AURORA – Musician Michael Heaton didn’t want people to mourn his death.
Instead, it was his desire that they celebrate his life and music. The 1985 Batavia High School graduate, who lived in Montgomery, died in December following a battle with cancer.
“Mike wanted a celebration of his life,” said fellow musician Pete Lindenmeyer, who is helping put together “Celebrate the Big Life of Michael Heaton,” which will occur from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Feb. 15 at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway Ave., Aurora. “It’s been hard for all of us who were good friends with him, but he wanted more of a party and that’s kind of what everyone is working to put together.”
“Big Life” was one of Heaton’s songs. Lindenmeyer and other musicians, including Heaton’s bandmates, will perform at the event.
At the event, friends and family will visit from 7 to 9 p.m., and the live music will take place from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
During his life, Heaton always was trying to help others, so it is fitting the night also will serve as a benefit for the family of toddler Wrenley Rose Pavels, who died in late January after battling idiopathic aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow.
“Mike wanted to have his life and music celebrated and have it help somebody else too,” Lindenmeyer said.
Wrenley’s parents, Paul Pavels and Kristine Bambule of Batavia, are long-time members of the Two Brothers family as bartenders at the brewery. A $10 donation is being requested that will go toward the family.
“Everyone is welcome to come at 7 p.m.,” Lindenmeyer said. “The music will start at 9 p.m.”
Musicians that Heaton performed with as part of the Michael Heaton Band will play that night, as well as other artists who were his friends. Heaton’s songs will take the spotlight that evening.
Lindenmeyer will share the mic with other musicians, including Dave Ramont, Pete Jive, Kevin Trudo, Noah Gabriel and Dave Sills.
“It’s going to be like a Michael Heaton show,” he said. “It’s going to be his songs and songs he would have put into a set. It’s going to be celebrating the life and music of Michael Heaton.”
Lindenmeyer was a friend of Heaton’s, as well as a fan of his music.
“Over the years, I had a high level of love and respect for this guy,” he said. “He walks into the room, and he’s just got the biggest heart. He carried so much positive energy with him. It was just kind of infectious.”
He also felt a connection with Heaton’s songs.
“I could put on one of his albums and instantly connect with what he was talking about,” Lindenmeyer said. “He was very relatable.”
During the night, the acoustic guitar Heaton played throughout the years will be on stage.
“It’s going to be pretty cool because we’re going to have it up on stage the whole night and be playing it,” Lindenmeyer said. “We’re going to celebrate Mike and party. It’s 100% a night of Michael Heaton.”