MORE than 1,000 people this week attended the funeral of a Sheffield pupil who died suddenly at the age of 14.
All Saints School student and air cadet Michael Kentzer went to bed at the family home in Gleadless and could not be woken by his older sister Sophie the next day.
Michael had been monitored all his life for a hole in the heart but is not known if his condition was a factor in his death.
An inquest will be held.
Michael’s mother, Gillian, aged 50, said: “It is just absolutely devastating.
“He and Sophie got on brilliantly. My husband Jeremy has lost his best friend. Whether we’ll ever find what happened I don’t really know.
“Michael was the perfect son, the perfect brother, the perfect mate. He’d just got his first girlfriend. It’s affected so many people it is unbelievable.
“I don’t think Sophie has really had the chance to grieve because she can’t get past finding Michael.”
Sophie, aged 15, tried to resuscitate Michael when she found him on December 19 but he had died.
Michael did not let his heart condition stop him from joining the air cadets, Gleadless Explorers and scouts and from taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and becoming a first aider.
He excelled at school, taking exams early and running a homework club.
Mrs Kentzer, of Bartle Road, said: “There have been hundreds and hundreds of tributes to Michael and nobody had a bad word to say.
“He was very popular and had a full life.
“His headmaster did the eulogy at the funeral and he said you can’t comprehend how much it has hit the school because he was so popular.
“There was a mass at the school. Just over 500 children came into that hall, and you could have heard a pin drop. He knew and got on with so many people.
“He did more in 14 years than I have in 50. It is very raw at the moment, three weeks later and it feels like a lifetime because it was just so sudden.”
The funeral was held on Monday at St Joseph’s RC Church in Handsworth and Hutcliffe Wood crematorium. The Royal British Legion Sheffield South branch displayed a standard in tribute, as Michael had helped with fundraising work last November.
Flt Lt Peter Hiley, commanding officer of the 366 (King Ecgbert Squadron) Air Training Corps at Lowedges, said: “Michael was an outstanding air cadet. He did everything with a smile and was always looking to help.
“A very polite, intelligent, caring person, he worked hard to achieve his grades.
“He enjoyed all the cadet activities that he did, especially the flying, and everyone agrees he was a shining light in the squadron.
“He will be missed but not forgotten.”