NICHOLAS GRAHAM PLETT
October 27, 1985 - October 8, 2020
It is with immeasurable grief that we announce the sudden passing of our dearly loved son and brother Nicholas Graham Plett, in Winnipeg, Manitoba on October 8th, 2020, weeks prior to his 35th birthday.
Left to mourn are his parents Michael and Debra Plett (née Fehr), siblings Brianna Plett, Jonathan Plett (Sara Jeffrey), Shaylyn Plett (Louis Lévesque-Côté), and godsister Hannah Cole along with grandparents Ruben and Anna Fehr, and loving aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Bill and Irene Plett.
Nicholas was a kind, generous and brilliant soul.
He was born in Winnipeg Manitoba in October 1985. His bright, inquisitive eyes and contagious laughter brought joy to our lives for 35 years. When you met Nicholas, you quickly discovered his remarkable intelligence and quick wit. Deeply curious about the world, he was in constant wonder and contemplation. He carried himself with quiet confidence and gentle regard for others.
Nicholas poured himself fully into whichever challenge captured his attention. He had an incredible knowledge of vast subject matter, stemming from his unquenchable love of reading and learning. “Ask Nickopedia” became a family joke born of his encyclopaedic ability to recall information on the spot.
He pursued many interests throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood - creating his own board games with Jonathan as a child, swimming competitively in Manta Swim Club, pursuing archery, painting, piano, a brief but impactful career in politics, achieving his gliders licence at age 16 and his pilots licence at age 18, being invited to participate in international summits for young thinkers, becoming an advocate for mental health resources, and later an advocate for the rights of incarcerated people.
He loved to cook challenging, flavourful meals and we were often graced by the fruits of this labour. A voracious reader who learned to speed read in order to absorb as much literature as possible, he often averaged a book per day. The huge library he leaves behind offers a tiny morsel of the literature stored in his mind. He followed advancements in space science closely, and was fascinated by space travel and the night sky.
Most at peace in nature, Nicholas loved to be outdoors. Animals, wild or tame, were always at ease with him. When he was seven he calmly walked into a flock of birds at Blue Lake and picked up a duck, surprising the rest of us when he showed off his new friend with a big grin.
Throughout his life he particularly thrived on our regular family trips to Highwind Lake in Ontario, and to visit our dear friends Tim and Hannah Cole in Sointula, B.C., both places where he could be surrounded by pure nature.
Nicholas was 3 courses away from completing a double major in Philosophy & Politics, minoring in Economics at the University of Winnipeg. When he decided to attend university, he simply challenged the exams on pre-requisite courses because he already knew the course content as a matter of his own interest. In particular, Nicholas was a gifted writer - both academically and in personal expression. He was deeply interested in philosophy and politics, in understanding the complexities of how people are, and ought to be.
He continually stunned us with the depth and breadth of his intelligence and the ease with which he tackled new projects. From learning to fly an airplane to nailing down the art of a sushi roll, he was unafraid to try and master new skills.
The great challenge that Nicholas did not choose was his struggle with Bipolar disorder. A traumatic military event triggered what would become an ongoing battle with mental illness which Nicholas endured for the remainder of his life. Undiagnosed for 9 years, Nicholas worked hard to steady his mind and heart. In the following 9 years after his diagnosis, he pursued ongoing treatment. We would like to note the outstanding care and support of Dr. Christine Loepp, whose genuine investment in Nicholas’ wellbeing helped to carry him through. Although there were years of self-medication and turmoil, there were also years of incredible clarity and stability.
He was thoroughly brave throughout.
We cannot fathom the pain and exhaustion that Nicholas survived each day. Despite his own struggle, he would continually show up for and support his own family. Often writing long, beautiful notes to let us know how much he cared for and appreciated each of us. We cherish the memory of a brother and son who was so generous and giving of his time and energy.
In spite of the enduring hardship that he lived with, Nicholas was a survivor. He was not interested in dying, but instead fought to be and feel well. Knowing that his death was accidental brings peace to our understanding of his wellbeing at the time of passing.
As a person, Nicholas was compassionate and intuitive. He cared deeply about social justice because of his deep respect for the humanity of others. Recently, Nicholas encountered a person trying to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. He sat next to her and they spoke together. Later, she agreed to walk with him to the crisis stabilization unit where she would check herself in for help. Nicholas had a calming, non-judgemental presence that could make anyone feel safe and respected. As a young person, he was a natural caregiver to kids. One comment we have heard countless times is that Nicholas always treated people equally, regardless of their age. Our goddaughter Hannah says that he is the one who made her feel “not weird” when she wanted to discuss politics, history or academics. This same trait was especially evident in his ability to communicate complicated theories or knowledge in a simple, clear manner. He loved to engage in dialogue and if he ever tired of explaining things to us, he never let on.
As someone who spent much time inside his brain, Nicholas was also very sentimental. Memories and the objects tied to them held special significance for him. Memorably, as a small boy he staged a protest to the selling of our Westfalia by hiding the keys so that it couldn’t be taken away. We would often find that broken toys had made their way back into the house after being thrown away. This careful preservation of history carried on into his adult life. He journaled regularly, marking vivid detail of his life and thoughts. He took up calligraphy in order to make use of inherited inkwell pens gifted to him by both sets of grandparents. He happily repurposed his dad’s old briefcase for his own papers. Just last year Nicholas and Shaylyn ran a 5k race together to celebrate his birthday and he saved the race bib on his dresser. The ways in which he tangibly placed value on special memories are sweet reminders of his gentle soul.
Nicholas was always happy to help in whatever way he could. Whether it was yard work, housework, or helping build; sheds, garages, fences - he was there before we asked. He cooked us meals countless times,
and was always the first one to get the dishes started. For Jonathan, Nicholas was pleased to proofread university essays and access school resources. He didn’t bat an eye at helping Shaylyn build a fence in 30 degree heat, or helping Brianna move furniture on cold winter days. He loved to visit his grandma and grandpa Fehr and assist them with their chores. He seemed to find contentment in being of service to the people he loved.
When his grandma Irene was suddenly ill last summer, he was present in the remaining days to hold her hand and offer her comfort in her passing. This was a special time of closeness that blessed them both.
Both sensitive and thoughtful, Nicholas showed his loyalty and love in his own quiet manner. The ways in which he supported each of us were unique to our individual relationships and we struggle to imagine our lives without him. With a bright and sharp sense of humour, Nicholas could often be seen with an impish twinkle in his eye and a sneaky smile indicating whatever amusing anecdote you were about to be let in on. When he was in attentive company, he would easily open up and captivate the attention of the room. We miss his chuckle, his humour, his rich conversation. We mourn the loss of our beautiful boy.
Life will never be the same without you Nicholas. We trust in the One who knew your heart, was familiar with all your ways and who loved you more than we ever could. We trust that He has brought you safely home and that you are now present in a fullness of peace and joy that eluded you here on earth.
We love you forever.
Mom, Dad, Brianna, Jonathan, and Shaylyn
Psalm 139 NIV
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 34:4 NIV
I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.
Psalm 107: 19-21
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love.
Nicholas’ family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. They also encourage the sharing of photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.
ETHICAL DEATH CARE
Cremation & Life Celebrations
530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg
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