Damon Stephen-Joe LaSota was suddenly taken from us on July 21st, 2012 at the young age of 24 years old. He leaves behind many people who loved him and in particular his sister Carly Stephens, his mumzie Laurie LaSota and his uncle Greg LaSota.
Damon was born in Prince Rupert BC at 2:00 a.m. on September 21st, 1987. He entered this world a kickin’ and a screamin’ and brought tremendous joy to all that met him. He especially loved his uncle Greg (LaSota) who taught him many things and looked out for him throughout his childhood. Damon quickly grew into a strong, sensitive little daredevil who wanted to experience everything; swimming, biking, taekwondo, camping, fishing and jumping off of almost anything. He particularly loved biking. He started with BMX racing during his childhood in Kamloops and quickly moved on to mountain biking, in particular, downhill style, complete with speed and agility; the faster the better for Damon.
His family moved from Kamloops to Eagle Bay BC where he built tree forts and spent tons of time on Shuswap Lake. Hours of Damon’s life were spent swimming, diving and exploring at Shannon Beach with friends and family. Damon eventually received a trampoline and perfected a homemade “trampoline bike”. He and his sister spent days jumping, climbing, twisting and shouting on that trampoline mastering almost every bike trick in the book. The outdoors was Damon’s haven. He loved to explore the forest and make trails and secret hideouts for days on end…it seemed the tranquil wilderness calmed him, but Damon would never sit for too long.
He struggled in school but was very smart…always reading either a Stephen King book or some explanation as to how the Titanic was built. Damon had bigger plans than school, he quickly realized how to make money and worked long days at Demille’s Farm Market. You may remember him as the “Corn Boy” in the famous corn cob costume…promoting sales. Once he received his first paycheque he was off. He worked tirelessly beside his Grama Ursula LaSota and Grampa John DeMarni. Damon and his Grama had a special bond…they often spent time together just talking about their days or just being quiet together…there was no judgment by either one.
During his high school days, Damon saw the work experience program at Salmon Arm Senior Secondary as his “OUT” of the school system. He was placed with a great contracting company in Salmon Arm, who took Damon under their wing and began to teach him the ropes… Damon never looked back. Earning money and being independent was addicting to him. Into the workforce he went, working tirelessly and spending tirelessly.
Damon worked in Salmon Arm for a few years, but was always restless as if he were meant for bigger adventures. He moved on to Revelstoke to build the new ski hill, moved again on to Calgary to try out the big city which he loved, and again moving up to Grande Prairie in search of big money but eventually returned to his home and family in Salmon Arm. He had a great number of friends and made an impact on all of them. He was known as “the protector” within his close knit group. He valued his friends sometimes more than himself as they accepted him with no restrictions. Anyone who knew Damon came to understand his crazy ways but also knew he “had your back”.
When Damon was around, everyone would be doubled over with laughter, he had a crazy, “way out there” humor that would light up the room. We often said he should have been a comedian. He knew how to diffuse a situation or how to bring a friend up from deep despair. He had the gift of true friendship and acceptance. Damon struggled with his own life and demons but never let that get in the way of taking care of someone else.
His life was quickly changing with the arrival of his first child due in late November of 2012 when he was taken from us, but he will be watching over that child from somewhere else forever. We will never know what troubled Damon but do know from now on he will truly be at peace and at rest in his mind, jumping his BMX, diving in the water and catching those big ol’ fish in White Lake. We will miss Damon greatly but never forget his crazy ways and his awesome laugh. Every time the thunder roars and lightening strikes…remember Damon as noisy as ever, laughing, jumping, screaming, howling and still making us all smile as only Damon could!!
A Celebration of Life for Damon will be held at Canoe Hall, Canoe, BC on Saturday, August 18th, from 1 – 5 p.m. This is a casual, drop in type of gathering; anyone who knew Damon or would like to share their experiences may attend… the more the merrier. We would like to send him off with lots of love and laughter.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donation’s to the Salmon Arm Skate Park, c/o 444 Trans Canada Hwy, Salmon Arm, V1E 1S9.
Arrangements entrusted to FISCHER’S FUNERAL SERVICES & CREMATORIUM LTD., Salmon Arm (250) 833-1129. EMAIL condolences and share memories through Damon’s obituary at www.fischersfuneralservices.com.