“Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.”
Michael John Sandersen, 36, beloved son, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin and friend was called home to Heaven Dec. 31, 2012, after accidentally drowning following an automobile accident in North Carolina. Michael had made his home there for the past three years with life partner, Julie Brabon.
He was born in Sandusky on May 31, 1976, and graduated from Vermilion High School in 1994. Shortly after graduation Michael moved to Laguna Beach, Calif., where he lived and worked for ten years. He later lived in Oregon before moving to Murphy, N.C. in 2009. He was a conscientious and hard-working employee for Hawkesdene House in Andrews. To honor Michael’s life, this spring Hawkesdene House will plant a Japanese Maple tree, scatter his ashes, and display a plaque in his memory.
Michael was a free spirit with a wonderful infectious smile, who loved playing his guitar and singing. Music was his passion. Over the years, he was a member of various bands and recorded many CDs. He wrote most of his music, and played not only in Laguna Beach but also in Ashland, Ore. Michael wrote and recorded the song “A Town” which became a favorite of college students and fans to sing along to when Michael and his band played it. But his greatest joy was playing music with Julie, and learning new instruments with her. She was his soul mate in music, and in life.
Michael was our travelin’ man. His love for adventure took him many places: Mexico, the Virgin Islands, Fiji, as well as visiting 15 states and countless cities. Michael enjoyed being outdoors hiking, whitewater rafting, canoeing, and communing with nature. He had a deep respect for the land, water, beaches and mountains. He loved the hills of North Carolina and was at peace there. He had a high regard for life and believed everything God created had a purpose and a time on this earth. He was very interested in all things natural, organic and herbal. He was a yoga enthusiast and a one-time Taekwondo sword champion. He loved animals, especially his beloved dog Grace, and his two cats, Grand Poobah and Minnie. Michael was outgoing, open and friendly, and touched so many during his brief lifetime. Those who loved him, and those who knew him for his music or just his happy smile and loving attitude, will forever miss him.
Michael’s parents, John and Wilma Sandersen of Sandusky, survive him. Also surviving are Michael’s sister, Elizabeth Rene (Brad) Grinstead, Sandusky; nieces Rebecca Grinstead and Cassandra Lee (Ben) Broski; great nephew, Brayden Broski, Sandusky; aunt and godmother; JoAnne Thom (Alex) McLean, The Villages, Fla.; five aunts, Joyce (Dick) Larson, Strongsville, Ohio, Jacqueline Ramsey, Sandusky, Monta (Charles) Catri, Sandusky, Shirley (Joe) Wesnitzer, Fort Pierce, Fla., Emma (Joe) Kunz, Laguna Beach, Calif.; one uncle, George Minton, Huron; and loving first, second, and third cousins.
Michael was preceded in death by his grandparents; and aunts, Judy (Vern) Smith, Sandusky and Janice (Jim) Tibboles.
At his request, cremation has taken place. There will be no services at this time. A celebration of his life will be held on his birthday, May 31. Details will be announced later so all those who love and miss him can share in what Michael meant to them.
A scholarship fund in Michael's name will be created for students who cannot afford band instruments. Contributions to this fund can be sent to Michael's parents at 2618 Eastwood Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870, or memorial contributions can be made to our local animal rescue and rehab facility Back to The Wild, P.O. Box 423, Castalia, OH 44824.