A memorial service was held for Isaac on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2008.
The church lawn, parking lot and about ½ mile of roadside (both sides) were filled with vehicles of those present for the service. I can only guess that … in a church designed to hold about 200 people, over 400 came to pay tribute and remember Isaac.
Pebbles from the river, near where Isaac was found, were offered to those in attendance.
Below is an excerpt from the back cover of the memorial service pamphlet. It provides some insight into Isaac’s final days and moments with us.
Isaac spent the weekend of the 22nd through 25th of August with family and friends. He kayaked the Upper Yough with his Dad on the 22nd and competed in the Falls Race in Ohiopyle, PA on the 23rd and 24th, while his Mom cheered him on. He kayaked the Upper Yough on 25th with his brother, before driving back to Tennessee for work on the 26th.
Isaac was excited to go kayaking after work, due to the unusually high amount of rainfall from the remnants of a hurricane. He left after work with 3 friends (Jared Seiler, Graham Seiler and James Donahue) to go kayak the Road Prong of the Upper West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. They planned to paddle the lower part of the Road Prong and take out just before they reached the West Prong. As they paddled, they realized the water level was more than they bargained for and was rapidly rising above flood stage. James and Graham decided to take out shortly after putting on. Jared and Isaac continued down to the planned take-out spot, just after the Chimney Tops trail footbridge. Isaac missed the eddy, just below the bridge, and headed to the Upper West Prong. Jared made an attempt to catch Isaac, but realized the river was much too dangerous. Jared then attempted to make his way down the bank, but the vegetation was too thick. Jared returned to the road and called for emergency personnel.
Isaac was missing around 7:45 p.m. Rescue efforts were thwarted by steep banks, thick brush and lack of daylight. Rescuers could only monitor the river from a bridge that was 2 miles downstream.
At 9:30 a.m. on the 27th of August 2008, two kayakers found Isaac entangled in vegetation, roughly 1000 ft. downstream of their planned take-out.