D’Laney was born June 21, 1979 in Long Beach, Calif. She graduated from Newport High School in Newport, Ore., in 1996, continuing on to Lane Community College followed by the University of Oregon. At the U of O, D’Laney studied journalism, with a focus in multimedia communications, and was set to graduate after finishing a course this summer.
The aspiring filmaker once wrote that her “mission as a filmmaker is to illustrate the beauty in all of life’s challenges and victories through documentary film work.” During her time at the SOJC, D’Laney produced several films including “An Elephant Never Forgets,” a documentary that told the story of Packy, the Oregon Zoo’s beloved elephant. The film was featured on OPB Oregon Lens.
“D’Laney was as dedicated to social justice and to cinema as any student or producer I have ever worked with,” said SOJC professor Daniel Miller. “She was (and is) a light in the world who will be missed,” Miller added. “Unique, bright, thoughtful, creative, caring, and a relentless force of good in the world.”
The SOJC senior most recently worked as a multimedia producer and social media coordinator assistant at the University of Oregon Department of Comparative Literature. Cynthia Stockwell, office manager at Comparative Literature, said that D’Laney set a high standard as the first person in the media coordinator position.
“D’Laney was a force. She came in and took charge, challenging us to think about how to establish our media presence,” Stockwell said. “She helped us imagine where we wanted to go and then did the work to move us toward those goals.”
One of D’Laney’s closest friends, Jeremy McKenzie, shares similar memories of her dynamic personality.
“D’Laney was the type of person that would never blink in the face of adventure. Instead, she would wink,” said McKenzie. “This speaks both to her playful spirit and to her desire to keep at least one eye open so that she could see the beauty the world offered and the goodness in people’s hearts.”
Traveling to 13 countries over the past 10 years, D’Laney obtained her master diver’s certificate in Thailand, traveled throughout Europe and parts of Africa, capturing the world through her photography and videography. While living on Maui, she filmed and produced underwater videos of marine life, once befriending a pod of dolphins that swam with her blowing bubbles underneath her as she dove with them. She planned to pursue a career as a travel and nature videographer.
“She was a true humanitarian and adventurous spirit,” said her mother, Patti. “As she was growing up, I followed her around with a Blue Cross card and a life jacket. D’laney never slowed down and truly lived life to the fullest. She was my rock and I will miss her.”
She is survived by her mother, Patti Forcier, stepfather, Cory Forcier, stepsisters, Leanna Bennett and Danielle Casto, and grandparents, Don and Faye Wisniewski.
McKenzie has established dlaney.com for friends and family to share memories. The site also includes some of her work.
A celebration of D’Laney’s life was held Saturday, July 27, at her parents’ house in Siletz, Ore. Flowers, cards, and any other symbols of love and support can be sent to D’Laney’s family at: P.O. Box 210 Siletz, Ore., 97380