Kevin Padrick with his wife Karen

Kevin Padrick with his wife Karen

Giving the Gift of Adventure

Kevin Padrick ’76, J.D./MBA ’79 and his wife Karen had a plan in place to help others be self-sufficient.

Kevin Padrick ’76, J.D./MBA ’79 was a true explorer. He saw Machu Picchu and the Galapagos. He traveled the Pacific Crest Trail and the Colorado Trail. He even discovered an emperor penguin on an island off the Drake Passage, far from its native breeding grounds in Antarctica.

At times, Kevin and his wife Karen would travel together. However, he often hiked by himself—his pace was too fast for anyone to keep up. But Karen was always there to pick up her newly bearded—yet blissful—husband at the end.

“People would always tell me that I should write a book about him,” Karen says.

Kevin found happiness in self-sufficiency, beginning in his days as an Eagle Scout. “Be Prepared” was the mantra, and it served him well in a life full of curveballs. In college, his dreams of being a pilot and lawyer were temporarily thwarted when his program at the United States Air Force Academy was axed. He transferred to Santa Clara University where he completed a joint program in law and business.

As a lawyer for Miller Nash in Portland, Oregon, he made partner at just 26, but was diagnosed with a medical condition that necessitated a different lifestyle. When his health improved, he founded Obsidian Financial but was targeted by an early Internet troll who threatened his company. Kevin and Obsidian sued for defamation and won a landmark court case.

These setbacks were difficult, but Kevin always felt equipped to handle them. He wanted to pass on that gift of self-sufficiency. When Kevin tragically passed away in a plane crash in June 2019, it was fitting that he and his wife had a plan in place to help others.

Thanks to Kevin and Karen’s generosity, through a Bequest Intention, generations of students will be able to learn the same skills he did at Santa Clara. And with the right determination, they can live a life as adventurous as his.


Dec 12, 2018
Campaign, campnews