Remembering Yiorgo Karnezis: ISU hosts candlelight vigil on campus

(WTHI Photo)
(WTHI Photo)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – They say college is where you meet lifelong friends. For Tim Wells, that’s where he met Yiorgo Karnezis.

“I first met Yiorgo last semester when his older brother brought him,” he said, “then we had lunch together, and then we met again a few months later.”

Only having a few months of friendship, the memories of Karnezis are now spoken in the past tense.

“You hear cliches of people all the time of how they lit up a room with a smile,” Wells said, “He wasn’t a cliche by any stretch of the imagination. He made you laugh, he made you smile and he was one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. I only had known him for about four or five months, that tells you about the type of guy he was.”

Karnezis died in an accidental drowning at a social event in Illinois. The news of his passing and emotional posts filled his social media pages, and those that knew and loved him quickly found themselves grieving over a tragic loss.

On Tuesday, many came together to celebrate his life with a candlelight vigil at Indiana State University. Karnezis was a freshman there and a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

“It’s been a really tough week and a half for not just the people involved, but all of Indiana State, Northwestern Indiana where he was from and his family,” Wells said, “It means the world to us, the support we’ve gotten.”

Dede Plaza was filled with family, friends, students and staff. Through song, prayer and stories, many shared tears and hugs as they remembered Karnezis and the impact he left behind. Including Karnezis’ brother, Peter, who shared a poem that was written for his funeral.

News 10 spoke with Peter off-camera who says the family continues to be overwhelmed by the amount of support. He says they appreciate everyone coming together to honor the memory of Yiorgo.

For many, the sudden and tragic passing is a reminder that tomorrow is never promised.

“It’s unfortunate it takes a tragedy to remind you how precious life really is,” Wells said, “You just got to live it to the fullest, and that’s what he did, he loved life and that’s what I’m going to do. That’s the best way I can honor him.”