Cover photo for Gage Neal-Belunas's Obituary
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2001 Gage 2022

Gage Neal-Belunas

August 10, 2001 — March 17, 2022

Gage Anthony William Neal-Belunas was born on August 10th, 2001. He was born at Arrowhead Hospital in Glendale, AZ. He was the first-born child to his mother, Charlene. He was taken from us on Thursday, March 17th, 2022, at the age of 20. He is survived by his parents, Charlene and Matthew Belunas and his little sister, Hanna; Grandmothers, Faith and Carolyn; half siblings, Madison and Havyn; Uncle Chris; cousins Kylie and Alyssa; Aunt Shauna; cousins Michael and EmmaLee; Aunt Stephanie; cousins Samuel and Dayna; Uncle Ty; Aunt Sara, Uncle Randy; cousin Preston; and our close family friends, Kent and Joanne, Jeana, Chris, Joey and Belle, and Dequandre. He is predeceased by his Uncle Scott. My precious baby boy was taken from me. I'm devastated, confused, sad, angry, and have no idea what to do or how to move forward. I don't know how to speak out loud about something I can't understand, fathom or believe. Saying Gage was special to me is an understatement. We had a unique bond that can never be replaced. We have so many special memories and experiences together. Gage cared about his family, friends and even strangers. He once asked me to buy another kid shoes because he was being picked on because they were not a brand name. He stuck up for kids being picked on, at school and in soccer. He was an amazing teammate and it shined through with all the awards he was given throughout the years he played. Multiple times he was awarded the game ball at tournaments for being a standout player and teammate. He loved sports and seemed to have a natural athletic ability. Soccer was his favorite. One of my most favorite things to do was to watch him play. He played hard, he played well, and he wouldn’t just take the shot because he could, he shared those moments with his teammates. He was taught very early on by a coach to make the right decision for his team. To help his team grow and be better players. He tried so many different sports and stuck with them for a while before he tried something new. Soccer for him was year-round since the age of four. Gage loved sports! He also loved to root for the rivals of the teams I liked. He was a Dodgers and Lakers fan growing up. Quite honestly, it made it more fun. We went to A LOT of baseball games and spent a lot of them with Mama and Papa R, along with Jeana, Chris and Joey. For his 10th birthday, we all worked together to save points to get tickets into the Diamondbacks pool at the stadium during a game. I created clues to lead him to different fun events and gifts throughout the day. The last surprise led him to the bleachers by the pool where we told him he got to go in. He was ecstatic! We were fortunate enough to all be allowed in and spend his birthday together. They even brought out a fresh cookie with a candle, sang happy birthday, and put him up on the big screen. Gage loved and looked out for animals. In middle school, he once called me because he saw a man abusing puppies in his yard and asked me to help. He grew up with two dogs and one was his that he chose. He made sure the dogs were treated fairly. If one got a treat, he made sure they both got a treat. If one got some belly rubs, they both had to have belly rubs. He loved them both. He was always on my side. He was kind. He IS loved. He was my biggest fan, and I was his. He put up with a lot of my asks for pictures which was not his favorite thing. He was so handsome we always had cameras in his face. He had a very special relationship with my mom, his grandma. A few months ago, her and I were telling Hanna how much he loved apple sauce because she didn’t want to try it. After hearing her brother loved it so much, she decided to give it a go. She loved it! A few weeks later, Gage helped me move a couch to his grandma’s house and I turned around and he was gone. I walked to the kitchen to find him already on his second cup of applesauce and writing his grandma a note. “Thanks for the apple sauce. I love you,” was left on a paper towel. I hurt, I hurt like I never have in my life. I don't know how, I don't know why, I don't know who took him from me. I have no answers, only questions. I hope one day very soon someone is punished, even knowing it won't bring him back to me. Gage did not deserve this, no one does. He was still growing and learning and experiencing life. He had such big dreams and plans. He was watching his little sister grow up and teaching her new things. He had such a wonderful smile and a great laugh. He had a great sense of humor and a quick wit. I know how big Gage's heart was ALWAYS, how much he could love and care about others, how smart he was, how funny and what a big personality he had. He wasn't perfect but he was perfect to me. That is what I will focus on. I will remember and continue to talk about his smile, his laugh, and the wonderful memories we made together. I will make sure that Hanna remembers how much he loved her. Please know that our family appreciates all the cards, messages and showing of support that have been sent our way. I have received so many messages of love and stories from people that I have never met but who knew and loved Gage. It has been incredible and a testament to what a great person he was. He really touched the lives of so many people and to be able to say he was mine is my greatest accomplishment. Thank you all for everything you have done and continue to do for our family and for Gage during his life and now. Part of this process for us was to find something that we could do to honor Gage. We found an organization and made a $500 donation in his name. In lieu of flowers or gifts, we ask that you donate to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona in Gage's name. If you knew Gage, he had a big heart and cared for other people, even people he did not know. He loved his little sister, and this program helps children who have experienced trauma by giving them an opportunity to express their feelings through art. You can donate in his name either online through the link below or by calling and providing information, including a custom message. Thank you to all who have donated. Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona https://freeartsaz.org/donate/ 602.258.8100
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gage Neal-Belunas, please visit our flower store.

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