Nicole Colette Surber (Skjei), 51, passed away on Sunday, March 4th surrounded by family in Yakima, WA. Nicole was a born March 7th, 1966 in Portland, OR.
Nicole had been a survivor and fighter her whole life. Despite many hardships, Nicole had made a conscious decision to break the mold and stay positive. Many of those who knew her would describe her as being eloquent, with a sharp mind, and a passion for helping others. Her passion led into a career in social justice. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Political Science and her Master’s Degree from Portland State in Non-Profit Management and Criminal Justice. Since then she has spent a majority of her time as an advocate for children's rights, domestic violence, and women’s rights. However, her greatest accomplishment was being a mother to her seven children. Nicole deeply loved and cherished her children. Her children gave her a purpose that nothing else could. She dreamed of a time where all children were loved and cared for. She selflessly fought for children who didn’t have a voice.
She is survived by her husband, Christopher Surber of Selah WA; children, Skyler Sequoia and fiancée Ashley Kafoury of Portland OR, Haley Arrington of Yakima WA, Lucas Surber of Seattle WA, and Lucia, Lezra, Landan, and Lanea Yahtin of Selah WA; father, Lynn Skjei; brother, Don Skjei; sisters, Jeannette Skjei, Camille Seamster and Heather Taylor; nieces, Norma-Jean Redthunder, Andrea Keeling and husband, Evan, Jacquelyn Redthunder, and Katherine Taylor; nephews, Chad Skjei and Ryan Stull. Nicole had most recently become a grandmother to Rowen Sequoia, who shares her curls and humor. Nicole’s family also included many of her friends that loved and cared for her throughout her life who will keep her spirit of life alive.
Family and friends will gather in the late spring to spread Nicole's ashes as she had wished among the Redwoods of North California.
Nicole requested that in lieu of flowers, canned goods be brought to her service to be donated.
Nicole has helped and inspired many and her legacy will continue to live on through all of us. She will be remembered for her whit, her fight and posing the question:
“What thread of contribution have you made to the fabric of Life?”
~ Nicole Surber