Memorial service for missing Cornell student

By Perry Russom

May 27, 2013 Updated May 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM EDT

Town of Ulysses (WBNG Binghamton) Family and friends gathered Monday evening for an informal memorial service by Cayuga Lake to remember Chris Dennis.

The 22-year-old Cornell student has been missing since last Wednesday when he took a canoe out on the lake to watch the sunrise.

"I'm still trying to process what it means," said Danfung Dennis, Chris' brother. "It's hard to understand that he's completely gone."

Chris' canoe was found capsized in the center of the lake eight hours after he left shore.

His father says he did not have a life jacket.

The family decided yesterday to scale back the search.

"My brother was an inspiration he was so unique," Danfung Dennis said. "He was this special, special young man different from everyone else." "He never expected much out of you. You could just be yourself and be with him and that's all he needed."

During service on Monday, there was a silent walk along the banks of the lake.

"I always say that Chris had a very unselfish love," said Julie Fiore, Chris' friend.

Chris' family provided 160 tree seedlings to those who came to the memorial with hopnd e everyone would take them home and plant them in their son's memory.

"I really loved him a lot," said Sarita Upadhyay, Chris' girlfriend. "He was supposed to move out to live with me in two weeks. I just think that it's great that he got to experience love with me and so many other people and friends."

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.