE, Adventist Christian Fellowship, and Teen Leadership Training for the NAD. "The loss of a rising young adult leader within our church and school system affects us at every level of the church. We are deeply saddened by his loss, and we will continue to pray for his family and friends,"
Central California Conference leaders continue to express their deepest sorrow and sincere condolences to the Canavan family and to those who knew Kevin well. Central’s prayer ministries teams throughout the conference have been keeping the Canavan family in constant prayer as they go through this most difficult time.
Memorial services for Kevin Canavan are scheduled for Saturday, July 16, 2016, at 7:00 p.m., at the MBA church located at 783 San Andreas Road, Watsonville. In addition, viewings are scheduled on July 16, from 1-5 p.m., and on Sunday, July 17, from 9:00- 10:30 a.m., at Mehl’s Funeral Home in Watsonville.
A graveside service is scheduled on July 17 at Pajaro Valley Memorial Cemetery in Watsonville at 11 a.m.
— This information is from a news release distributed by the Central California Conference on July 14, 2016. Additional information gathered from the Adventist Review.
The Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which owns and operates Camp Wawona, is comprised of 140 Christian local churches and 29 schools and pre-schools working together to provide spiritual care to its 37,442 members and to serve the needs within its communities throughout the region of central California. Camp Wawona, located inside Yosemite National Park, has been in operation for more than 85 years, providing year-round nature-based education, recreation, retreat and summer camp ministries.

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