KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The family of Ben Kredich held a celebration of life in his honor at the University of Tennessee Alumni Memorial Building Sunday afternoon.
Kredich, the 24-year-old son of UT Swimming and Diving Director Matt Kredich, was hit and killed by an impaired driver while walking on the sidewalk of Kingston Pike Monday.
Hundreds of people filled the auditorium for the celebration Sunday. His parents and brothers spoke and shared some of his favorite music.
“Growing up with Ben was a huge treat. He was a beautiful, beautiful guy and he showed me very quickly that not being normal and not being typical was one of the best things to be,” Ben’s cousin, Laney Rolhf, said.
She also said she’s loved hearing everyone’s stories about him over the past week.
“Being around him was a gift, because he would give you a gift of his perspective and through his eyes, the world was more cheerful, finnier, happier, more interesting and it would make you see things in a way you normally wouldn’t have,” she said.
Ben’s mom previously told WATE that it seems as if everyone in Knoxville knew Ben. Mayor Indya Kincannon is a friend of the Kredich’s and attended the celebration.
“His family members shared music and stories that were important to them in way of remembering Ben, so I was just very moved by those memories. I’ve know the Kredich family since Ben, Miles and Coleman were little boys so it’s a very sad day for our community,” Kincannon said.
Rolhf said the turnout is a reflection of who her cousin was.
“I’m surprised but I’m not surprised. I’m touched, I think it’s fitting. The memorial itself is a representation of Ben but I also think all the people in this room are,” she said.
Rohlf said anyone that knew Ben was lucky.
“I wish that everyone could’ve met him. I wish that you could’ve met him. So, I guess that I’m just really grateful and thankful that we all were able to.”