Feb 10th 1991 - Feb 26th 2013
A vibrant, hardworking, and compassionate man, Nathan Fruin brought such happiness and laughter to the countless people who were within his reach. He has been described as the life of the party wherever he went, and although he accomplished so many things he was proud of, he was a humble and selfless man. Nathan lived his life to serve and was always willing to listen with just the right thing to say, too. His jovial spirit and continuous antics made him so much fun to be around. A devoted family man, loyal friend, and truly extraordinary individual, Nathan’s absence will be deeply felt by those too numerous to count.
Life in America during the 1990s was eventful to say the least. The decade began with the Gulf War overseas, but the violence escalated back home, too, as there were several riots across the nation and the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City. Amidst this colorful time was the year 1991 that was filled with great anticipation for one young couple from Mattawan, Michigan, as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their baby. Their wait was over when the baby boy they named Nathan was born in Kalamazoo on February 10th. He was the middle of three children born to his parents, Charlie and Linda (Boven) Fruin, and was raised at home, on the family’s grape vineyard.
From his earliest years Nathan, or Nate as he was often known, was a cut above. He was honest right from the start, admitting to his parents when he did something wrong and offering a quick apology without any prompting. Nathan carried his stuffed animal with him everywhere. Even as an adult it was usually in his back pocket. He was overly playful and curious, bubbly and outgoing, having no reservations about walking up to another kid and saying, “Hi, I’m Nate, want to be my friend?” Nathan loved being outdoors, and was often covered in dirt from head to toe either from riding around in golf carts or quads or just being a typical boy.
In everything he did, Nathan tried his hardest. He was a student at Mattawan Schools where he played the trombone in both the concert and marching bands. Nathan was talented, too, as he was the section leader. He was just naturally smart when it came to anything with technology, so he made an excellent lead grip on stage for all of the band’s performances. Nathan was also in the Peer Assisted Leadership (PALS) program at school and was popular among his peers. He went on to graduate from high school in 2009.
One of the many things that made Nathan so remarkable was the way he was generous with his time. He loved technology and was especially passionate about film and photo editing, and he loved sharing this passion with others. As his family and friends can attest, Nathan was the go-to guy for anything that was even remotely technological. Last year he was the tech director of a show, which was something he loved since he also enjoyed being with the kids. Nathan made it seem effortless to just pick his way through whatever he wanted to learn whether it was something with technology or teaching himself to play the guitar, saxophone, piano, or drums.
Throughout his life’s journey Nathan filled his time with the many things he loved. He enjoyed everything about camping, especially roaring campfires. He also did some traveling including trips to Europe and Disney World with the band and a family trip to Nova Scotia. When it came to food, Nathan would eat just about anything, but some of his favorites included bacon, his grandma’s hand-pie, pizza, wings, and anything spicy as everything tasted better with just a bit of hot sauce on it. He enjoyed watching television shows that challenge the mind like NCIS, yet he could watch The Big Bang Theory over and over again, too. The Harry Potter movies were among some of the movies Nathan loved. He was into classic rock and the Dave Matthews Band, and many other bands. He was proud to get his first buck while bow hunting this past year.
In whatever he was doing, being with the people he loved that meant the most to Nathan. He loved pets including his dog, Zoe, and his cat, Ninny. Nathan made sure he went to his brother’s band and choir performances, and watched Sunday football with his sister. About five years ago he really found his niche when he became a cadet as a volunteer with the Mattawan Fire Department. Nathan loved serving his community and responded to all fire calls, especially those during the night. He was so proud to put his light bar on the top of his treasured, forest green, F-150.
The list of things to love about Nathan is extensive. He was the sort of guy who was everyone’s best friend, and he was like a ray of sunshine with a positive attitude as his constant companion. Nathan always made people laugh with his impressions of people like John Madden, George Bush, or the guys from Gold Rush, and he freely gave hugs and told others that he loved them.
Whether his classic three layer peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, his quirky sense of humor, or the goofy nicknames he gave to everything and everyone, Nathan Fruin will be missed in countless ways. He wasn’t afraid to be his own person, wore bright clothes, and was a bit of a technology geek. Nathan was dependable and was always available with a listening ear and quick to say, “I love you” to the family he treasured. Taken from his loved ones much too soon, he will never be forgotten.
Nathan Fruin of Mattawan died in the line of duty on February 26, 2013. Members of his family include his parents, Charlie and Linda Fruin; 2 siblings: Sarah and Alex Fruin; grandparents, James A. (JoAnn) Boven; Lucinda Barnes Boven and Phyllis Fruin; aunts and uncles: Mark and Penny Boven, David and Kim Fruin; cousins: Christopher (Grace) Fruin and Grace and Jake Boven; God-Parents, Mike and Therese Boltz; special friend, Emily Weston; and a host of extended family members. Nathan was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Russell Fruin, and his Uncle Steve Fruin Learn more about Nathan and visit with his family and friends while sharing some food and refreshments Saturday from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive; 375-2900. Nathan’s Final Salute will take place 1:30 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church (1150 W. Centre Ave.) followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 2:00 p.m. A procession will take place through Mattawan, ending at Maple Grove Cemetery. Cremation will follow with private interment. Please visit Nathan’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Mattawan High School Performing Arts; Great Lakes Burn Camp or National Fallen Fighters Foundation.