Nicholas (Nick) Lee Beaver of Englewood CO lost his battle with mental illness and addiction on September 14, 2022 at the age of 35. He is survived by his father Richard Beaver, mother Jacqueline Beaver, sister Lauren Beaver (Ben Neeser), and his brothers in recovery at Summit Healing in Littleton CO. He is renowned for his comically grotesque manner of enjoying food, driving the messiest car imaginable, and the loose change he left behind anywhere he sat. He will be remembered most for his ability to light up any room with just his presence, his generous spirit, and the gratitude and joy with which he relished every little thing life threw his way.
Nick worked in construction, and his dream was to be a plumber. A talented rapper known for his quick wit and rhyming talents, Nick loved to perform songs for his friends and see the joy that it brought them. He looked you in the eye and beamed when he spoke with you, engaged fully in conversations, and showed his emotions easily. You felt Nick’s genuine happiness to be with you and his interest and excitement about your life.
Nick’s empathy for others was unparalleled. He could recognize if someone was struggling and saw it as his responsibility to stay steady and support that person. Either with a story he’d share, a rap song he’d throw down, or an invitation for coffee, Nick would reach out. He was trained as a recovery coach and helped so many at Summit Healing over his years in the program. Nick was extremely proud of his recovery and the journey he shared with his “brothers” at Summit.
Nick was also known for his gentle spirit and fearlessness in revealing his sensitive nature. As a young child, he wept for the Earth at the sight of an ashtray dumped out in a parking lot. As an older child and a teenager, he responded with patience, warmth, and kindness towards younger children who were drawn to him. Throughout his life, he had a charismatic energy that attracted the young and the old alike, and he accepted that attention with a maturity well beyond his years. And he was a champion for the underdog: quick to stand up for others and often inclined to befriend those most in need. His actions truly earned him the right to tat the word “LOYALTY” across his chest.
Nick never married. Handsome and charming, at times a ladies man, Nick could get a phone number with a graceful ease that most men would envy (with no intention of following up!). He shared the last part of his life with Michelle, who was so steadfast with Nick during a difficult period of his life and brought him much happiness. Unfortunately, Nick’s illness stood in the way of their love for each other.
Nick had a special relationship with his Uncle Marc, whom he admired for his intelligence and kindness and whom he reached out to throughout his life, either to make sense of the philosophical mysteries of life or when he was experiencing mental health episodes that were causing him confusion. With his gentle and understanding demeanor, Marc stood by Nick when he was grappling with some of his most serious schizophrenic episodes, and he was there to talk about those episodes with Nick on the other side of them.
Nick was fearless… first on his big wheel tricycle, then later on dirtbikes, motorcycles, and anything else that went fast. At 3, he knocked out his front teeth riding like a banshee, and afterwards pedaled just as hard with his toothless grin. At 25, after accidentally smashing a fluorescent lightbulb in his face and exposing himself to toxic fumes, his response was “Lu! Did it look cool?!?” And when his Uncle Marc crashed a dirtbike into a fence, Nick didn’t see failure, but rather the potential of his uncle achieving something epic. That’s just how Nick saw life.
Nick relished everything that life offered: people, food, creatures of all types, and any new experience that simply could not be shied away from. According to his father, who is generally not known for hyperbole, Nick once ate a 30 ounce porterhouse steak inside three minutes. If everyone got chocolates for Christmas, Nick probably ate all of them before anyone could leave with theirs. That too is just how Nick saw life: as something to be thoroughly enjoyed in the greatest quantities possible and without hesitation.
Nick’s life was slowly overtaken by his bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but at his core he was always the same warm and happy person. He remained positive and hopeful in situations that would have crushed most of us. But alcohol sabotaged all of that. When Nick drank, his demons became too loud for him to drown out, and eventually, the battle became too much. The outpouring of love and grief from those who loved Nick makes it clear that we all wish we had been there for Nick the way he was for others. But in the words of Tupac Shakur (whose music and writing was so important to Nick over the years), “You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f**k on.”
It’s impossible to summarize someone as complex and multidimensional as Nick, but in the end, maybe all that needs to be said is that he simply made our world brighter, and that Nick, finally, is at rest. As we hold him in our hearts, please remember the lessons that he taught us: regardless of your struggles and your hardships, focus on those around you, be generous with your praise and love, and smile big. You are dearly missed, Nick.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Nick’s honor to the program that supported Nick with love and housing for several years: https://www.summithealing.com/take-action
A visitation and memorial will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 5 - 7 p.m. at Horan & McConaty (1091 S Colorado Blvd). The family requests attendees bring Nick stories to share at the service (6 p.m.).
Livestreaming of services can be found at https://bxcited.com/nicholas-lee-beaver/