NATHAN Skewes wanted to do everything and he wanted to do it all at once.
His brothers Justin Skewes and Ryan Keem yesterday described “the most liked man going around” after Nathan passed away unexpectedly from natural causes at the weekend, aged just 31.
“He was basically my idol growing up,” Justin said.
“You could go and talk to him and he would help you through anything.”
Nathan’s death comes just 12 months after his wife Belinda passed away after a short battle with metastic cancer.
His two children, Ashleigh, 4 yesterday, and William, 2, are in the care of family members.
“He gave up his job, his whole life when Lindy died,” Justin said.
“He became a full-time dad. He wouldn’t watch TV or movies, it was all about educating and playing with the kids.
“The kids meant the world to him. He did everything for them. He was really good when Lindy was sick too. He would even stay at the hospital.”
Last December, Nathan walked from Melbourne to Ballarat to help raise funds for the family of Ethan Seccull, tragically killed after he was struck by a train at Wallace.
“He really wanted to do it for Ethan,” Ryan said.
“He knew how tough their first Christmas without Lindy was and he knew it would be even tougher for the Secculls.
“He did it tough though. He got sunburnt and had blisters. I reckon he lost 20 kilos on that walk and never really got it back.”
Ethan’s father, Jon Seccull, yesterday described Nathan as a stranger who came into their lives at a time when he was still grieving.
“What he did enabled Michelle and I and our other three kids to get away over the Christmas break,” Jon said.
“It blew us away that someone would take the time to do that, something so big.
“He just had an aura about him. He was always so positive, always had a smile on his face. Maybe he had a set of wings under his t-shirt.”
Both Justin and Ryan said Nathan had been the happiest they’d seen him in a long time at the weekend.
“We’d just started a band and it was our first jam session,” Justin said.
“After Lindy’s death, his ambition just grew. It’s like he realised how fragile life was. His favourite expression was ‘life’s too short’.
“He started the band and he’d done a little bit of stand-up comedy.”
Every Sunday, a five-on-five football match was also held between the brothers and their friends.
“He wasn’t the most talented player but he made life hard for you. He played it hard,” Ryan said.
Nathan was also studying teaching at university, wanted to write a book and had a passion for social justice causes.
“He was very deep,” Justin said.
“He was a really cool dresser. He was quite a hippie actually.”
Ryan said Nathan only bought organic products, chose to use small, local companies and was keen on composting.
His brothers also said Nathan was also an incredibly loving man.
“He hated no-one. He was always texting people randomly to let them know he loved them,” Justin said.
“Sometimes his hugs went on a little bit too long but it was never uncomfortable,” Ryan said.
“Whenever something bad happened, he always knew how to help people through it. He was the one supporting other people when Lindy died.”
But it was Justin who summed up his big brother best of all.
“There was an aura about him that was really contagious. He really made me grow.
“He taught me that smiles are contagious and I really believe that now.”
Nathan’s funeral will be held at a date to be announced.