THIBODAUX, La. (WGNO) — It was a packed house at Thibodaux Country Club Tuesday afternoon, as dozens came to celebrate and honor the life of 21-year-old Layne Gravois.

“He was the friend that everyone wanted, a friend that everyone needed, and was a friend that especially now, you see everyone remembers,” said Lenny Gravois, Layne’s dad.

Gravois died in April of last year while trying to save children in a rip current in Miramar, Florida. He didn’t know the children he gave his life for, but they survived.

“It’s one thing when someone will jump in on behalf of a family member or loved one, a friend, but when somebody would jump into waters and it’s just to try to rescue people that they’ve never even met, I mean, that’s just completely selfless,” said Louisiana State Representative Beryl Amedee.

Those who knew Gravois say that’s how he lived: a selfless, smart and caring young man who would do anything for anyone. The Gravois family accepted the Carnegie Hero award on Layne’s behalf, though they say if he was here, he wouldn’t want the recognition.

“He would probably say he wasn’t deserving, because that’s how humble he was,” said Gravois.

While the Gravois family says the loss of their oldest child was the saddest day of their lives, they also say it was the proudest, and they want everyone who knew their son, to live like Layne.

“Daddy misses you, but Daddy’s proud of you and Daddy will do everything in his power to be sure no one forgets you,” said Gravois.