Kaden Allen Edinger was taken from this world at the tender age of 20, on Thursday July 27, 2017. Although his time with us was painfully short, he found a way to pack a lifetime of love, exuberance, and light into the time he was given. He was born on September 3, 1996 in Billings, MT. He arrived 3 weeks early, and we like to think that in true “Kaden fashion”, he couldn’t wait to get started on his life, figuring the details would fall into place along the way. He attended Lockwood School and graduated from Senior High. He completed one year at MSU Bozeman, where he majored in fly fishing, camping, sleeping in, and eating unlimited amounts of cafeteria food. At 6’4, Kaden was naturally drawn to athletics. Basketball became a love shared with his father, which he eventually excelled at once he grew into his oversized limbs. He was always our clumsy and exuberant Scooby-Doo, constantly falling down the stairs in laughter and tripping over his size 14 feet. He spent countless hours at the YMCA and any empty court he could find shooting hoops. He treasured his basketball socks and shoes almost as much as his love for the game. Kaden would not be remembered for his aggression on the court, but for his ability to befriend his opponents and be the forever team optimist. He loved being a part of a family of friends, traveling with them to tournaments and having a team surrounding and supporting him.
When Kaden was a child, he marched hard to the beat of his own beautiful drum. He had a pure and soft heart, at times to a fault. He adopted pets without homes, welcomed the down-trotted, and opened his heart and arms to the least of these. His childlike innocence stayed with him as he grew up; he was forever our little boy in a big body. He would be the last to show up to Thanksgiving dinner, but the moment he walked into the room you could feel the warmth and light spread through his huge grin and witty sense of humor. Kaden loved snowboarding, hiking, camping, and escaping the stress and pressures of this world through the outdoors. He quickly learned camping was not always easy, but it never slowed him down. He often came home scathed and burned from malfunctioning lanterns, with half the equipment he brought, marshmallows stuck to the things that made it home, and red burning eyes from accidentally deploying a can of pepper spray. Kaden’s life philosophy was always, “It will be fine!”.
Kaden loved to drive, and after crashing 13 vehicles, he proudly exclaimed that he finally felt like he was getting the hang of it. Kaden found healing in music, whether it be rap or Christian. When the car battery couldn’t support his self-installed stereo system, he proclaimed with certainly, “I would rather be broken down on the side of the road with good tunes than driving in silence”. Kaden publicly proclaimed his love to the Lord on July 9, 2011, when he was baptized at Faith Chapel. We were always assured of his faith when we found his bible open on his floor and bookmarked on his night stand when he was struggling with the weight of the world. Kaden lived out his faith through his generous heart, endlessly defending the fallen and supporting the outcast and hopeless. His unconditional love and friendships were without judgement, and his contagious smile was given freely.
The light lost with Kaden’s passing will forever be carried on by those his kindness touched, and by his family who will strive to keep his light alive. Kaden is survived by his parents Kim and Larry Edinger, older sisters Kelsey and Kylie, grandparents Shirley and Larry Davenport, brother-in-law Brandon Reiter, nephew Jonah Reiter, aunts Stacy Montoya and Mary Rose, uncles Rick Montoya and Ted Rose, cousins Annaleesa, Matt, and Gracie Montoya, and numerous friends and family who loved Kaden. We will be celebrating Kaden’s life on Thursday August 3, with services held at Faith Chapel on Shiloh at 11:00 am. A fund was created in Kaden’s honor to build and restore basketball courts in local parks for those who share his love of the game in the Billings community. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Kaden Edinger “Shoot Hoop” Court Memorial fund at any Stockman Bank location.