Friends remember teen who drowned, one week before 20th birthday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Friends remember teen who drowned, one week before 20th birthday

Posted: Updated:

A town is grieving after a young man accidentally drowns in the Iowa River, one week before his 20th birthday.

Rodney Keraghan's body was found in the river just south of Tama on Sunday. The exact details are unknown but authorities say he accidentally drowned. 

Tonight, friends and family are gathering for his visitation, remembering him as a kind man who loved being outdoors. 

Colin Price says, "You could always count on him to put a smile on your face."

The news of his death is hitting the entire community hard.

Emily Chyma, a teacher at South Tama High School says, "As a high school teacher, we only get them for four years but the impact we have is life-long and we want them to go off and do great things. Rodney was going to do great things and influence people wherever he went, so to have that cut short is just heartbreaking."

Rodney graduated high school in 2015 but he was very active there, offering to help anyway he could.

Chyma says, "He volunteered at the concession stands, he volunteered to help pick up after games and he was always helping janitors pick everything up."

Friends and family are hoping others will learn something from the way Rodney lived life.

"Don't be afraid to give back, that was how Rodney lived. He wanted to help everybody out, to be there for everybody else...it's Rodney's legacy, that's what he did."

South Tama High School is currently working on setting up an award for volunteering in Rodney's name. 

His funeral service is set for Thursday morning. 

Powered by Frankly