We Will Miss You, Daniel Clark-Rizzio

We will miss you Daniel. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Here is Daniel’s obituary. His celebration of life is tomorrow at Grant Park from 4-8pm.

July 21, 1983-Aug. 4, 2008

Daniel Clark-Rizzio passed away early Monday morning, Aug. 4, 2008. He was 25 years old and had been living with cancer for six years.

Shortly after graduating Grant High School in 2002, Daniel was diagnosed with liver cancer. Despite this diagnosis and time-consuming treatments, Daniel refused to let cancer dictate how he would live. He did exactly what he wanted to do, on his own terms, and insisted on being treated like everyone else.

In the midst of chemotherapy, he continued to snowboard and go rafting with friends; only three weeks ago he flipped his boat on the Deschutes River. In the last six years he attended college in San Diego, traveled to Europe and Peru, and ultimately returned to Portland to pursue his work with special needs students. Most recently he worked as a para-educator at Sunnyside School, where he was known for always treating his students in the manner he wanted to be treated, with respect rather than pity.

This year he married Danielle Galland, the woman he called his inspiration. As Daniel often told people, Danielle accepted him for who he was. She made his last years the happiest of his life.

Daniel’s greatest legacy is his diverse community of friends. He lived and died surrounded by the people he loved. As Danielle explained, once you were his friend, you were his friend forever. Over the past week, these friends crowded into the Hopewell Hospice to share their memories and talk about the special relationship Daniel had with each of them. During this time, people often comforted him by saying, “Everyone’s here, D.”

Daniel lives on through his friends and family: his wife, Danielle; mother, Judith; father, Andy; stepmother, Cheryl; stepfather, Jim; brothers, Aaron, Joseph, Tom and and Joe; cousin, Harriet; grandmothers, Ellie, Helene and Nan; and his puggle, Maggie.

A celebration of Daniel’s life will be held in Grant Park on Friday, Aug. 15, from 4 to 8 p.m.