Russell Canter Virginia

Russell Dane Canter

The funniest, most caring, loving, and artistic soul ever. Best friend to all.

Dane was an amazing, kind, and caring soul. He was a loving son, brother, father, and boyfriend and quickly became a treasured friend to everyone he met. He was generous to all and helped others to feel and do better. Dane was passionate about nature, art, and especially his family. He loved animals and bird watching and taught what he knew to his two brothers, Randy and Mitchell. The brothers were close and loved to get together to cook, laugh, and create new dishes. “Losing Dane was especially hard for his brothers. He was their leader and mentor,” his mom, Cheryl, stated.

Dane was an artist his entire life. When he was little, all he needed to be happy was a paper and pencil. As an adult, he enjoyed making his living for 20 years as a tattoo artist. He was a perfectionist in his work and taught his youngest brother how to tattoo. He spent his free time creating sculptures by upcycling everyday found items.

Dane loved deeply and completely. He was loyal and had several long-term relationships. He especially loved his daughter, Lane Marie, now 18. “It was Dane’s dream to see his baby graduate. It will be a hard day for us without him,” Cheryl said.

After receiving treatment, Dane wanted to help others with substance use disorder through counseling them and running a sober house. Though he never completed a course he said, “I have had the most expensive addiction education ever, I know what these people are going through.” His mom said, “He helped anyone he could to seek treatment, though he wasn’t successful with his own addiction.”

Dane never went anywhere alone. “This was true even in his death,” his mom said. “He and his friend both died from fentanyl poisoning after a night of heavy drinking. Both had been in treatment and had been doing well, but whatever made them decide to use that night, killed them. It was unimaginable to grieve for two. The disease never stops enticing people, it calls to people; just this once, it says, drugs lie and consume those who use them.” Dane’s death created an outpouring of love from the many people he knew. People spoke at his service about how he played a key role in their recovery. He continues to be looked up to in his community.

Cheryl misses being able to call Dane and tell him about a cool bird she saw or share a laugh with him. “Every day was the best day when you were with Dane, he made sure of it,” she said. “I am always ready to speak about this disease and how my son died. I want people to know how this is destroying an entire generation. The stigma can only be removed by exposure. People need to know that substance use disorder kills people from all walks of life, all ages, genders, and races. It is devastating to those who use it and those who love them. The pain is excruciating for all, and it never stops hurting.”

Dane’s mother, Cheryl Canter, provided the information for this narrative.

August 31, 1981-August 12, 2020

Age 38-Lived with the disease of addiction 15 years

Share this story from The INTO LIGHT Project

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

More Into Light Stories

Read more biographies from this exhibit.
Devin Hart Bearden

Devin Hart Bearden

Caring, athletic, bright, witty, attractive At 6’2”, Devin was lanky, handsome, and a natural athlete. Equally at home on a skateboard, snowboard, or when surfing, he was a pleasure to watch; so fluid and graceful. He was a good soccer and baseball player and loved hiking in nature or being at the beach, especially on the annual family beach trips to Hatteras in North Carolina. [...]
Read More »
Jesse Lee Adam

Jesse Lee Adam

Loving, kind, helpful, funny, smart When Jesse was young, he loved being outside, playing basketball, riding four-wheelers, fishing, and spending time with friends. He was also a big Steelers fan. He and his younger brother, Cody, were best friends, and sometimes rivals. Cody and Jesse loved to cook together, something they learned sitting on the counter, watching their dad, who passed away in 2018. [...]
Read More »
Nicholas Aaron Adams

Nicholas Aaron Adams

Beautiful, loved, adventurous, smart, precious Nick was a beautiful old soul with insightful views on life. He was incredibly smart and talented, with a knack for computers, music and all things creative. He loved the outdoors and was full of wonder and joy for plants and creatures of all kinds. Nick was a loyal friend and brother and deeply loved by everyone he met. His family has heard many stories about how much he meant to others.[...]
Read More »
Phillip A. Baldwin

Phillip A. Baldwin

Challenging, adventurous, deep thinker, the most loving person known When not using drugs, Phil was the most loving, fun, kind, caring, and selfless person. He helped others before himself and always kept a room laughing. He supported others in their struggles and truly wanted to find a way out of his substance use disorder. Phil was an outstanding lacrosse and soccer player who loved exploring the woods, being in nature, and had a love for animals and children.[...]
Read More »

Bring an Exhibit to Your State

Interested in bringing The INTO LIGHT Project to your State?
Find out how you can make this happen.