The Curry Coastal Pilot

Nathaniel Paul "Nathan" Dodgen, 23, Brookings, died peacefully Monday, Nov. 28, 2011, surrounded by his family, including his father Patrick W. Dodgen, mother Susan K. Dodgen, sisters Justine and Brianne Dodgen, aunt Linda Morgan, and uncle Jan Morgan.

An infection of the brain, a complication of his heart condition, took his life quickly.

Nathan is survived by his parents, sisters, grandparents, and many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his beloved grandmother, Jean Dyhre.

Nathan was born Aug. 17, 1988, in Sacramento, Calif. In 1990, he moved to Oahu, Hawaii, where he enjoyed playing on the beach. His sister Justine joined the family in 1991. After returning to Sacramento in 1991, he enjoyed the company of his Grandma Jean and Louie. In 1992, he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which limited him physically. His sister Brianne was born in 1993. He moved with his family to Brookings in 1998, where he attended public school in Brookings and was crowned Mr. BHHS in 2007.

He graduated from Brookings-Harbor High School in 2008, alongside his sister Justine. After graduation, he enjoyed living at Pioneer House for one year with his best friend, Steven Dornbusch, before returning to live with his family.

Nathan participated in numerous plays with the Brookings Harbor Community Theater, and in drama and children's programs at the Brookings Church of the Nazarene. He volunteered in the recreation room at Curry Good Samaritan Center and at the Community Kitchen at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, where he put his food prep skills to good use. He enjoyed riding in the "Over-the-Rainbow" horseback-riding program for special needs riders.

His hobbies included drawing, coloring, cooking and watching movies. Nathan loved to visit Disneyland and enjoyed all the attractions, especially the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. He bowled regularly with his father and participated in Special Olympics bowling. He took pride in his recently acquired part-time job at The Salty Dog Coffee Bar.

Nathan was known for his smile, his hugs, his perseverance and his genuine enthusiasm for life. He showed his affection and love for his family and community members, and they loved an helped him in return. He enjoyed small town life, where everywhere he went he saw familiar people who knew him as "Captain Nate."

A memorial service for Nathan will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Brookings Church of the Nazarene. The family suggests donations to the Nathan Dodgen Memorial Fund at Evergreen Bank in Brookings to support Nathan's favorite charities.

Submitted by the family.