Dana Marie Ek, 24, formerly of Catlett, left our world on March 14, 2020, while residing in New Mexico.
Dana was born on October 19, 1995, in Astoria, Oregon. She was named after the Dana Glacier — located deep in the wilds of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area, because her father thought it was the most beautiful place on heaven or earth.
She had been a Catlett resident. Teachers at Liberty High School (graduated 2014) who left a special mark with her included Amy Acors and the O’Broktas. Dana graduated from George Mason University with a double major in conflict resolution and global affairs. fluent in Chinese, she studied abroad in China and South Africa and China. She aspired to be an environmental educator working with children. She worked at the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Shenandoah National Park and recently at New Mexico’s Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
You could not ask for a better daughter. She was always thoughtful and loving; she added life and spirit to her family in more ways than could be counted or described. Her younger sister and brother adored her, and she them. Recent outpouring heart-felt stories from Dana’s friends demonstrate that she could not have been a kinder or more caring friend.
She felt emotionally attached to nature, children, and everyone and anything that needed support and understanding. She loved family, friends, hiking, mountain climbing, working with children and attempting to save the world from injustices. One of her most memorable adventures was climbing in the Chelan range, not far from her namesake glacier. Her next adventure was to be the Grand Canyon.
Dana had a sharp mind and caring heart. She had high standards and expectations of herself, society and human-kind. She was a bright star driven to succeed in any endeavor she set her mind to, and in her 24 short years, she accomplished that — and more. Dana will be deeply missed. The universe now may seem to shine less brightly, but she has gone off to all the wild places, gentle hearts and wherever else all the truly beautiful reside. Her path in life was much too short, but she touched many hearts and souls along the way, and throughout that journey she left behind much for us all to treasure and behold.
She is survived by her sister, Cedar Ek of Woodbridge; her brother, Ethan Ek of Catlett; her parents, David and Cristina Ek of Catlett; her grandmother, Cathy Turner of Woodbridge, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends across the country and beyond.
She will be cremated. A celebration of her life will be held somewhere in Northern Virginia at a place and time still to be determined.