Feb 25, 2014 10:31 PM
A community said goodbye on Tuesday to a Central Kentucky teen killed in a freak accident.
Jeffrey "Tanner" Strong died last week when a tree house he was working to dismantle, suddenly fell. It happened in Taylor County, however on Tuesday Tanner's family and friends gathered at the Marion County High School and hundreds of people honored his life.
During the memorial the University of Kentucky fight song was played as a sea of people wearing blue and white marched in Tanner's memory. Every step was to a tune loved by Tanner, however what echoed the loudest were his own words.
"Tanner quoted you only live once but if you do it right once is enough," said a student during the memorial.
"He touched a lot of lives and it's like his last homework assignment said, spread the light and he spread the light," said Tanner's father, Joe Strong. He said Tanner spread a message of faith to everyone he met. On Tuesday it was clear by the messages written back to Tanner, that he made an impact.
"We will pray every night we will all miss you," said a student during the memorial.
Friends said they'll forever miss the light that shinned when Tanner was around. He was a junior at Marion County High School and was known for his love of UK Basketball, contagious laugh, and a great faith. He also ran cross country, rode 4-wheelers and wanted to be both and engineer and a missionary.
Tanner's friends said he will always be remembered in a special way. "Being really close to God, funny, and always picking somebody up when they were down," said Satchel Spalding.
"I found his bible and it says be strong and courageous," said Tanner's father. In a way, it was message from a son to his father, and something Joe Strong needed to see. His son had a strength through God that was special to Tanner Strong, and one that lifted heavy hearts on Tuesday as friends and family let off balloons and said goodbye.
"He's gone but he will never be forgotten," said a student at the memorial.