WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Luzerne County man passed away after a skiing accident earlier this week.
His family shared memories of their son who was just about to turn 23 this weekend.
"He was just such a special kid and we're going to really miss him," said his father, Butch Kahlau.
Bernhard Tanner Kahlau, who is known to his friends and family as Tanner, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon as he was skiing at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort in New York. Tanner lost control and struck a tree while skiing down the upper approach trail.
His parents, Butch and Susan Kahlau, spoke with Eyewitness News and reflected on memories about their son.
"He had a contagious smile, personality. When he walked into the room, even into our home, he would just light it up," said Susan.
While attending Crestwood High School, Tanner played for the Crestwood Comets football team before graduating in 2016. After high school, Tanner was attending State University of New York at Fredonia and was a hockey player for the Blue Devils.
"Tanner is like a coach's dream. He is so positive, he works so hard, he's a great person, he's a tremendous role model," said Jeff Meredith, head hockey coach for Fredonia State.
"Tanner, when it was time to compete, Tanner competed. When it was time to practice, he practiced. When it was time to have a good time with his friends, he had a good time with his friends. He was a 'heart on your sleeve' type of guy and whatever he was going to do, it was one hundred percent," said Butch.
"I would like everyone, as a memory, to please pay it forward, because Tanner was that kind of person," said Susan.
A person that teammates, coaches, friends and family will never forget.
"Of course we're all going to miss him terribly… But we know that he's always going to be with us and we all have Tanner as an angel on our side," said Susan.
Tanner also has a sister, Anna, who is currently a senior at Crestwood High School, his alma mater.
And for more information regarding the funeral for Tanner, you can head to the Desiderio Funeral Home website.