Erick Lee Dunn 1970–2020

Erick died June 4, 2020 at 4th Avenue and Jefferson Street. Women in Black stood vigil for him.

Erick’s Leaf is on the 4th Avenue side of Seattle City Hall. If you have memories or photos of Erick, please post a comment.


One Comment

  • Melanie Watson

    My Erick Lee, you are finally at peace. Free from all of the horrible demons that continued to taunt and torment your mind, body and soul. Finally at peace.

    I know you were tired. I know how long and how hard you have been fighting them. I know how powerful they’d become. I know they wore you down. I know they grew too powerful and too strong. I know they took you from us and I hate them for that.

    I saw your posts on social media. I saw you struggling a few times. But then one day out of the blue, I felt your pain. The first time I knew that you were in trouble I tried to reach out to you, to make sure that you were ok. But I never heard back from you.

    The second time I felt your pain was just a few months later. But that time it was different. More intense. I felt an urgency. I knew something was very, very wrong and I didn’t like it. So I tried once again to reach out to you,

    I called the few family members that I knew kept in contact with you. I asked if they’d heard from you and when they last spoke to you. But no one had seen or heard a word from you in quite some time.

    Then I left messages on all of your social media accounts I could find. I practically begged you to at least let me know you were alive and ok. Then a few nights later on my drive home from work, I got the call….

    When I heard Shannon’s voice on the other line, I knew instantly why she was calling. I knew what she was going to say and I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want it to be true. I didn’t want it to be a reality. I didn’t want to accept the fact that you were really gone.

    I just wish I had reached out to you sooner. Maybe then you’d still be alive today and you’d be the best man at our wedding. You wouldve been able to see your plan from so long ago, finally come full circle.

    I know you will be there smiling down on us, giving us your blessing. Your ashes will be hanging around my neck and close to my heart, as we commit our lives to one another for all eternity.

    I now know you why you sent me to Wayne. You saw him as a better fit for me, you knew he was the “One” and you made a good choice.

    Wayne is such an amazing man. He is “perfect” in my eyes. He is literally, the man of my dreams. He tells me, “Erick was your first gangster, but I’m going to be your last.” And guess what, he’s right.

    I know that his love for me is true and I trust him completely with my life. I would do anything for him. I would take a bullet and die for him. It’s crazy because we are so alike in so many ways and yet we balance each other out so well, on the areas that we’re not.

    Wayne has asked me if he could add to the tattoo on the back of my neck. He wants to do a tribute, a memorial for you and he wants to be the one to do it. Of course I said “yes.”

    He misses you, ya know and he thinks about you often. I know he does. He’s shared a few stories with me about some of the crazy things you guys did growing up together.
    You two are so much alike, it blows my mind sometimes. Smh ‍♀️

    That’s why when we had to go our separate ways for a minute, that our paths crossed again, just a few months after your passing. You knew I would reach out to him to let him know you had died and that is why we are together again and happier than ever today! Thank you!

    By the way, I know you were with me at Sunset Beach that day. You heard me talking to you and you replied by leaving me a sand dollar. It was the answer to the question I had asked. Your point made loud and clear.

    It was just like the 2 we found one day at Newport Beach, when I begged you to save the hundreds of starfish that had been scraped off the pier and then washed up on to the shore.

    As mad as you were to have to get your precious feet sandy, you took off your shoes and socks, rolled up your Dickies and started throwing the starfish back out to the sea. You knew most of them were already dead, but you did it for me. That meant a lot to me.

    On our walk back to the car we looked down and found 2 sand dollars just laying there. Those just are never found around that area anymore at all. I told you they were our gift from God for saving the starfish. You just did your familiar eye roll and went with it, as usual.

    It was so crazy because we didn’t find one, we found two! So we each took one home. Mine is still carefully wrapped up and kept in an old jewelry box. Hidden inside one of my lock boxes, filled with things that are most important to me.

    You will be there with us, as our honorary guest and witness, when we get married hopefully this January. You will also come with us as we travel around the country.

    I’m going to take you to all the places you told me you wanted to see. Don’t trip tater chip, I got you. I am going to make that happen for you, I promise.

    Wayne loves you.
    and I love you.
    All the way to the electric chair,
    Until we catch you on the flip side.

    Know that you will always be with me in my cold, dark heart. I will forever cherish the memories we made and all the things we saw and did during those 2 years we were together. You changed my life.

    You taught me so many life lessons. You helped me find my voice and taught me how to use it to stand up for myself when others were putting me down. You told me about the strength you saw within me and helped me to see it too.

    You worked to build my self esteem back up and helped me to not be ashamed or feel the need to hide my body while being intimate. You opened my eyes to new things I wanted and needed. Things I never knew I had been missing.

    You taught me about respect and how I wasn’t getting it from those closest to me. You showed me that it’s ok to be the black sheep and that if people don’t like you, “f..k em!”

    You showed me how to be a “little” wild and crazy. You’d always tell me “Baby steps!” if I started to get carried away and my answer was always “I know! I know! Geesh!” Again I’d see your eyes roll… Lol!

    I’ll never forget all the things we did together every single day. The many parks we discovered, we’d find a new park each day! The people watching and making up stories about them and their lives. That was fun until the bird pooped in my hair and on my jacket! NOT! You couldn’t and wouldn’t stop laughing at me! I was so mad at you!

    All the stories you shared with me, each one interrupted several times when I asked, “you know that’s not normal right?” You’d look at me and say “yes” and I’d tell you to continue with the story. I still do this with Wayne whenever he shares his stories with me!

    You shared with me all of the dreams you had for the future with me when we’d camp overnight in the suburban somewhere. You told me how you’d hoped to be a father one day, but feared you weren’t able to have kids of your own due to a childhood injury. It hurt me to see how sad that made you.

    I will never forget watching you feed the ducks one day at a park in Carbon Canyon. It’s one of my favorite pictures of you, I wish it had turned out better. You were so happy they liked you and you had them eating out of your hand.

    You yelled at me to hurry and grab the box of Cheez-It’s from the car after they ate all of the bread we brought. You didn’t want them to leave. Then you tried to bring your favorite one home with us! You got so mad and upset at me when I told you he had to stay there with his little duck friends.

    Another favorite memory is when you would hold my hand and sing songs to me. You were quite the dramatic performer. It was nice to see you happy and in a good mood. I remember the way you would shake your head in both humor and disbelief whenever i did something dingy and I did that A LOT! Huh? Nothing’s changed! Lol!’

    I miss playing Rock Band with you until all hours of the night, sneaking away to kiss you, our many Farkle tournaments and the way you would always twist and change the rules and then try to convince me that you were the winner of our side bets! NOT! Smh ‍♀️

    I will cherish the fact that you trusted enough to show me a side of you that only a select few have ever seen. I wish that others had seen the man that I saw when I looked at you. The man hidden deep within you.

    There was so much more to you than meets the eye. You just didn’t believe in your own self any more at the end. People were so rude, judgemental, hateful, unloving and cruel to you. As much as you tried to hide it, I know that hurt you.

    It still hurts sometimes, knowing how lost and out of control you were at the end. It hurts to know how and especially where you were when you died. It is something I can’t get out of my mind..Why there? Anywhere would’ve been better than there.

    What breaks my heart the most is knowing that you died alone, with nobody there to hold you, comfort you and to pray for you. You didn’t have to die that way! All alone and in that disgusting place. You deserved better, Erick Lee. You deserved better than that!

    I hope and pray that you fell asleep and did not suffer. You always said you’d never live to see 50. You were right! But you got pretty damn close though, didn’t you? Just a few weeks short.

    Unlike everyone else, I was not surprised at all to hear that you had gone to Seattle. While it made no sense at all to anyone else, based on what we had spoke about during several of our late night, long talks, it made perfect sense to me. I get it. I understand.

    What has helped me to heal is knowing that you are finally free. Finally able to get some rest and finally able to sleep soundly. You never did fall completely asleep. You’d pop up at the slightest sound or movement, brought on from decades of Incarceration and the fight or flight, kill or be killed mindset you had to have 24/7 while in there just to survive each and every day.

    I could go in for days. I’ll end it here.
    I don’t know what made me Google your name tonight.
    But I’m glad I did.
    Your memory has been blessed with a leaf on the memorial wall. You will never be forgotten.

    A special Thank you to those who are involved with this organization and for giving these homeless men and women a name. Remembering that they were human beings with names and faces.

    They were someone’s child, parent and grandparent. We could very easily find ourselves in their same situation one day in just the blink of an eye. We need to start caring and helping one another. His Bless You All.

    May You Rest in Peace Forever
    Some know you as “Ballistic”
    But to me, you will always be “My Erick Lee.”

    Please give my love to Grandma T.
    I know that her, Buddy, Uncle Warren, the Dunn’s and all the others were up there waiting for you when you crossed over. I’m sure you were welcomed with open arms and a few cold beers.

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