From Kevin Lee Courtoy's adolescence on, nobody can remember a time when the young man wasn't trying to help someone.
Whether it was aiding elderly neighbors, mentoring kids with disabilities at summer camp, assisting individuals with cerebral palsy as his chosen career, or spending his spare time on volunteer fire and ambulance calls, Mr. Courtoy offered his services to everyone.
"He always wanted to help people in need," said Bob "Fish" Fischer, president of Parkview Fire/EMS in O'Hara, where Mr. Courtoy had been a member since joining as an 18-year-old in 1985.
Mr. Courtoy, diagnosed with cancer in November, died in his parents' O'Hara home Monday. He was 46.
The Fox Chapel Area High School graduate who loved boating had worked since 1986 serving residential clients of UCP/CLASS in the Shaler area. He started as a direct care worker and rose to a residential supervisor's position within a year. He worked ever since then, managing other workers and coordinating the assistance given to the agency's clients with cerebral palsy living in the Shaler Highlands Apartments.
It meant getting calls at any time of day, making home visits, scheduling clients' medical and other appointments, and doing many more things that would help them live on their own.
Mr. Courtoy was one of eight residential supervisors in the Pittsburgh region for UCP/CLASS, and one who stood out for his close connection to the individuals and families he was serving, said Darla Lynn, the agency's chief residential officer.
"I think for Kevin this wasn't a job -- it was just so intrinsic to his life and his values," she said. "If you were in trouble, if you were having a bad day, he was the first one to ask about it. ... He was just so concerned about people in general, whether you had a disability or not."
He had been involved in community service before he was an adult, serving as a junior member of Foxwall EMS as young as age 16. He also began giving up a week of his summers as a teenager to work with kids at Camp Lutherlyn in Butler County, which was focused on young people with muscular dystrophy. Mr. Courtoy continued there for years after he had a full-time job, using some of his vacation time from UCP.
He also put in more than a quarter-century of time with Parkview Fire/EMS, which he also served in a two-year stint as president and, for the past 10 years, vice president. Mr. Fischer credited him with arranging a plan for staffing and financing to continue Parkview at a time in the 1990s when new regulations had some members thinking it should be merged into other volunteer departments.
Mr. Courtoy is survived by a son, Hunter Lee Courtoy, and his parents, Delmas and Patricia Courtoy, all of O'Hara; and a sister, Renee Kutsch of Blawnox.
A Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. today in St. Pio Parish, St. Edward worship site in Blawnox.
Gary Rotstein: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1255.