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July 21, 2013 10:00 PM

Employers Describe Drowning Victim As Genuine, Kind

Canistota, SD

Authorities say Jeremy Lee Gilmore, 24, of Giddings, Texas drowned in a pond Thursday near Lake Vermillion. Now family and friends are mourning the loss of a man who meant so much.

"If you met Jeremy for ten minutes, you loved him. You knew he was a special person," Jim Beck said.

Jeremy Gilmore was a young man who was quickly loved by so many.

"If there was something that needed to be done and he just saw it, he did it, you didn't have to tell him. You can't find many 24-year-olds these days that will on their own initiative just do," Amy Hunt said.

Smiling, happy, giving, humble, a hard worker: Those are just a few words Jim Beck and his fiancée Amy Hunt use to describe Jeremy. Jeremy worked at Beck Retriever Kennels for five months. Beck and Hunt say he was a "task master," he did what needed to be done and so much more.

But, above all he loved worked with these dogs. "He did a lot of petting the dogs," Beck said.

However, Jeremy's life was cut short on Thursday. High temps caused Beck Retrievers to take the rest of the afternoon off.

"We came home and we were going to relax until feeding time which is somewhere around five o'clock and obviously that changed," Beck said.

Hunt and Beck say Jeremy was taking a leisurely trip across the small pond in their front yard with his beloved dog Rocky. What came next, no one knows. Beck says his boat tipped.

"It didn't seem like he was in trouble, he was talking at first and just something changed," Beck said.

Beck rushed across the yard to grab a rope yelling for Hunt to call 911.

"The rest - was bad," said Beck.

"It was probably the worst feeling I have ever had in my life because all I saw was - his hat," Hunt said.

A short time later rescue crews recovered his body from the pond. Now, even man's best friend, his dog Rocky, knows he is gone.

"People fell in love with him in ten minutes," Beck said.

"He said if I ever had a son, that would be the closest thing I would absolutely ever want," Hunt said.

This young man was a man who will have a strong hold on their life forever.

"Man, we love him and he will be a part of me for as long as I live. I mean I will never not have him in (my heart) and in (my mind)," Beck said.

The funeral for Jeremy will be held this week in Giddings, Texas. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, and the funeral services will be held on Wednesday.

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This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
A misspelling was corrected in this story.

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