Obituary: Kevin Thomas Murnane |

Obituary: Kevin Thomas Murnane

Kevin Thomas Murnane, 44, passed away on Feb. 24, 2015 surrounded by the forests and meadows that he loved. Kevin was born on Aug. 28, 1970 in Huntington Beach. He was raised in Sebastopol, Calif., the youngest of four children. He attended Analy High School in Sebastopol before heading off to UC Santa Cruz.

During his childhood, Kevin’s family would take trips to Lake Tahoe to ski, and eventually Kevin developed a love of cross-country skiing. After college, in 1994 he went to work at the Montecito Sequoia Resort at the edge of Sequoia National Park.

His sister Kathy Salisbury was managing the resort. Kevin started working in the ski shop and later ran the ski program. It was there that he fell in love with the business of cross-country skiing.

In the summers he taught tennis under the nickname “Smash.” Every winter, the resort would bring in a crew of employees from the southern hemisphere. One of those employees was a beautiful Aussie girl named Valli Dart. The two married and welcomed into the world two wonderful children, Lily, 11, and Kai, 8.

Kevin and Valli have been the heart and soul of Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area for the past 15 years. With his passion for providing an amazing ski experience, and his always warm and fun attitude, Kevin created a beloved place for both locals and visitors alike.

To North Lake Tahoe, he was “Kevin from the Nordic Center.” He will be sorely missed by anyone who ever met him.

Kevin had an inventive mind that was always seeking new and fun ideas for Tahoe XC. Whether he was designing an on-snow grill so that skiers could feast on the trail, building a special locker for parents to store their Pulk (child) sleds in, coming up with crazy, fun race ideas like the Pole, Pedal, Pound Relay, he was all about making it better for everyone who came to Tahoe XC.

His brain was so packed full of knowledge that anyone who worked at Tahoe XC had this thought at least 50 times a day: “I’ll ask Kevin.”

Kevin is survived by his family, including Valli Murnane, children Lily and Kai, mother, Sandra Rosso, of Sebastopol, and siblings, Lisa Cox of Santa Rosa, Kathy Salisbury of Windsor, and Michael Murnane of San Francisco, his aunt and uncle, Bob and Pam Murnane of Santa Rosa, cousins Ginny and Frank Murnane of Incline Village, Nev., and many other loving relatives.

A celebration of life for Kevin will be held on Sunday, March 15, at 1 p.m. at the Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area, 925 Country Club Drive, Tahoe City.

In lieu of flowers, the family and friends ask that donations be made to the Kevin Murnane Benefit Account at U.S. Bank in Tahoe City: (530) 583-2346.

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