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“Digger” Daniel Joseph Laing, passed away at the age of 38 on December 31, 2023, in the intensive care
unit, due to severe complications arising from the flu. Fondly remembered by friends and family, he was a compassionate soul who consistently prioritized the well-being of others over himself.
Digger was born on April 12, 1985, in Burlington, Vt. He loved to spend time outdoors, and often went
fishing, hunting, and trapping with his father, who also taught him how to ride a bicycle. Following in his
father's footsteps, Digger later replicated the iconic image by teaching his son how to ride a bike, creating a heartwarming parallel to his childhood.
Digger's brother, Fred, playfully christened him with the nickname "Digger." during their playful moments in the sandbox. As they indulged in their imaginative adventures, their trusty companion, a toy crane named "Digger Dan's Construction Company," further solidified the moniker. This nickname became so potent that over time, many people overlooked the fact that Digger's given name was Dan.
During his teenage years, Digger became fully engaged in the world of dirt biking. He took part in races
and embarked on numerous adventures alongside his Uncle Chuck. Following the loss of Digger’s father,
Dave, Chuck played a vital role in his life, stepping in as a second father figure and nurturing a profound
and meaningful bond between them.
Digger's vivacious nature as a child often led him into adventurous and occasionally troublesome
situations. During his early teens, he found himself being pursued by a sheriff while riding his three-
wheeler on the main road. However, his artistic inclinations also got him into a more significant
predicament with the Town’s law enforcement. Alongside his friend Ed, they ventured up the Tailings Pile
with shovels in hand, creating an enchanting and unforgettable design. This masterpiece left a lasting
impression on anyone fortunate enough to witness it.
Upon graduating from Moriah Central School in 2003, Digger immediately started working in the
construction industry. It was in 2005 that he was introduced to Steph, and what started as a friendly
conversation flourished into 18 years of a lifelong commitment to each other. Having built their house
together, Digger & Steph made it a place filled with incredible memories and love.
During his short time on earth, Digger discovered something that many people spend their whole lives
searching for - a rare and precious treasure in the form of his best friend and eternal love, Stephanie. In
2016, Steph gave birth to their son, also named Digger, who brought immeasurable joy to his father's life.
Little Digger was always by his father's side, sharing moments together wherever they went. Importantly,
Digger always took the time to create lasting memories with his son and to emphasize the importance of
his grandparents, Charlie and Colleen, in his life.
Digger held positions with AP Reale, Sam Meachem, & Kubricky Construction. Until his untimely passing,
he devoted his skills and dedication to the Town of Moriah Highway Department. Those who had the
privilege of working alongside Digger can attest that he infused laughter into the workday, whether
through a well-timed prank or his good-natured and occasionally inappropriate banter. As a coworker, he
was an unstoppable force, always ready to lend a helping hand.
Being employed in the town and being mere minutes away from his family filled him with immense
happiness. One of his cherished routines was picking up Little Digger from school every afternoon as he
found absolute joy and fulfillment in the presence of his son.
Digger was an extraordinary person characterized by compassion, open-heartedness, brilliance,
generosity, loyalty, patience, reliability, supportiveness, creativity, and enthusiasm. Most importantly, he
exuded an irreplaceable essence. His wide array of interests and passions transcended boundaries,
enabling him to explore diverse aspects of life and character.
Digger is survived by his Grandfather Charles Bryant, his Spouse Stephanie Popp, his Son Digger Laing, his Mother Ruth Laing (Chris Bedell), and his Brother Fred Laing. Parents-in-Law Steve & Carrie Popp,
Brothers & Sisters-in-law Marissa Laing, Bryan Popp, Jennifer Obanion, Nick Popp & Marci Celotti.
Nephews Davey Laing, Vincent & Bryan Popp. Nieces Emiline Laing, Elaina & Oakley Popp. Aunts &
Uncles: Ann & Charlie Cotey, Dan Bryant & Brenda Baker, Chuck & Marie Bryant, Ed & Sue Bryant, Alice &
John Sadallah, Kevin Bryant, Tim & Irina Bryant, Colleen Bryant & Paul Haschytz, Mary Bryant & Eric
DeRoehn, Joe Bryant, Becky Laing, and Phyllis & Brian Wilsey. Digger is also survived by numerous
cousins and hundreds of friends, all of whom loved Digger and cared deeply about him.
Digger is preceded in death by his Father David Laing, Grandmother Colleen Bryant, Grandparents Freddie & Margaret Laing, Aunts & Uncles- Liz & Bill Bryant, Betty & Joe Killham, Ursula & “Hookie” Ervin Laing.
The void left behind by Digger's absence echoes profoundly within the hearts of all who were fortunate
enough to have known him. Although his time on this earth was cut short at just thirty-eight years old, it
undeniably overflowed with goodness and treasured moments. Our expressions of missing you exceed
what words can convey. Those who had the privilege of sharing in Digger's life can attest that those years
were truly remarkable and cherished beyond measure.
Digger’s funeral service will be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Port Henry on January 12th, 2024, at
11:00 AM, with a burial to follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, weather permitting.