PORTLAND — Damian Keith Mulinix, 42, of Long Beach, died in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Portland on Saturday, March 30, 2019. His death was caused by complications from a hemorrhagic stroke on March 18.
Damian was born to Randy and Vonda (Findlay) Mulinix in Crescent City, California on Feb. 20, 1977. Raised in Crescent City and Everett, Washington, he was the eldest of three children.
While attending Del Norte High School, he discovered a passion for photography and began working for his local paper, the Del Norte Triplicate. After briefly attending college, he decided to continue working as a photojournalist and went on to work for a variety of community newspapers in Oregon and Washington.
Damian married his high school sweetheart and first wife, Vinessa (Elsberry) Karnofski in 1998. The couple had two children, McKenzie Lynn Mulinix and Tristan Wyse Mulinix. They later divorced.
During his 13-year Chinook Observer career starting September 2002, Damian won dozens of awards for his images of life in Pacific County, including a prestigious second-place award in the International Picture of the Year competition for his 2011 image of surf rescuers pulling a drowning boy from the water.
He met his fiancée, Natalie St. John, in 2012 while she was working as a photographer and reporter in Longview, Washington. Natalie joined the Observer in 2013, and the couple worked together until Damian left the paper in 2015. He continued freelancing for the Observer, writing features and serving as the paper’s regular high school sports photographer. Damian proposed on Christmas Day, 2018. The couple, who had been living together for almost six years, were to be married on Aug. 10, 2019.
Damian was a gifted musician, singer and songwriter who taught himself to play guitar and more recently, piano. He collected records, loved jazz and soul music and played his guitar and piano almost every night. He enjoyed coaching little league soccer, hiking, camping, game nights at home, poker and barbecues with his friends and spending time with his family and dogs, Levi and Hazel.
Above all, Damian loved his children. Being a father to McKenzie and Wyse was always his first priority. He tried never to miss their games and performances and took tremendous pride in their achievements in school, the arts and sports.
Damian was preceded in death by his grandmother, Thelma Sowell. He is survived by his fiancée, children, parents, brother and sister-in-law Aaron and Samantha (Segesman) Mulinix, sister and brother-in-law Bethany (Mulinix) and Justin Asher, aunt and uncle Juli and Storme Findlay, cousins Rebecca (Findlay) Woodward and Jeremy Findlay, sister-in-law Colleen St. John, nephews Johnny Mercuro and Wesley Sampson, future parents-in-law Kelly and Larry Morrison and Linda and Ted St. John and many other extended family members and future in-laws who loved him dearly.
A celebration of life will take place on May 11 at 1:30 p.m. at 1500 186th Lane in Long Beach.