DANIEL GAGE WILKEY
1987 – 2017
Released but not Vanquished
The mortal struggle of Daniel Gage Wilkey, 29 , ended shortly before midnight on Friday, March 10, 2017 at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. Fighting to the end, Daniel’s final days were spent surrounded by family and friends, who were witness to his tenacity and unconquerable spirit. He passed away in the company of his mother. Born May 3 , 19 87 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Mark Eugene Wilkey and Elizabeth Ann Gage Webb . Daniel was the younger brother of Jonathan Eugene Wilkey, who cared for and watched over him throughout his life. Daniel was loved by and will be missed by many. His loss is particularly poignant to his aunt, Janet Gage, who was in many ways a “second mother” to Daniel and whose home and arms were always open to Daniel.
Daniel grew up in Salt Lake City and attended Woods Cross High School before graduating from East High School in 2005. Daniel was a gifted and highly-competitive athlete who particularly enjoyed playing football. Daniel worked for a number of employers in the Salt Lake area , includin g Overstock.com, Dell Computers and SME Steel Contractors. He later completed an Associate Degree in non-destructive testing from Salt Lake Community College and was employed by Mistras as a radiographer and pipeline inspector in the oil fields of Wyoming and Colorado.
Daniel was very attached to Salt Lake City. H e repeatedly declined or resisted opportunities and invitations that would have taken him far from his Utah roots. Daniel loved and frequently enjoyed the natural beauty and recreational opportunities of his Utah home. His Facebook page is filled with images from trips with friends to the Arches, Goblin Valley and other parts of Utah’s Red Rock Country. Snowboarding brought Daniel great joy and he loved Brighton, Park City and The Canyons. Daniel also briefly enjoyed his “dream job” of working as a lift operator at Solitude Ski Resort.
Daniel was a dreamer—and a bit of a schemer. He had huge hopes and aspirations. Never content to be “ordinary,” Daniel wanted to be his own boss and to play by his own rules. He wanted to be rich. He wanted to have huge muscles. He was meticulous about his clothes and appearance and had a strong sense of personal style. He was very proud of the physique that he crafted with long hours in the gym—where he worked to make himself bigger and stronger while keeping his demons at bay.
The last half of Daniel’s tragical ly short life was an unrelenting battle against addiction. In his unique way, Daniel transformed this experience from one of dependence and helplessness to generosity and accomplishment. Many of Daniel’s closest friends are those he helped—and who helped him—in “Recovery Programs” at Odyssey House, The Haven and other such facilities of hope and healing. Those whose lives he touched and whose recovery he aided are Daniel’s legacy.
Daniel was brilliant, wickedly funny , generous, irreverent, courageous, stubborn and kind. With the sensitive soul of an artist, Daniel chronicled the struggles of his short life in his tattoos that he designed himself. On his shoulder is Geronimo, who Daniel viewed as the greatest of warriors. On Daniel’s back is the image of a horrific demon—symbolic of so much in his life. On his left arm Daniel had an elaborate sleeve that includes the words “Sine Missione.” In an online post, Daniel described the meaning of this tattoo: “It is a Latin phrase that means ‘without release’ . . . which was a style of combat in which gladiators would fight, where one of the opponents had to die, no matter how valiantly they fought. It’s symbolic of a fight I’ve had in my life.” When he got this tattoo, Daniel believed he had prevailed in his personal death struggle. Addiction, however, proved a resilient , merciless and unrelenting foe. On the late evening of March 10, 2017 Daniel’s valiant fight ended and his troubled spirit at last found peace and release.
Daniel’s family wishes to express their wholehearted gratitude and appreciation for the doctors, nurses and other professionals at Intermountain Medical Center ’s ICU who labored night and day for weeks to care for Daniel. The gifted and compassionate staff at IMC exemplified the very best of the medical profession in their care and treatment. Daniel could have been in no better hands.
Daniel is survived by: his parents Mark (Julie) Wilkey , Ann (John) Webb; brother, Jon ( Yasmeen ) Wilkey; three grandparents, and many grieving aunts, uncles and cousins. He will be greatly missed.
Memorial Services will be held at the Cannon Mortuary, 2460 E. Bengal Blvd., Saturday March 18, 2017 at 11:00 am, with viewing from 10:00 to 11:00 am . I nterment will follow the memorial service at the Alpine City Cemetery .