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Obituary: Landon Andrew Hull

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Posted at 1:51 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 15:51:58-05

Landon Andrew Hull
October 31, 2004 - November 6, 2022

Our beautiful son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and loyal friend, Landon, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 6, 2022. All who knew him, knew this well: Landon lived life large and out loud.

He learned to crawl, walk, and ride a bike earlier than most. (He was riding a two-wheeler without training wheels at age 3!) One of our fondest memories from his toddler years was the day we found him dancing naked on top of the dining room table, in front of the windows for all the neighbors to see!

Along with riding his bike like a bat out of hell, Landon was creative and loved Legos, the building of which provided some of the few moments in Landon’s early life when he would sit for hours at a time in deep concentration over the masterpiece he was creating. On Christmas mornings, he could not wait to steal away from the festivities and get started on whichever Lego set he had unwrapped from under the tree. And he was not only good at building Legos with his hands…Landon loved to tinker with almost anything: taking apart ballpoint pens, the chandelier over the dining room table, the lawn mower; building a near-perfect replica of a British bi-plane out of cardboard, toothpicks and glue; creating a clay sculpture of a fox standing by a tree stump. He and his brother and sister spent summers together as each other’s constant companions: creating movie sets and making movies with their pet hamsters, building elaborate Leprechaun-catching traps around Saint Patrick’s day, becoming the best 3-person band with the kitchen pots & pans, parading around the house with pull-up diapers on their heads, and putting on plays in the front yard with the neighborhood kids.

In his elementary and middle school years, Landon played soccer, baseball, and basketball. And along with the rest of the family, he performed in the annual Nutcracker ballet— enthusiastically playing the roles of toy soldiers and Fritz, the mischievous little brother.

Landon was so often the brightest light in the room. He possessed a rascally, charismatic energy that drew people to him, often prompting a person to laugh in a heartbeat with his silly impressions and antics. He often seemed to be a beacon in any group of which he was a part.

Landon was active in Scouting from the time he was in first grade until he earned his Eagle Scout rank at age 16. He was a strong leader within Troop 676, enjoying the friendship of his fellow scouts during countless meetings, camping trips, and courts of honor.

Landon’s magnetic leadership spilled over into the time he spent with his NICA mountain biking team—becoming the self-proclaimed chief motivator before each race, pumping up his fellow teammates with his favorite, wacky motivational speeches. His enthusiasm for riding not only impacted his peers but aspiring younger kids as well. Landon mentored many young riders as a coach for Bozeman Youth Cycling and taught the neighbors’ girls how to do tricks and jumps on their bikes. Kids absolutely adored him for his imaginative style of instruction and play. He was known for taking the holeshot as often as he could at the start of a race. His all-in riding style earned him the title of Montana State NICA freshman boys champion in 2019.

Going fast and hard, whether it was on a bike, on skis, or in life in general, was Landon’s way. Because his thrill-seeking exuberance and quick wit often drew people to him, many did not see the deeply sensitive person hiding within. And many people did not know of the unimaginable struggles that he worked so incredibly hard to hide from most of the world.

Landon’s battle with mental illness officially began in middle school, but likely started much earlier. Putting on a brave face for the outside world took every ounce of his energy. As happens with so many who experience mental illness, Landon tried to numb the pain of depression, anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder with whatever he could. He spent the better part of the last year of his life in Colorado and Utah, receiving intensive treatment in hopes he could win his battle.

It was in treatment where Landon met some of the dearest friends of his life—other boys with similar struggles; people who Landon felt finally, truly, understood him. And it was in treatment that Landon found his love of music. He learned to play guitar in a few short months, discovering a gift within that none of us knew he possessed. In a few minutes of watching a YouTube video, he could master a song in any genre: indie-pop, blue grass, hard rock, blues…. Listening to, writing, and playing music became Landon’s self-administered therapy. By the time he returned home to Montana in August, he had acquired six guitars of different styles, and could play them all beautifully.

Landon had just begun a new life, having graduated from high school a year early while at Crossroads Academy, enrolling at Montana State University, meeting a new group of wonderful friends, and studying psychology. He planned to start a treatment program for boys like him one day. But just as it seemed he was on the way to winning his battle, the oppression of mental illness overwhelmed him.

Just a week past his 18th birthday, Landon leaves behind a hole in the heart of everyone who knew him—a hole that feels impossible to fill. He is survived by his parents, Andrew and Kimmelin; siblings, Ellie and Gabriel; grandparents, Willard and Janie Hull and Michael and Karen Parks; and the many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and teachers who knew and loved him.

A celebration of Landon’s life will take place at Hope Lutheran Church on Thursday, November 17 at 4:30 P.M. The family requests those in attendance dress in bright colors to honor the bright light Landon brought to this world. For those unable to attend in person, the service may be viewed via livestream from the link in Landon’s obituary at www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com].

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests remembrances in memory of Landon to the Help Center, the local 24/7 crisis and suicide prevention line: 406-586-3333, 421 East Peach St., Bozeman, MT 59715 or online at www.bozemanhelpcenter.org/donate [bozemanhelpcenter.org]

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]