A Celebration of Life was held at the Edge Ice Arena on November 6, 2022. Family, friends, former players and teammates of Kyle “Obie” Obuhanick gathered to support each other and take comfort in a loving community. The Hawks showcase game kicked off the evening and provided the perfect opportunity to honor this amazing and beloved coach. Oliver Martineau, a former teammate and childhood friend, delivered a touching on ice eulogy honoring his friend. The Hawks sent donation buckets through the crowd and a silent auction ran through the evening. Our collective efforts from donation and auction along with online and in person donations were donated to the family in a check presentation that took place in the lobby after the game. Kyle’s mom Linda said, “Today’s celebration helped turn a sorrowful day into a day that brought me joy in celebrating Kyle’s life with family and friends.”
Oliver Martineau offered a powerful on ice eulogy. His words are captured here:
My name is Oliver Martineau and I’m here today to introduce the Kyle Obuhanick Foundation.
I was extremely fortunate to have grown up with Kyle. We played mite hockey together all the way up through the Aspen High School team, after which we went to play at boarding school, me at Hotchkiss and Kyle at the Gunnery. We had the brotherly, lifelong bond that can only come through hockey. We practiced, sweat, celebrated, and cried playing the sport that we both loved. Kyle was a hockey guy through and through. He was my defenseman, and if you play hockey then you know Kyle. As a goalie, and a small one at that, I depended upon my defensemen to protect and support me, and to bail me out when I made mistakes, and Kyle did just that not only on the ice but as my brother going through life.
He was an incredible person who touched the hearts and lives of everyone he met. His smile could melt all the ice in this rink. He lit up every room he walked into, especially the locker room, with his infectious optimism and lighthearted and hilarious nature. We are all crushed and saddened by his unexpected death, but it is paramount to remember that our sadness is truly an expression of our love for Kyle. The degree to which we feel pain, sadness, and heaviness at our loss, is really the degree to which we loved Kyle and he, in return, loved us.
I have so many beautiful memories of playing hockey with Kyle, from our road games and tournaments, to playing knee hockey in hotel hallways, endless late-night pranks involving shaving cream and icy hot, and sneaking beers during team dinners, which I’m sure is something that none of the players here today have ever done.
I remember early in high school we wanted to be cool like the older guys and pros so we tried chewing tobacco. Filling up the entire bottom half of our mouths with skoal straight. As we looked at each other in victory, confident that we were legit hockey players now, we both proceeded to violently throw up for the better part of an hour.
After college he found his true passion in life, coaching the young men and women of the Littleton Hockey Program.
Kyle thrived at Littleton, coaching 5 teams to state championships, one squirt AA, 2 minor AA, and 2 Major AAs. He also coached an 18u team to bronze at nationals.
As I’ve said he was my brother, so he acted as big brother to all of his players. Guiding them, supporting them, leading and teaching them. He was a rock for many people in his life. You always knew that he’d be there for you when you needed him. As I’ve spoken with many people here today, a very vivid and poignant message has shown through: Kyle was respected, adored, and well loved by the other Littleton coaches, his players, and their parents alike.
Going forward, we have also created The Kyle Obuhanick Foundation, or The Obie Foundation for short, which will support equipment costs, travel costs, and general hockey dues for Littleton hockey families in need. We are starting with Littleton, but we hope to grow the Obie Foundation into something that can provide this type of support for young hockey players throughout Colorado. We would appreciate donations of any size to the Foundation venmo @kofoundation
On Monday, October 4th, 2021, Kyle Obuhanick passed away at the age of 34.
Kyle was an amazing son, brother, uncle and friend–simply the best–and we will never forget the love, friendship, and infectious smile and laughter that he brought to all of us. He was passionate, kind, loving, supportive, giving and strong. If you were lucky enough to have met “Obie”, you know he had a huge heart and made the lives of everyone he came across better. In doing so, he made the most profound and meaningful impact one can during one’s short time here on earth.
Kyle was born and raised in Carbondale, Colorado and attended Aspen High School before going to The Gunnery in Connecticut. He returned to Colorado and pursued his degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He was a man of many interests, but ice hockey was his passion from a very young age. He played through all the levels of the Aspen Junior Hockey program, and became a valuable leader on defense in his High School years. Everybody who ever played with him, or against him for that matter, will remember his toothy grin and his pure love for the sport.
After college, Kyle joined the Littleton Hockey Association, and since 2011 had dedicated himself to coaching and mentoring young players. He was beloved by his fellow coaches and by his players and their parents for his passion, leadership and generosity of spirit, and he made significant and lasting impressions on the development of hundreds of young men and women over the years. Kyle’s love and optimism were contagious and reverberated throughout the lives of his friends and family.
Kyle is survived by his mother Linda, older brother Cody, three nieces Paige, Hannah, and Fiona, and countless friends. Please keep Obie’s family in your thoughts and prayers. Hug your family and friends tighter. Kyle, you will always be remembered and loved. Thank you for being our Obie.