While no words or short biography could fully capture the person that Eric was and the life he lived, Eric had many passions that he shared with the world, and that we will continue to share with the Eric Domanico foundation.
As a toddler, Eric had an obsession with cats. He loved all cats - stuffed animal cats, his neighbor’s cats, and finally, his own cat Luna. Eric had a big heart, one that had room for all the cats in the world, and all the people around him. The gentleness and care that Eric fostered at a young age carried forward in his devotion to his friends and family. On evenings and weekends, you would find Eric hosting gatherings in the family basement or out by the pool, constantly surrounded by and selflessly taking care of his friends. During the extended quarantine from the COVID-19 pandemic, Eric found a hobby in baking. But never just for himself, he was constantly baking for his friends and his family, exploring his Italian and French roots, and sharing his creations with those around him.
Eric was a creator and a giver. Besides his own presence, one of the greatest gifts he brought to the world was his music. His reputation and accomplishments as an incredibly gifted saxophone player preceded him. He played in every band or orchestra he had the time for high school, all-state band, the University of Michigan Youth Band, and finally, at the School of Music and Marching Band at West Virginia University, where he earned himself a full ride. When he wasn’t with his friends or family, he was with his music.
Eric had had an extraordinarily successful year at West Virginia University, and his career in music was full of promise. But, for all these years, while Eric was playing his music and taking care of his family and friends, he was also quietly fighting mental health struggles. In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the fight became a lot harder. Quarantine forced Eric into social isolation and virtual learning. The people and passions he used to fight his depression became harder to come by, and the fight became exhausting.
On July 11th, 2020, Eric fought his last battle with depression and took his life. And while this date should by no means define his life, it defines a turning point for us, as his family. While Eric is no longer with us, he taught us so much about love, living life with passion, music, and helping others. All the hundreds of people whose lives he had touched, came together for our family and shared with us so many stories that continue to keep Eric’s memory alive. It’s with this foundation that we hope to continue to carry Eric’s impact and legacy forward.
-The Domanico Family