Daryl Andrew Sloan

Daryl Andrew Sloan

Compassionate, realist, intentional, loved his family, didn’t hold a grudge

As a kid, Daryl had a lot of energy and channeled it productively through his involvement in wrestling, soccer, and basketball. He was a daredevil and a free spirit with a heart of gold who believed in giving second chances. After his daughter, Bella, now 10, fishing was his life. He spent every free minute fishing and when not doing it; he was talking about it.

His high school friends have fond memories of Daryl’s green Honda Civic, “the spaceship” and how he drove them everywhere. Daryl graduated from high school and from an automotive program at the local community college at 16 and got a job as a landscaper/groundsman. He loved working outdoors, cutting down trees, landscaping, cleaning up flower beds, and coming up with designs. But when he became actively addicted, his job prospects went downhill.

Daryl was the baby of the four siblings. His older sister, Alicia, was like a mama hen, watching over him and giving him advice. After losing Daryl, she earned her master’s degree in addiction and recovery. His sister Cheryl, five years older, was always there for him, and he and his brother Butchie were “partners in crime” throughout life. Butchie is still struggling with substance use disorder. Daryl and his dad worked on cars together and he sometimes went with his dad on over-the-road trucking trips.

Daryl’s addiction started when he and Butchie had a head-on collision while on an ATV and four-wheeler. Daryl had to have extensive knee surgery and was given pain medications. For ten years, his mom, Melissa, chased after both Daryl and Butchie trying to find them, save them and get them off drugs. “I feel like it affected the girls because I wasn’t there for them as much, it has impacted the entire family.”

Daryl was drug-free for two years, attending groups and doing better. While living at the Salvation Army, Daryl wrote out goals and was following them. His long-term plans included getting sober, marrying Ashley, his first love and Bella’s mother, and moving to Virginia Beach where he planned to help others with addiction. Wanting to help others reach sobriety brought him back around drugs and triggered the relapse that caused his death.

The month before Daryl passed away, he, Bella, his nephew Justin, and his mom went on a beach trip. Justin, now 13, has fond memories of that trip and of a birthday party where Daryl took the kids on golf cart rides and had food and water fights. “No party was dull when Daryl was around,” his mom said, “he was like a big kid himself.”

Thankfully, Bella is still a part of Daryl’s family. She is doing gymnastics and looks and acts like her father. Melissa talks more openly now about addiction and tries to be there for others. “There is so much negativity around this disease”, she said, ‘people look at the parents like it is their fault.’

Daryl’s mother, Melissa Sloan, provided the information for this narrative.

August 8, 1991-August 14, 2016

Age 25-Lived with the disease of addiction 10 years.

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