Sean Walter Niland passed away last week after a hard fought struggle with addiction. Sean was born on October 21, 1993 to Mark and Joanne (Sadowski) Niland and grew up in Simsbury with his younger sister Dana, whom he loved very much. For all his life, Sean was an energy felt everywhere he went. He had a bold, unique way of thinking that filled every conversation with surprises, and rendered him a memorable figure in the hearts and minds of those he met. He was a fun-loving guy who was always trying to make people laugh, and spoke in unmatched detail regarding the various causes about which he was passionate. Sean cherished his days drumming in rock bands with his friends, and, no matter where life took him, would find a way to make music- whether that meant constructing a drum-set out of stones and twigs, whistling obscure TV show theme songs, or performing his famous bird calls across the rooftops of Pennsylvania where he worked. Sean was a lover of all animals, and could be found frolicking with the dog at any gathering he attended, petting the cat in any shop he visited, or picking up the very first questionably venomous bug he found in Australia. We will remember him for his creativity, his sense of adventure, and the way that he would drop absolutely everything for a friend in need. Sean inspires us to live without fear as we recall his many escapades, from swinging his legs over the edge of the Grand Canyon, to abseiling with his Aussie family, to chasing after sharks in the Bahamas- later graduating to paragliding in Jackson Hole and skiing the Wasatch Range with family and friends (who extracted him from various tree wells). He spent many hours of adventure with the OZ crew in Vermont and held fond memories of his time at Grandpa’s Vermont and Quonnie RI.
In addition to his parents and sister, he leaves behind his grandparents, Joe and Jeanette; his aunts and uncles, Marianne, Matt, Denise, Christina, Sean, and Mike; his cousins Tara, Christian, Mitchell, Tanner, Rebecca, Kai, Sholeh, and Samara; his dogs, Roxy and Milo, and many friends (“dawgs”) all over the world. He is predeceased by his grandparents Joan and Walter; his Aunt Lisa; and his first dogs, Biscuit and Chester. Sean forged many strong connections in his recovery journey, and the family is grateful for the many wonderful people who helped him along the way. We love Sean very much and pray he is finally at peace after his long struggle with the brutal disease of addiction that he tried for so long and so hard to defeat. Sean, you will always be a quality dude.
Services will be held privately without calling hours. The family wishes memorial contributions be made to the Roaring Brook Nature Center’s Animal Care Campaign at 70 Gracey Road, Canton, CT 06019. Please list “Animal Care Campaign” in the memo. Donations may also be made at roaringbrook.org. The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. Please visit Sean’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.