We went to Lake Tahoe last summer for 10 days, it was awesome. Here Blaine considers the lake high above Tahoe on the viewing deck which is reached by accessible sky tram!
Blaine Deatherage-Newsom
  • 35 years old
  • Date of birth: Jul 21, 1979
  • Place of birth:
    Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Date of passing: Dec 31, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Portland, Oregon, United States
Being loved deeply by someone gives you strength, loving someone deeply gives you courage. –Lao Tze

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Blaine Deatherage-Newsom, 35, born on July 21, 1979 and passed away on December 31, 2014. We will remember him forever. 

For those inclined, in lieu of flowers please make a donation to Free Geek from: http://www.freegeek.org/donate/ or by mail/in person at 1731 SE 10th Avenue Portland, OR 97214.


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Jan Groh on 31st December 2015

"Just dropping off some love and a hug on this 1 year anniversary of Blaine's passing. I can't imagine how hard this year has been. Peace love and light to you all in 2016. He remains a beacon of love and light in my life. xo"

This tribute was added by Marie Deatherage on 31st December 2015

"It's been a year since you've been gone, my sweet son. I couldn't miss you more if I tried. Life is not the same. You brought such joy to my life and it can never be replaced. I am sure I will see you again someday, and I take comfort from that. Your room is just as you left it so you can find your way back. I will love you forever."

This tribute was added by Clark Ramos on 31st December 2015

"Nearly a year now, I worked with Blaine at Free Geek as a volunteer and had the pleasure of his cheerful support, assistance, and instruction. His kindness and cheerful smile was always inspirational. I am happy to have met enjoyed time working with him, I trust he is in a better more all-inclusively LOVING environment now..."

This tribute was added by Marie Deatherage on 22nd July 2015

"Yesterday was a really hard day. The first of Blaine's birthdays I haven't been with him. 36th birthday. Not enough. I miss him so much, he was the main source of joy in our lives. Grieving is painful, it takes a long time. And it's just going to take as long as it takes. I spend a lot of my days summoning his spirit around me. That helps. But it still hurts so much. I must believe he is still here and wheels among us..."

This tribute was added by Steven Hyde on 21st July 2015

"O Marie ...

We have known each other for close to fifty years.  My heart goes out to you for Blaine - you and Ric were there for him, and he thrived on your love.  I know that a few words cannot change things, but I want you to know that your many friends love and support you, wherever we are.

All the best, and all my love.


This tribute was added by Reba Sundberg on 21st July 2015

"Think of you so often Blaine and your smile that lit up your orbit."

This tribute was added by Kerm Jensen on 21st July 2015

"Blaine is a quiet force of nature.  He's gone from our presence but he remains with us still, always ready to help and always with a kind word and a smile.  He is the best of us."

This tribute was added by Julie Walko on 10th January 2015

"I haven't known Blaine for long, but he was always a joy to be with.  Always positive, making bad jokes and wearing his basketball hat.  I will miss him, as will many others, I'm sure."

This tribute was added by Clark Ramos on 9th January 2015

"I met Blaine only recently during Build Shifts at Free Geek. It was nice to see someone in his condition seemingly so happily serving others to the best of his ability. He was always smiling and I was surprised at how intelligent and knowledgeable he is in providing support. I trust Blaine is now in a better place, a better space, where his love of life can expand far beyond any limitations. I am happy to have met and known Blaine even if only for a short time."

This tribute was added by Toija Beutler on 9th January 2015

"Blaine and our son Bill were the very best of friends in grade school.  Recalling their adventures - dinosaurs, trees, lemonade stands and just plain good fun - brings a smile every time.  He is a major player in our family story and we count him as one of our sons.  We are profoundly sad."

This tribute was added by Brandon Sanders on 8th January 2015

"A story of how Blaine made his way through the world:  Blaine kissed the hand of an indigent man who had moments before been vocally questioning whether Blaine had any worth because of his disability.  After Blaine's incredibly generous gesture, with tears in his eyes, the man exclaimed, 'he's a good one, take good care of him!'  Blaine, you'll forever be my inspiration for what transformation is possible.  You'll be missed, but certainly not forgotten."

This tribute was added by Lynne Dixon on 8th January 2015

"I met Blaine over the last few months during my Build shifts, and I quickly began looking forward to seeing him every Tuesday. He was always so helpful, fun, and knowledgeable about the computers. But more than that he was just a great guy. A real bright spot in an organization that is already bright. Though I only knew him for a short time, I really miss not seeing him every week. His spirit will always be in Build. Thanks for everything, Blaine!"

This tribute was added by Daria Ettinger on 8th January 2015

"Marie I am forever grateful for your guidance and mentorship so many years ago. You lead the way, inspired other mothers like myself, shared your knowledge of advocacy, inclusion, IEP's, community resources and exemplified the role of a parent of a (then) child with special needs. I read your news articles religiously and was so honored to meet up with you and Blaine in the past few years. I was so glad I got to see Blaine's connection to the community and his pride in his work. Forever grateful, Daria"

This tribute was added by Reba Sundberg on 7th January 2015

"Blaine was a sweet, sweet man. I had the pleasure of knowing him since he was about 10. He faced trials in life that would mow most people down, but he had such an abundance of grace and joy. He knew how to love and be loved and those are pretty rare qualities. He touched so many lives with his open heart."

This tribute was added by Becca Hodgson on 7th January 2015

"I met Blaine while volunteering in system eval. He was always willing to help me problem solve. I am so happy to have met him."

This tribute was added by Jan Groh on 7th January 2015

"Blaine will be sorely missed by many at Free Geek. I was lucky to know him early on as a fellow volunteer builder about ten years ago now. He was tremendously welcoming and encouraging to this software centric database nerd. Life then took me away from the Geek for several years, but luckily I happened to stop by with a donation recently for my first time in a long time, and he gave me a big hug and a hard time about missing from the Build program, and asked when I was coming back. I feel so lucky, as we lost him just a week later. I dearly hope and pledge to go back in your honor Blaine, though I will never come close to your level of enthusiasm and patience! But I'll do my best. Love you bud!"

This tribute was added by Amy Norton on 7th January 2015

"I'll miss how Blaine used to come up and hold my hand randomly. I always loved that. Such a loving guy! I'll miss him so much and I will be forever touched by his brave and kind spirit. Love you Blainey."

This tribute was added by Kim Morris on 6th January 2015

"February 12th i will have been at free geek for 2 years the time i have know blaine he was amazing if your were haveing a bad day just saying hello to blaine would cheer you up so kind hearted you will be missed RIP Blaine we love you"

This tribute was added by Alice McCartor on 6th January 2015

"This tribute is for Marie.
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Blaine, but I do know Marie's love and caring for her son.  Marie is a devoted, creative and "always there" mom.  I admire your motherhood, Marie.  

This tribute was added by Mike Kruchten on 6th January 2015

"Blaine was an awesome guy. I enjoyed working with him in Build as a volunteer, and only recently discovered he wasn't part of the staff. He was patient, professional, and always had time to help troubleshoot the many issues that come with building a computer from spare parts. I can't believe you won't be there. I'll miss your smile and positive attitude.

This tribute was added by Kerm Jensen on 6th January 2015

"Blaine was a steady, always ready to help personality at Free Geek.  There is no way to adequately honor his steadfast and heartfelt contributions to the community."

This tribute was added by Julie Seaberg on 6th January 2015

"A few years ago, I attended an "open house", of sorts, at Free Geek, an invitation to learn about Free Geek, and the opportunities they provided for so many people to get connected to the world through computers. There was a documentary movie shown, it lasted about 30 minutes, and it was very informational.  There weren't many places to sit, but I found a spot at the end of a sofa, and I settled myself in for the show.  It seemed like out of nowhere, my nephew, Blaine, appeared, and somehow, he had found room to maneuver his wheelchair to sit right next to me.  He sweetly grabbed my hand, and we sat holding hands, leaning on each other, while the movie played, and I could feel his pride, his determination, his JOY, at being part of such an exciting event for this place, his home away from home, Free Geek.  But even more than that, I felt Blaine's heart, as so many of you have felt, and it is my own heart now, that is full of JOY at having been BLESSED to know this very special guy... Blaine. Yep.  What a guy!  <3"

This tribute was added by Mark Adams on 6th January 2015

"I didn't know Blaine as well as many others on this site. Blaine was my favorite build instructor during my 1 year volunteer tenure at Free Geek. He was always jovial and in good spirits, willing to help me out with any issues I may have had. We also played a great deal of chess together and he utterly destroyed me every single time. Blaine is a shining light and an inspiration, taken too quickly from us. My heart goes out to his family and closest friends."

This tribute was added by Marie Deatherage on 6th January 2015

"Recognition from Free Geek:

This tribute was added by Erc Hamlton on 6th January 2015

"Blaine was kind and welcoming to me when I was a newcomer to Free Geek. To me, Blaine represented the best of Free Geek, and though I knew he was well-known and respected there, he was always humble, unassuming and friendly. I will miss Blaine."

This tribute was added by Marie Deatherage on 6th January 2015

"This a letter I wrote everal years ago that explains why Free Geek means so much to us:
One of the worst moments of my life came in 1996 when I walked into Wilson High School one day around noon to take Blaine a book he had forgotten at home. I knew it was his lunch hour so I went straight to the cafeteria. I quickly began scanning the room, wondering how I was going to find him amidst the noisy and chaotic crowds of laughing, chattering, bouncing-up-and-down students. Then I saw him. There he was, sitting all alone in his wheelchair, at a large round table intended to seat a dozen. In fact, when I looked more closely, I could see that other students had moved chairs from his table to others nearby, crowding in where there wasn’t enough room, so they could be near their friends.
The next sound I heard was that of my heart breaking into a thousand pieces. From that moment, I could no longer deny that despite his engaging and sociable nature, as every year went by, Blaine was becoming more and more isolated at school and in the world. The other kids, through no ill intention, just overlooked and swept by him more and more often as they moved faster and more confidently through the world. The enormity of that reality nearly flattened me.
For the next several years, I feared that this would be Blaine’s lot in life. I focused on making certain that at least at home, he would feel he entirely belonged. At least he can connect with other people via the Internet, I comforted myself. For a while I didn’t have the strength or courage to imagine he would find a place in the real world where he utterly feels included.
Then he found Free Geek and the world changed for both of us. At least four days a week, Blaine gets up and gets himself ready and heads to Free Geek where he volunteers as an assistant build instructor and helps people in need learn how to build and repair computers. If Ric can’t take him, Blaine takes the bus and wheels the several blocks from the bus stop to the front door. When Ric tells me that when he drops Blaine off he hears several people call out, “Hey, Blaine, glad you’re here, there’s something we need you to take a look at,” my heart mends itself and soars like a hawk. I didn’t dare dream this day would ever come. What I see happening at Free Geek, both for Blaine and any number of other overlooked people in our world, is nothing short of magic.
If you are one who looks for good places to make your tax exempt cash donations at the end of the year, during the season when we all try to remind ourselves of our good fortune and our opportunity to share it with others, I heartily recommend you consider making a donation to Free Geek (see enclosed materials & SASE). I can’t imagine a more important contribution.
Thank you so much for lending an ear, a very happy holiday season to you and yours,
Marie Deatherage"

This tribute was added by Harry Reeves on 6th January 2015

"Working with Blaine, and getting to know him was one of the great pleasures of my life. No, I never played chess against him, I knew that he would hand me my head! :D"

This tribute was added by Steven Hyde on 5th January 2015

"O Marie ... Blaine was such a sweetheart.   I loved the few times I was able to see him in Portland, and especially when I saw Blaine at the  hospital after a scary surgery. Humor, grace, and class.  I miss him and I hope you and Ric can heal over the next few months, although I know you will never stop hurting for Blaine.

We have known each other going on 45 years now, and even though we are thousands of miles apart, I still love you for many things - especially for your unfailing devotion to Blaine.  

From your old friend in Chicago,


This tribute was added by Grant Kruger on 4th January 2015

"We have lost a force for good in this world. Blaine was a remarkable individual; warm, friendly, brilliant, kind, helpful, giving, funny and so much more. You never forget meeting him. Like his mom he was able to see the best in this world no matter what... and to remind you to do the same. Perspective merely by living with joy. I'll always think of him whenever I get to a Blazers game and almost any local team for that matter. I'm so glad I knew him, that we were a part of each other's lives for a time. Memories fill my thoughts, of dinner in their lovely garden during the long Portland evenings, him being chipper and fearless in hospital, his warm hugs and smiles when I came to visit, watching sports with the family as he and Ric talked odds, Marie telling me how much of a gift he always was to her (and he always will be) and all the ways he inspired her every day (and always will), his great halloween outfits, his renowned chess mastery and on and on. I was looking forward to enriching our friendship and I'm so very sad that this will now never happen. It is never a good thing when someone is lost and who leaves a hole in this world, a void in what makes the world a better place. All we can do to honor his memory is to do all we can to fill the void by remembering to add to the love, joy and giving in this world, to shine a light into the dark corners left by the absence of his light. Goodbye Blaine. I'll miss you, but I will never forget you."

This tribute was added by Donna Gallagher on 4th January 2015

"Even though I am an extended family member, I'm sorry to say that time spent with Blaine was limited. What I want to share is what I observed between Blaine and his Mom, Marie. While visiting, Blaine in his wheelchair and his Mom standing near by, Blaine would reach for her hand to hold, or wrap her arm around his neck. He would stroke her arm so softly. You could not help but feel the love between them and be touched by it yourself. As we read tributes to Blaine, my husband and I feel a huge loss that we didn't know him better. Blaine was obviously an extraordinary human being as are Marie and Ric. His star will shine brightly."

This tribute was added by William Beutler on 4th January 2015

"Blaine was my earliest friend. We grew up together in SE Portland doing all the normal kid things: we played Nintendo and Carmen Sandiego; also chess, except I could never win; operated a lemonade stand (yes, literally); and obsessed over dinosaurs. In 1987 we spoke in front of the city council, arguing precociously—and persuasively, if memory serves—to spare a set of trees from downtown removal. Eventually I moved away, and we drifted apart. I always figured we'd have the chance to catch up again; I regret we'll not. Reading tributes like these, however, I can see the Blaine that you all knew is very much the Blaine I knew back then. Stunned and saddened as I am, that helps, just a little. Blaine, you are and will be remembered."

This tribute was added by doug stamm on 4th January 2015

"When I think of Blaine I think of what is possible,positive and
uplifting. He made all around him better."

This tribute was added by Kevin Wright on 3rd January 2015

"Sweet smile, kind heart & a spirit that uplifted everyone he met.."

This tribute was added by Kenneth DeVries on 3rd January 2015

"I am one of the hundreds of Free Geek volunteers who had the pleasure of working with Blaine. He was so kind, helpful and knowledgeable; a truly unforgettable personality.  He always had a cheerful greeting for anyone, and he made it a happy place to be.  I'm glad I had the opportunity to know him, and will remember him fondly.  Thanks for your help, Blaine!"

This tribute was added by Sean Zlatnik on 3rd January 2015

"I have so many positive memories of Blaine, I do not know where to begin.  He was always cheerful and fun to be around.  One time, I spent the night at his place so I could play in a chess tournament the next couple of days, and I got to spend some extra time with him.  He was fun to play chess with, and he handled both winning and losing with equal amounts of abundant grace.  I will miss him whenever I visit Free Geek and he isn't there...  he was such a ray of sunshine.  The world is a tad more impoverished now that Blaine is gone.  Thanks, Blaine, for being a friend.  You are missed!"

Leave a Tribute:
Invite your family and friends
to visit this memorial:

Subscribe to receive e-mail notifications when others contribute to this memorial.

This memorial is administered by:

Grant Kruger
Marie Deatherage
Ric Seaberg


Have a suggestion for us?

We are waiting for your feedback!