Eagle River resident Caelan Kole Rainey died June 29, 2013 at Providence Children’s Hospital in Anchorage of Hemoppagocytic Lymphohistioctosis (HLH), a rare immune system distorer. He was 12.
Rainey was born Jan. 5, 2001 in Anchorage. He graduated 6th grade from Ravenwood Elementary in May. He had participated in Cub and Boy Scouts. He had various interests and was exploring his spirituality, most recently reading about the life of Buddha.
He played soccer, baseball, sang in the school choir and this last school year played his mother’s violin in the school orchestra. He was most interested in Japanese culture, had three katana’s, loved anything anime and someday wished to visit Japan. He was an avid reader who often used the local library. When not reading, his family said Caelan was on his DS, Xbox, Wii and/or laptop. He was never sitting still for long, they said.
“Caelan had a courageous spirit and a huge heart;” his family said. “He loved animals and helped in the rehabilitation of many dogs and cats in our home; he also wanted to volunteer at Animal Control.
“Caelan was a gift to us; an independent thinker who followed his heart. He was not content to ‘go with the flow’ and we often referred to him as a non-conformist. Caelan received an award from his school this past year for ‘his inquisitive nature in all that he does.’ Caelan would say he wanted to help people and that he had things to say, ‘but who will listen to a kid?’ We hope to honor Caelan by following through on his desire to help people…he has already touched more people than he could have EVER imagined. We so love and admire our son; we are in awe of his wonderful spirit, his loving and caring nature, and he will be with us, inspiring us, always.”
He is survived by his mother and father, Theresa Rusnak and Rodney J. Rainey, both of Eagle River; grandmother, Aline E. Rusnak, of Wasilla; uncle, James M. Rusnak, of Wasilla; and numerous other relatives throughout the country.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to be made to a trust account established at Credit Union 1, f/b/o Caelan Kole Rainey, Account #540336.
A Celebration of Life was held July 17 at Ravenwood Elementary.