OTTAWA — Michael Christopher Castelli, at 32 years old, was a son, brother, uncle, brother-in-law and unknown to many as a humble, quiet, caring person.
Michael has donated part of his inheritance to the children of Starved Rock Regional Center for Therapy & Child Development (formerly Easter Seals LBC).
Mike's dad, Robert Castelli, saw early on and believes that, Mike's true ultimate calling in life was to be, "here to help others,“ the reason he named him Christopher, for a middle name, for St. Christopher, Saint of Protection of others.
Mike lived to help others, especially those less fortunate.
“Mike was known, to have out of the blue, lifted a friend confined to a wheelchair, taking him for a nice long car ride,” Castelli said.
Although Mike did not have children of his own, he and his beloved golden retrievers, Lucky and Rocky, will help retrieve the lives of the children, at Starved Rock Center and elsewhere, through annual donations.
A photo of Michael and Lucky will be posted at each location to help watch over the children.
Mike will have his family to watch over at Starved Rock Center, Servants Heart and Salvation Army, Ottawa YMCA, Marquette High School, IVCC, Pet Project, City Recreation Basketball Program, Pantrol Corporation and a children’s hospital as well.
“He was looking forward to having children, but we told him that some have to wait longer in life to be a parent, father and daddy. Mike never got that far, as his life was unjustly taken,” Castelli said.
“We are so very grateful to Michael’s family for choosing to remember him by helping local charities. We are honored to accept this donation and pay tribute to Michael’s memory,” Tracy Beattie, president and CEO of Starved Rock Regional Center for Therapy & Child Development, said.
“Donations like these make it possible for local organizations to continue serving the community. Michael lived to help others, and I can’t think of a better way to remember him.”