Nicholas Anderson, a 2012 La Salle High School graduate, died April 13 after being shot during a hunting accident.
According to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department, deputies responded to Southeast Bartell Road near Boring at approximately 7:45 p.m., where Joseph Danna, 19, of Happy Valley had been hunting coyotes and mistakenly shot his friend.
Following a hasty high-angle rope rescue to pull Anderson out of a steep ravine, the 19-year-old from Oregon City, died on the scene before he could be transported by Lifeflight to receive medical care.
Nicholas attended St. John the Apostle School in Oregon City from kindergarten through eighth grade. He had returned a few weekends before his death from the National Snowboarding Competition at Copper Mountain in Colorado.
A funeral Mass was celebrated April 18 at St. John the Apostle Church in Oregon City.
Anderson's mother, Laura Anderson, said she has been receiving cards and letters from the younger students from her son’s school that say things like "even though I didn't know Nick very well, he always said 'hi' to me and was always smiling."
Laura said her son's funeral, which was standing room only, was incredibly moving.
"As a parent, this was heartwarming to know that Nick was so well loved by everyone around him," she said. "A part of my heart is missing since his loss."
Anderson's stepfather, Greg Hughes, said the boy embodied all those things people should strive to be for one another: Giving, caring, kind, helpful, excited and simply present."
Laura said her son had a group of friends who were like brothers to one another. One friend, David Mann, shared cherished memories of hitting the slopes of Mount Hood and vacationing at a friend's beach house.
"I’ll miss shredding with you so bad, you don't even know," Mann said. "It’ll never be the same watching that beautiful mountain sunset, bro. You were one of my best friends and losing you has to be the worst thing I’ve ever felt."
Suzanne Juratovac was Anderson’s classmate at St. John the Apostle. She described the young man as “caring.”
“No matter what, Nick Anderson was the first kid to include me in any games, the first to comfort me if I was upset, and the first to stand up for me,” she said. “I knew that no matter where Nick went, he would be just as good a friend to someone new as he was to me.”
Fay Benagni, mother to Anderson’s close friend Jace Benagni, often gave the 19-year-old extra servings of teriyaki Spam musubi when she made the Hawaiian rice dish, because she knew he enjoyed the treat.
“I loved having him around our home and seeing him at school and sporting events,” she said.
John Douglas McNichol, teacher at St. John, said Anderson was “the kind of student many teachers pray for when beginning a new assignment: willing to work, willing to learn, and without a mean bone in his body.”
In addition to Laura, Hughes and many friends, Anderson is survived by his father Craig Anderson; stepmother, Trina Anderson; sister, Megan Anderson; brother, Sam Anderson; stepsisters, Jessica and Cassidy Smith; and grandparents Susan and Donald Brostoski.