Obituary: Kian Kelsch

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Kian Kelsch of Santa Rosa, formerly of Davis, passed away on July 24. He was 30 years old.

Kian is survived by his parents Laura Petitt and Christopher Kelsch (Hollie Malamud), his sisters Julia and Madeline, grandmother Theresa Kelsch, many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins, countless friends, and his soul mate and life partner Jenna Mozdy.

Kian was born in Ann Arbor, Mich. and was raised in Davis where he graduated from Da Vinci Charter Academy in 2011. One of Kian’s passions was music, which led him to study Audio/Recording Engineering at Pinnacle College and work at Night Bird Studios in West Hollywood. He enlisted in the US Navy in 2016, and served at the Great Lakes Naval Station. After leaving the Navy, Kian worked as a Technician for the California Conservation Corps and had several food industry jobs before returning to school to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor. This is where Kian found his true calling. He counseled and advocated for people in recovery from substances, and at the time of his death he worked in management at a drug and alcohol rehab facility.

Kian’s impact on the recovery community was immeasurable. He had a rare ability to connect with people no matter their circumstances or background. Kian’s co-workers adored him, his clients trusted him, and he served people who struggled with addiction in a manner that can only be described as an inherent gift. He saved countless lives with his empathy and sensitivity to human suffering, and clients have said that Kian loved them until they learned how to love themselves.

It was impossible not to laugh when you were with Kian. He had an uncanny ability to find humor in most situations and could recite lines from TV/movies and easily perform impersonations. Kian’s wild imagination led to many hilarious skits and games; his younger sisters and friends readily volunteered for a chance to be part of his latest creative endeavor. Kian also enjoyed cooking and preparing elaborate feasts in line with his most current food kick. He loved animals, and cats in particular. He was crazy about Pig and Moo, the two kitties he shared with Jenna. Their mischievousness and silly antics entertained him for hours on end. If he wasn’t playing with the cats, you might find him playing his guitar, which gave him a sense of peace and calm from the troubles of the day.

Kian was predeceased by his maternal grandparents Albert and Katherine Petitt, his paternal grandfather Robert Kelsch, and his beloved aunt Barbara Petitt.

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Kian on Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. until noon at the Church of One Tree in Santa Rosa. All are welcome to join in his memory and share stories of his life. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to or to

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