SIERRA VISTA — Kevin J. Carolan, an Army veteran with 22 years service and a long-time Sierra Vista Herald sports editor, died Wednesday.
Survived by his current wife of 18 years, Juanita Carolan, daughters Dawn Marie McLaughlin and Wendee Grinde, and son Troy Carolan, Kevin was surrounded by family and friends when he passed away.
“My father will be long remembered in this community for his passion for sports and dedication to covering local athletic programs,” Grinde said. “He worked for the Herald for more than 40 years, and the sports events that he covered took him all over.”
Now-retired Herald reporter Bill Hess, who worked with Carolan for a little over 30 years, offered the following comments about him.
“When I arrived in Sierra Vista in 1984 and started working for the Herald, Kevin was a part-time sports reporter and later became the sports editor. He primarily covered school sports, but wrote about other sporting events as well,” Hess said.
“Local school athletics was his forte. He knew all sports and covered athletic events for Buena, Tombstone and other high schools. He was always out there covering local sports, which he did very, very thoroughly. The community appreciated and respected Kevin and his commitment to school sports programs.
“I always enjoyed working with Kevin,” Hess said. “I remember him as an excellent sports reporter and editor and very dedicated to his work.”
Carolan’s 22-year career in the military took him all over the world. He enlisted as a photographic laboratory specialist in 1957 when he was 17 and was an imagery interpreter during the Cold War in Germany and at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The Army later selected him as an intelligence warrant officer where he served in all-source technician positions. During his career he served two tours in Vietnam and two in Germany.
His work took him to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca where he was instrumental in building the initial Warrant Officer Advanced Course curriculum along with three other MI warrant officers. That curriculum set the foundation for future leaders within the military intelligence branch for decades to come, according to information provided by his daughter, Wendee Grinde.
“We moved here in 1974 and my dad retired out of Fort Huachuca,” she said.
“In 1994, he received a special award for his service to sports, the Ray McNally Achievement for outstanding leadership and promotion of high school athletics.”
He broadcasted Buena High School varsity football games on KTAN Radio with long-time friend Steve Kurtz for many years, Grinde said of her father’s sports reporting.
“More recently, around 2017, Carolan was presented with the Knowlton Award by the Military Intelligence Corps Association for his ‘professional excellence and significant contributions’ to the MI Corps.
“Growing up, I never fully understood what my father did in the Army, but now as I am older I have begun to recognize the courage and dedication he had for his service and country,” Grinde said at the award ceremony. “I am very proud of all he accomplished through his military career.”
Information about services for Kevin Carolan will be provided once they are available.