Private services will be held for Michael A. Higgins of Buffalo, who died unexpectedly Thursday in Sisters Hospital. He was 38.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Higgins was a graduate of Canisius High School. He had been a quadriplegic since a 1988 diving accident in Canada.
Mr. Higgins lived at home with his mother, Catherine M., with support from friends and family.
"Michael's bravery and tenacity was an inspiration to everyone. His humility and strength were undaunted by his physical limitations," said Carrianne Hendrickson, a close friend.
Family members said Mr. Higgins gave more to his family and friends by a quick coded message -- the evil eye -- or silly grins than could ever be imagined. His mother's steadfast commitment to his care was fundamental to his quality and length of life.
Additional survivors, all of Buffalo, include three sisters, Mary Verdi, Catherine Pilarz and Elizabeth, and three brothers, John, Thomas and the Rev. James P.