Updated:
Original:

St. Paul stormtrooper has his late wife's force with him on California hike

Author:

A St. Paul artist who's had trouble getting his creative spark back since his wife's death a few years ago has spent the last month showing Californians what a trooper he is.

Kevin Doyle will wrap up a San Francisco-to-San Diego hike of more than 600 miles on Thursday, when he strolls into a comic convention dressed as a stormtrooper from Star Wars.

Doyle has dedicated his journey to his late wife, Eileen Shige Doyle, and is raising money for a charity called Eileen's Little Angels that helps children going through chemotherapy.

Eileen was a comic artist who died of pancreatic cancer in November 2012 at age 45. Doyle tells the San Diego Union Tribune that since then he's "...struggled with how to deal with the loss. I’ve been self-destructive and my art suffered,” he said.

Eileen sold her artwork at events like this weekend's Comic-Con International in San Diego. Both avid Star Wars fans, the pair met through a Star Wars costume group, the 501st Legion.

The couple often appeared together in their matching stormtrooper costumes. Kevin told StarWars.com he tried to throw Eileen off by proposing to her in a Darth Vader costume, but she knew it was him.

The Union Tribune says that since Eileen's death Kevin has left his job, lost his home, and has felt adrift.

He decided to regroup by going back to basics: walking. And Star Wars.

He started his journey at a Star Wars museum in the San Francisco Bay area. He's chronicled the adventure on Facebook and

" target="_blank">Twitter.

The novelty of the hiking stormtrooper is also drawing media attention ranging from The Coast News to Southern California Public Radio.

Doyle's been camping along the way – pushing his gear in a three-wheeled cart – and says he's been averaging about 20 miles a day while meeting a battalion of supporters.

Some of those who pose for photos with Doyle also offer him water or food, make donations, or share their own stories.

According to the Union Tribune, one couple hiked with him for 10 miles and invited him to return after the comic convention for some skydiving.

Doyle does plan to travel back up the California coast after Comic-Con, this time by train. He tells The Coast News he may arrange for a garrison of costumed stormtroopers to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

But after making himself a spectacle for a month, Doyle is also looking forward to some alone time, telling the newspaper: “We’ll see what happens after this. I kind of left this as an open book for me.”

Next Up

madden's

Madden's has banner summer with surge of visitors to Gull Lake

The resort was named the No. 1 resort in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

denny dempsey

Burnsville priest identified as bicyclist killed in Rosemount

The church says he was doing what he loved: riding his bike.

Matt Dumba

Wild open road trip with win over Canucks

At 5-1, only the St. Louis Blues (5-0) are off to a better start in the Western Conference than the Wild.

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.

Wild

COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

Related