Keegan Nicolas Pelo, 23, of Bloomington, passed away early Friday (Nov. 3, 2017) at his home.

He was the son of Rickielee Benecke, Bloomington, and Jeffery Pelo; brother of Shayla and Erika; and grandson of Sandra E. Benecke and the late Richard A. Benecke. Keegan is also survived by four nephews and nieces who adored him, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.

Keegan was beautiful and intelligent, loved by everyone he met. He always had a witty remark, an inappropriate joke, or a rambunctious laugh to share. Keegan was spirited and outspoken and would do anything for anyone including literally giving you the shirt off his back.

He loved his family deeply, was passionate about art and was a gifted artist himself. Keegan appreciated music, danced like no one was watching, wanted to adopt every puppy he saw and played with every child he came across. His most recent dream was to return to school to become a sign language interpreter to help bridge the communication barriers that exist in the world.

Keegan welcomed any misfit who felt lost in this world with open arms and acceptance. To know Keegan was like knowing someone famous. He absolutely lit up every room and filled it with his energy and magnificence. Keegan was a brilliant human who touched the lives of every single person lucky enough to have met him.

Keegan always put others before himself and would have wanted his cause of death, an accidental drug overdose, to be honestly told. He would hope that his story could help an addict stay clean or encourage an active user to ask for help.

His zest to live life fully, his humor, beautiful smile and loving heart defined him. He had dreams of a future and fought a courageous battle with a devastating disease. Keegan isn't just another statistic or “another one gone too soon.” He was a great soul with a bright future and an irreplaceable gift that is lost to the world.

Cremation rites have been accorded, per Keegan’s wishes. His celebration of life will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at LIFE Center for Independent Living (LIFE CIL), 2201 Eastland Drive, Suite 1, Bloomington. Keegan is loved by so many and his far too short, yet impactful, life will always be remembered. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a memorial fund to help offset final expenses. Donations can be made to Rickielee Benecke with "c/o Keegan Pelo" in the memo line and either mailed or dropped off at Mid-Illini Credit Union, 1811 Eastland Drive, Bloomington, IL 61704.

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