Michael Anderson Bennett, 19, of Homer, passed away at home on Jan. 9, 2013, surrounded by his loved ones -- family and caregivers -- with "Over the Rainbow" and the sound of the ocean surf playing in the background.
Michael was born Dec. 5, 1993, in Homer. In early 1994, Michael developed a rare neurological disorder, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, resulting from a reaction to an immunization.
"Throughout his short life, Michael touched and changed many lives, inspiring love and compassion," his family said. "In his silence, Michael spoke more than words could. He taught others the importance and meaning of patience, sacrifice, pride, hope, courage and faith. His spirit was indomitable."
Michael loved hugs, music, stories his grandmother read to him every night and traveling. His favorite trips were driving the Alaska Highway with his mom and dad and attending his cousin Jeanne's wedding on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
Michael is survived by his parents, Maren Bennett and Brian Bennett of Homer; grandmother, Margaret Anderson, of Homer; Uncle Rick Anderson and Aunt Marti Anderson of Homer; Uncle Mike Bennett and Aunt Kate Bennett of Appleton, Wis.; and Uncle Peter LaPlaca and Aunt Pat LaPlaca (Bennett) of Pittstown, N.J.
Michael was preceded in death by his grandfather Fred Anderson; grandfather Ralph Bennett, and grandmother Florence Bennett.
Michael and his family extend thanks and love to all of the doctors, nurses, caregivers, therapists and other wonderful people who have touched Michael's life.
There will be a private service.
Memorials in Michael's name may be made to HOPE Community Resources, 47202 Princeton Ave., Soldotna, Alaska 99669, The Center's PRIDE Program, 3948 Ben Walters Lane, Homer, Alaska 99603; or the charity of your choice.