An online memorial has been established for the 33-year-old Middle Tennessee man who died in a Big South Fork rock climbing accident last weekend.
Benjamin Kyle Harris, 33, of Columbia, Tenn. south of Nashville, fell 100 ft. to his death while rock climbing in the vicinity of the Twin Arches in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area Sunday evening.
Harris was marketing director of his family’s real estate agency in Columbia. He was also a preacher at Berea Church of Christ. Ministry was his life’s calling.
An avid outdoorsman, Harris was free-climbing with a friend near the Twin Arches on Sunday, when he lost his grip while attempting to switch positions and fell 100 ft. to the base of the cliff line.
“To say Kyle loved nature and the outdoors is an understatement,” his family said in an obituary. “It was part of him. He always wanted to be outside, especially in the fall and winter. He enjoyed hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, camping, scuba diving and more. He had a way with animals that would remarkable.”
Harris was also an accomplished musician, who could play the piano, clarinet and hammered dulcimer.
“There are not enough words to describe the immensely bright light that was Kyle’s life, example and influence here on earth,” his family said. “He was amazingly kind and loving. Compassionate. Generous. Selfless. Bold. Courageous. Intelligent. Handsome. Charming. A servant and fierce defender of God’s word. A brilliant man that blessed all our lives in ways that will continue always. If you knew Kyle, you would understand.”
A funeral service has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Northview Church of Christ in Columbia, Tenn.
An online fundraiser has been set up by friends and family through the crowdfunding site GoFundMe. As of Thursday afternoon, it had raised $2,795 of its $50,000 goal after just 16 hours.