Nate Fleer was ‘joy’ to friends and family, leaves legacy of kindness

Former Oakland University student, Nate Mark Fleer, unexpectedly died on March 12, according to family members.  He was 25.

Fleer was born in Portland, Oregon and later moved to Rochester Hills with his family. He attended Rochester High School before coming to Oakland University.

According to the Oakland Press, Fleer studied philosophy at Oakland until 2013, was a member of the Honors College and performed as the Grizz mascot from 2009 to 2010.  

His two brothers are also members of the campus community. Luke Fleer is Regional Development Officer and Josh Fleer, a Ph.D. candidate, is a special lecturer in the religious studies program.

Fleer was described in his obituary as “a source of irreplaceable joy to his family and close friends.”

“Nate was one of the most caring people I’ve ever met,” close friend Dylan Garmany said. “He always tried to bring out the best in people.  He never had expectations of how anyone was supposed to be.  It was however you were, that was how Nate accepted you.”  

Fleer was active in the theatre program at Rochester High School and passionate about politics. He inspired fellow theatre students to pursue their passions and even officiated friends’ Aaron and Rae Garmany’s wedding.  

At Fleer’s memorial service, family, friends and former professors spoke about his wisdom, kindness and warmth. Several mentioned his incredible ‘bear hugs’ and big personality.  

Dylan Garmany said that Fleer never knocked on his door when visiting his home, but rather “kicked” down the door and announced his presence.  

Fleer’s older brothers, Josh and Luke, both called their brother their personal “sounding board,” and said he offered advice and input that was wise beyond his age.  

According to his obituary, “More importantly to his family and most intimate friends, Nate provided a certain depth of thought and kind-heartedness with his pastoral presence which, for them, made all the difference in the world.”

“The Oakland community lost a friend in Nate Fleer,” Jeff Konya, director of athletics, said. “Nate served as Grizz for the 2009 to 2010 basketball season and we send our best to the Fleer family.”

Fleer’s memorial service was held on April 3 at Pixley Funeral Home.  

He is survived by his parents, David and Mae Fleer of Rochester Hills, brothers, Joshua (Megan) and Luke (Marianne), three nephews, Levi, Lyle and Leo, and a niece, Amaya.