Kenai resident Isaiah James Florendo drowned on Friday, June 8, 2001, while visiting family in Oregon to attend his sister and cousin's graduations. He was 17.
A memorial will be held at the Kenai Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Kiana Street off Candlelight Drive on Saturday at 3 p.m. He'll be buried beside his paternal grandparents at Warm Springs, Ore.
Isaiah was born on Jan. 25, 1984, in Anchorage, and was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses on Oct. 21, 2000. He enjoyed many privileges in the congregation and had a great time in the door-to-door work, sharing the good news of God's Kingdom with all who would listen.
Isaiah home schooled most of his life. This year, as a junior in high school, he earned 19 credits at Kenai Peninsula College, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. He planned to pursue a degree in computer technology electronics so that he might work on computer hardware. Favorite subjects included chemistry, welding and carpentry. He loved to expand his knowledge and was earning high school credit for his job at Alaska Flying Network in Kenai.
Isaiah had a zest for life and all Alaska had to offer. He hiked mountains, signing his name in the book atop the Skyline Trail three times. He canoed the Swanson River, biked Resurrection Trail, rafted the Kenai, dipnetted, camped, played basketball at the city gym and football on the beach. He was known for his pies, enjoyed reading and collecting hard-bound books, snowboarding, traveling, stage-managing his mom's shows and listening to many styles of music. He was full of wit and humor and wrote stories and poems and "the aimless meanderings of an unemployed guru." He was creating a World Wide Web page featuring thoughtful sayings and jokes. "It's fun to be eccentric," he said when he last spoke to his mom.
"Isaiah was a well-loved, highly respected, truly admirable, outstanding young man with sterling qualities we all could learn from. He loved his friends, his family, Jehovah and the brotherhood very much, and he touched the lives of all he knew, young and old, with his ready smile, willingness to help, positive outlook, spontaneity and personal integrity," his family said. "He delighted in a challenge and was confident he could meet each one. Knowing him was a joy, an honor and a blessing. We are eager to meet him again in the resurrection here on Earth."
Isaiah is survived by his parents, Cindy and Rocco Sanguinetti, of Kenai, and Brent and Theresa Florendo, of Talent, Ore.; brothers Aaron, Micah, Varian and Sacha; sisters Chava, Brandy, Felicia and Aja; grandparents Pat Robinson and Henry and Annie Sanguinetti; aunts, uncles, and cousins Shelly and Ken Peterson, and their children Kristi, Chip and Rocky; Sylvie, James, Loren and Marielle Florendo; Joanne, Tommie, Aaron, Shane and Hazel Smith; Toni Florendo; Junior Sutterlee; Laura and Pat Mullen; Mark and Frank Sanguinetti; Ramona, Len, Ashley, Aaron, Hope and Julian Stowe; and others; brother-in-law Tony Blomstrom; nephews Kai, Rylan and Keelan; and niece, Morgan. He will be deeply missed by his lifelong friends Jacob and Kelly, hiking partner Ken; other moms, dads, brothers and sisters, so many very dear to his heart.
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