A private gathering was held Sunday to celebrate the life of Dan Sealey, the stepson of B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, who died of an accidental overdose earlier this month. (Facebook/Dan Sealey)

A private gathering was held Sunday to celebrate the life of Dan Sealey, the stepson of B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, who died of an accidental overdose earlier this month. (Facebook/Dan Sealey)

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

Friends and family of Dan Sealey gathered Sunday afternoon in a Townley Street home to remember him during a private celebration of life.

The stepson of Saanich South MLA and Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, died earlier this month of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 23.

Standing at the door of the house, Popham told the Saanich News Sunday’s gathering was closed to media. According to social media, the event was held in lieu of a formal service, at the request of Sealey, whose father Rob is Popham’s fiancé.

RELATED: BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

A post on Sealey’s personal Facebook page announced his death Nov. 12.

“Those who were lucky enough to know him know the funny, caring, smart, talented and special person he was but may not know about the struggles he faced over the past few years,” read the posting. “He was taken from us far too soon by accidental overdose this past weekend.”

Popham posted a message announcing Sealey’s untimely death on her own Facebook page Nov. 17, in which she echoed the family’s posting, noting that Sealey was pursuing a career as a physics teacher.

Lana Popham, B.C. Minister of Agriculture and Saanich South MLA, said her stepson struggled over the last few years with mental health issues and addiction. (Facebook/Lana Popham)

According to his Facebook page, Sealey had started school at Central Washington University in January 2016, studying physics and mathematics after leaving Seton Hall University in February 2015.

Since June, Sealey had also been working as a line cook at Yates Street Taphouse Bar and Grill; previously he was employed at Barb’s Fish and Chips in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

A Facebook fundraising site started by Paige Sealey — believed to be one of Dan’s two sisters — describes him as “a brilliant, hilarious, happy kid who struggled with both mental illness and addiction later in life.”

“We lost him too soon at age 23 to an accidental overdose,” she wrote. “We hope to continue his legacy by helping others who struggle with similar issues.”

As of Sunday afternoon, the site had raised $7,782 (US), more than $5,000 above its goal of $2,000.

According to a study from Public Health Agency of Canada, almost 10 people died each day of an illicit drug overdose in Canada from January 2016 to March 2018.

RELATED: B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

In British Columbia, 128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018.

The province is on track to record the same or more overdose deaths as last year, which was the worst in Canadian history. In 2017, an average of 120 people died each month and in the first three-quarters of 2018, an average of 127 people died each month.

Vancouver continues to be the city hit hardest, with 297 deaths, followed by 162 deaths in Surrey and 74 in Victoria.

According to a new report from Statistics Canada, 12 per cent of the 2,362 confirmed illicit drug overdose deaths between 2011 and 2016 involve individuals aged 18 to 24.

The Saanich News reached out to Paige Sealey for comment as well as several of Dan Sealey’s friends but did not receive a reply.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A weekend of sunny skies may have Victoria breaking temperature records, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Temperature records eyed for Victoria with sunny weekend forcast

Victoria hit the highest April 14 temperature since 1926 on Wednesday

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: Saanich fire crews close road over smoking underground electrical equipment

Police diverting traffic as Vernon Avenue closed to all through traffic

A man accused of sexual assault has resigned as a coach at Castaway Wanderers Rugby Club and has had his employment suspended at The Local. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
Rugby coach resigns, is suspended from Victoria restaurant following sexual assault allegations

Social media page creates a safe space for survivors to share their stories

A GoFundMe has been launched in memory of an eight-year-old boy who drowned at a Hotel Zed pool in Victoria on March 24. (Jane Andema/GoFundMe)
GoFundMe started in memory of 8-year-old boy who died at Hotel Zed pool

Child drowned after wandering off to the pool alone

Smoke is visible from the Trans-Canada Highway, April 16 around 12:15 p.m. (Black Press Media photo)
UPDATED: Saanich fire crews truck in water as hog fuel fire smoulders

No injuries reported following fire at greenhouse near Burnside West and Prospect Lake roads

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after being recorded making comments to a DTES harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Sarah Blyth/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Police officer convicted of uttering threats under B.C. watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to civilian Sarah Blyth

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

The Nanaimo Clippers’ game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs slated for Thursday, April 15, has been postponed due to a “potential positive COVID-19 test result,” says the BCHL. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers COVID-19 test negative, team can practise and play

Junior A hockey team had suspended activities the day before out of ‘abundance of caution’

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)

Most Read