Anthony Damek McAllistar Guerra, 9, went to be with the Lord at 9 a.m. Aug. 2, 2013, after drowning at Bishop’s Beach on July 25. A celebration of his life is at 4 p.m. Sept. 14, 2013, at Bishop’s Beach, the beach he loved so much.
“Anyone is welcome to come and celebrate with us the life of our amazing guy,” his mother, Katie Brock, said.
“Many people have sent out prayers for Anthony and our family after his drowning accident at Bishop’s Beach the afternoon of July 25 and yet they don’t know who my son was,” his mother said. “I want everyone to have a small picture of the wonderful handsome sweet boy that I had the privilege to parent for the short while he was here on this earth.”
Anthony was the second to oldest child. He shared his home near Bayview Park with his older sister, Caprice, 11, and his younger siblings, Grace, 4, and Adonaijah, 23 months; his mother, Katie Brock; his father, Keith Brock; his maternal uncle, Aaron McAllistar Taliesin; his maternal grandmother, Robin McAllistar; and his maternal great-grandmother, Donna Talent.
Anthony was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 due to being, at that time, completely nonverbal. “He was a handful during that part of his life but never ceased to amaze us with how intelligent he was,” his mother said.
At the age of 3 he spontaneously started to write letters among his scribbling and then words. He had taught himself how to read and write from watching TV. His first all-out attempt to communicate was when he was almost 4-years-old and he handed his mother a notebook that clearly said in his little-boy bubble-lettered handwriting, “Winnie the Pooh on DVD. Play now!”
“I was stunned that this little guy who the doctors said would never be capable of taking care of himself, had learned to read and write while his older sister was still just starting to learn the basics in school,” his mother wrote.
He continued to excel in this area his whole life and by the time he was 5 he could write Walt Disney’s signature better than the man himself. He grew to be such an amazing boy. He enjoyed reading, writing and drawing most of all, but he also loved to run, chase and play outside. He loved the beach and always refused to wear shoes because he preferred to feel the sand in his feet. His favorite things in the world were pepperoni pizza, doughnuts, Cyber chase and his most beloved stuffed friend, Scout. He always had wonderful balance that would rival any circus acrobat. He was known for crazy, daring feats such as trying to surf on the arm of the rocking chair and somehow not getting hurt or walking the limbs of giant trees he had climbed. He was as recently as this summer found in the family yard tightrope walking across the dog lead on his own accord, laughing all the way. Anthony was almost always running and laughing even when he was being devious and running from his mom who couldn’t keep up.
As all children do Anthony had his devious side in which he would trick any unwary babysitter to think he didn’t understand fully what was going on in order to run wild and jump on furniture or, as some of the locals know all too well, running wildly after having stolen a drink of someone’s soda.
“The most striking thing about my boy is that I have never and will probably not ever meet another person on this earth that was as forgiving as my handsome boy,” his mother said. “Anthony was so gentle and loving to animals and people alike to be almost saint-like at times. I am broken hearted to see my wonderful boy gone from this earth, but am forever grateful for what time we got with this amazing boy God gifted me with.
“We as a family want to thank all of the wonderful people in this community who have reached out and continue to reach out with their love and compassion in this incredibly hard time we are facing. I am thankful that my son’s last months on this earth were here in such a great place surrounded by beauty and wonderful people.”
In Anthony’s memory, his family will be setting up a scholarship program for children’s swimming lessons.
“My sons’ favorite place was the beach and he loved water so much. Unfortunately he did not have the skills to swim when he found himself in water too deep. Our community currently has swim lessons available but does not have a solution for low-income families or families of differently-abled children. I would like to change this for the safely of all our kids. It is my wish that we will be able to set up a scholarship program in Anthony Damek’s name and also some type of program allowing for special attendants to be able to assist with teaching swimming to any children of different learning styles,” his mother said.
“Anyone who is interested in helping with this or donating to the cause please reach us at 907-602-4090.”
“Thank you for all your efforts to assist me in my mission. I want the loss of my handsome boy to bring about good. Anthony will never be forgotten as he will forever be saving someone’s else’s child.”