Young musician's death shakes community

Skye Kinkade
Nick Le Guellec  Contributed photo

Many in the community are grieving the loss of 18 year old Nicolas Le Guellec, a talented local musician and actor who died in Dunsmuir on the afternoon of June 11.

His mother, Paula Reynolds of Mount Shasta, said she takes comfort knowing Nick “did everything he wanted in life” and that he left behind a large body of work, including numerous complex musical compositions, recordings and videos of his performances.

“The one thing Nick loved more than music, was connecting with people to make a difference,” said his father, Michael Le Guellec of Lake Shastina. “He was so conscious and tuned in to people’s feelings.”

“If someone came through the door and he caught a glimpse of sadness, anger, or frustration his mission was to turn that around and let you know someone cared before you made the exit... He cherished simple acts of kindness, and more importantly, being part of them.”

Nick was remarkable in many ways, said Paula. He graduated from Golden Eagle Charter High School at age 16 and took College of the Siskiyous classes since he was 14.

He comes from a family of musicians and played the trumpet, bass and piano.

In 2010, at age 15, Nick was one of the youngest musicians selected to perform as a finalist in Chico State’s Earl R. and Marilyn Ann Kruschke Prize in Piano Performance competition, less than a year after seriously applying himself to the instrument.

Paula said Nick composed many pieces of music that he couldn’t play himself because they were so complex and she is looking forward to hearing them performed.

In the past few years, Nick participated in student-produced College of the Siskiyous plays, including Straight Camp and Middle East Side Story, as well as several episodes of the Internet comedy, “Almost Out of Weed.”

To Nick’s many friends, Paula offered the following advice: “Nick’s loss is devastating to all of us. If any of you are struggling with how to deal with it, please call a counselor, a spiritual guide, or even just a friend to talk to. It is really helping us, a lot. Please, do not try to deal with your grief alone because none of us are alone. We live in a community of amazing caring people... please be sure to talk to someone.”

An outpouring of messages from those who knew and loved Nick have been posted in a steady stream on his Facebook page and Wednesday evening a group of friends came together at a Weed church to remember Nick.

“Nick you were something special to this world,” wrote his friend, Dustin Wood, of Weed. “What you accomplished and created was only the tip of the iceberg and it pains me that the world will not get to fall in love with your art the way your friends and family have.”

“Not a single bad word could be said about you,” wrote friend Angelica Polkowitz. “Your exuberant smile and cheery laughter put a smile on anyone’s face and brightened any room. You were endlessly talented, and your dedication to music was inspiring. I can’t believe such a gentle, gifted soul is now gone.”

How to help

Those who wish to help the family can make donations to the Nick Le Guellec Family Fund at any Scott Valley Bank location.

If anyone would like to help provide meals for the Paula Reynolds home in Mount Shasta or the Michael Le Guellec home in Lake Shastina, contact Dana Knight at 530-355-2751.

A memorial has been planned for Nick this Saturday, June 22 at noon at the Mount Shasta Community Building, 629 Alder Street in Mount Shasta.

A reception will be held immediately after the memorial at 24739-1/2 Edgewood Road in Edgewood.

A celebration of Nick’s life is being planned for the College of the Siskiyous Kenneth Ford Theater. The date is yet to be announced.