Nick Floyd drew his last breath on Friday, May 12, 2023. He was just 24 years old.
Born with a two-vessel umbilical cord, Nick’s uphill journey began with his first breath. Then, at 18 months, he suffered lead poisoning. Outwardly, his symptoms appeared mild: he walked later than most and had a big head, but grew into a bubbly toddler who rarely cried unless he was hungry—and then he wanted blueberries. My God, he loved blueberries.
Early in elementary school, Nick’s different way of relating to the world became more pronounced, and he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. That didn’t stop him, either. He was a sweet little boy who loved people. He went to school and to camp. He joined a Lego League. And he fell in love when he was 12 with the girl he wanted to marry.
A graduate of Appleton West High School, Nick worked as he was able and lived independently in a residential group home. He was fascinated with technology and loved music. If he was awake, he had his headphones on. He even produced some EDM (electronic dance music) that was quite good.
Nick’s mom was a long-time volunteer at both The Refuge and Life Fest. Nick joined her at The Refuge and was very helpful stocking shelves and passing out bags. Several years ago, she got Nick in as a volunteer at the music festival, too, but his heart wasn’t in the work. He was way more interested in enjoying the vibe, talking to the band members, dancing, and eating. His light shined so brightly that he was excused as a volunteer and given a free weekend pass to the event one year. This year, the organizers are sponsoring a memorial brick in his honor, which will be used to construct the new stage being built on the grounds.
Family and friends mattered most to Nick. Despite his cognitive challenges, he loved to talk, sometimes too much. He also enjoyed watching his family play cards and became a champion at Go Fish. In true Nick fashion, he did everything he could to fit into the world, facing every hurdle with courage and determination.
Many will grieve Nick’s unexpected passing, including his parents, Kerri Doonan and Gary Floyd; sister and brother-in-law, Dominique (Linville) and Doug Phillips; sister, nieces and nephew, Ashley Floyd, AvaLynn, Eli, Natalie and Scarlett; brother Cadin and husband Larry; sister Hannah; brother Dylan; sister Jordan Nitzh, sister Patience Floyd, sister Parker Hermann, sister Megan Floyd; Aunt Kelli and Uncle Russ; and scores of cousins, friends, and acquaintances whose lives were made better by knowing Nick.