Damien Nichols Miner Aug. 21, 2002 - Nov. 8, 2020

Swan Song

SEELEY LAKE - On Aug. 21, 2002, a baby boy was born to Specialist Christopher Miner and his then-wife Melinda Barraza Miner at Fort Hood, Texas. With chubby cheeks and deep brown eyes, Damien Nichols Miner was immediately beloved by everyone. 

Upon his father's honorable departure from the Army, Damien moved to the Pacific Northwest where they enjoyed living by the majority of their family in the Portland/Vancouver area and their extended family in Missoula, Montana. Damien's childhood was filled with the activities common to many children of the region: picking berries, playing in the creek, swimming and playing with his many cousins, and donning superhero costumes with his big brother.

As Damien grew up, his interests evolved to include a love for animals, from dogs and cats, to his beloved bearded dragon JOJO. Like many teenage boys, he loved to play his video games with his brother and sister/best friend Destiny, but he was also one of the first kids to get in the truck with his dad and Grandpa Chris to go shoot guns.

Damien's family life was always busy with siblings and more cousins than anyone in his family has counted. Sometimes it's hard to get a word in when there are so many people around but that never seemed to bother Damien. He had a quiet spirit filled with genuine love. Most of the time his face was still and thoughtful. When he smiled and laughed, it was like the sun breaking through a cloudy sky. Damien loved to make everyone laugh and smile with his jokes and not all of them were appropriate. The more inappropriate the funnier he thought they were. 

When schools in Washington moved online due to COVID-19 concerns, Damien moved to Seeley Lake at the end of this summer so he could attend school in person. He lived here before with his grandparents Juliana and Steve Wilson, graduating the eighth grade at Seeley Lake Elementary and then attending the ninth and 12th grade at Seeley-Swan High School. He learned to drive a skid steer and loved driving the four-wheeler back and forth to school.

Damien spent a better part of this last summer fishing on the lakes with his friends and grandparents. Damien quickly made friends and enjoyed hanging out with them even if it was just driving around. Damien enjoyed growing up in an area where you can walk at any time of the day or night, and the only thing you have to worry about is running faster than the wildlife.

Damien was due to graduate in spring 2021, after which he planned to enlist in the military, as his father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather had for almost 100 years.

With unspeakable sadness on Nov. 8 Damien, Isaac and Jay were in a tragic car accident on Highway 200. We are thankful that Damien and Isaac left this world quickly, without any pain or knowledge of what was happening, and that he left with one of his closest friends Isaac Morse. Jay sustained serious injuries but thankfully it was not his time to go.

Damien leaves behind three brothers Christian, Hezekiah and Kayden; two sisters Destiny and Kaelynn; his parents Christopher and Melinda; his grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, countless cousins, extended family members and an almost endless list of friends who loved him.

We are thankful for all the pictures we have of Damien so we can always remember his quiet spirit, those warm brown eyes, and the sunshine of his smile. We love you, Damien. 


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