"He was set out to do good," siblings memorialize Dmetri Kennedy-Woody
RICHLAND, Wash. – Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life of a Hanford High student who recently passed away in the Yakima river after an accidental drowning.
"Life with him it was fun," Adrianna Kennedy-Woody said of her brother.
Growing up, she said her memories of her little brother Dmetri Kennedy-Woody bring her joy.
Adrianna clearly recalls little Dmetri wanting to see the garbage truck come by every Thursday at their old house in Kennewick. She said he’d cry and scream if he didn’t get to see it.
“And I would have to lift him up at this little window we had and it was so cute,” she said. “I would fight every minute of it, but really, I loved it.”
These are the moments in life she said she lives for.
"He’d be doing dance moves, singing, doing weird quirky things,” she said. “You name it he was always doing it."
Tragically, Dmetri's life was taken too soon, after an accidental drowning in the Yakima River.
"Sometimes you know God strikes back, and nature strikes back,” Adiranna said. “You blink and it's gone and you're onto the next world."
However, Dmetri's older brother Dominic said his baby brother left his mark on this town.
"I take solace in the fact that he lived a full life, as short as those 18 years might have been," Dominic Woody said.
Dominic reminisces on the moment he saw Dmetri for the first time.
“He was just a little baby, I remember seeing him and I started crying,” he said. “I had a little brother for the first time. It’s crazy being 20 years old and having this little baby bro.”
Even though there was a large age gap between them, Dominic said it was great to be able to experience all the excitement that comes with Christmas and youthful birthdays.
“I’m thankful for those moments and opportunities with Dmetri,” he said. “Going forward in my life with my boys, I know I’ll be a better parent because of it.”
Speaking of learning moments, Dominic recalled a memory of watching his little brother and taking him to Wendy’s for a treat and Dmetri spilt a frosty in the back of his car.
“Looking back at what was once a point of angst and contention for me is now a reason to never want to get rid of the car,” Dominic said. “It’s funny how you don’t know what’s going to matter to you as life goes on.”
Family, friends and loved ones gathered at Dmetri’s memorial service and burial on Tuesday.
"He was a natural at everything he did,” Adrianna said. “He had an aura about him that brought light and made people feel good.”
As Mr. Congeniality, Dmetri was well loved. Confident yet modest, Dmetri excelled out on the field but also at supporting his teammates and his opponents.
"He enjoyed playing sports, he enjoyed being around his friends, he enjoyed that comradery," Dominic said.
A gregarious guy, Dmetri was surrounded by a big circle of friends.
"I knew he was going to do great things in this world and that's something that I'm really happy about,” Adrianna said. “He was set out to do good."
Dmetri's death was unexpected and heart wrenching, but it will not hold his siblings back because they say Dmetri is here to push them forward.
"The coach in me is trying to find the positive in all of this,” Dominic said. “All I know to do is attempt to be better in all aspects of my life while I'm here on this Earth."
"I have never felt more of a drive to be the person I've always wanted to be,” Adrianna said. “To be silly, be crazy, be bold and just live life to the complete fullest.”
Dmetri's father Barry said he wants his youngest son to know he loves him and he'll see him again.
Being surrounded two powerful rivers, Dmetri's mother wants to continue to raise awareness about water safety.
She stresses the importance of talking to your children about the dangers of the rivers current, so hopefully other mothers will never have to lay their children to rest.