BRADENTON — If any of Kim McCaw’s pals had a bash planned for a winter Saturday night, they knew he wouldn’t be coming.
Not with hockey on TV.
“Kim was hockey, hockey, hockey,” Joan McCaw said of her husband of 29 years. “Saturday night was ‘Hockey Night in Canada.’ ”
“He had all the hockey TV packages,” friend Don Ide said. “He loved hockey. Hockey was his passion.”
So was McCaw’s family, raised in a close-knit neighborhood where Little League was a rite of passage at G.T. Bray park.
“He never missed a game,” Ide said.
The family’s new addition, Kinley, the 4-month-old daughter of Tyler and Lauren McCaw, was a real blessing, too.
“She lightened our hearts 10-fold,” Joan McCaw said.
Hearts that have been heavy of late. Kim McCaw died Aug. 26 after a 10-month battle with esophageal cancer.
The 56-year-old Sarnia, Ontario, native had also been out of work since March 2009. He was an interior designer — kitchens, studies, media rooms — for luxury homes.
“‘First, I’m laid off. Then I get cancer. Talk about kicking somebody when you’re down,’” his 51-year-old wife recalled him saying.
McCaw never complained otherwise, refusing chemo, too.
“I don’t know somebody who could be as strong as he was,” said Barbara Viehman, a neighbor for 17 years. “It was sad what he had to go through.”
“He was the last person you’d want to see this happen to,” said Mary Maxwell, a longtime family acquaintance. “He was what everyone would want as a friend — funny, kind, always ready to help.”
Which is why people are rallying ’round.
Kim McCaw had no health insurance and the medical expenses are expected to be considerable.
A 3 p.m. Oct. 16 fundraiser is planned at Clancy’s on Cortez Road.
“Joan has not once asked for help, but we want to do this for her,” Ide said. “It comes from the heart.”
McCaw’s widow deeply appreciates it.
She is humbled, too.
“Death is devastating, so it is comforting to have the support of friends and loved ones,” Joan McCaw said. “It comes down to — you realize the person you are and the type of people you’ve chosen to be friends and peers. They have the same warm heart you do.
“We were very loving, caring people. Our friends are the same way.”