Family remembers duck hunter who drowned one year ago

Family remembers duck hunter who drowned one year ago

STEPHENS COUNTY, OK (KSWO) -A Stephens County family is remembering a loved one who drowned while duck hunting.

One year ago this weekend, 22 year old Tanner Shorter tried to save a friend's dog that was struggling retrieving a duck in an icy pond. Both Shorter and the dog died.

Shorters wife says it's been a tough year without him, but she's thankful for the baby girl he blessed her with before he passed

"It's hard," said Makenzy Shorter. "I know he would be a good dad. I mean, he already was."

One year ago, Makenzy Shorter was just nine weeks pregnant. Now, she's raising their daughter as a single mother with the help of her in-laws and her parents. She decided to keep the name Tanner wanted whether it was a boy or girl, Stetson James.

"His dad's middle name is James," said Shorter. "His middle name is James. His grandpa's middle name is James, so I knew I had to keep that. And we actually picked Stetson together."

These are a few pictures Shorter posted on Snapchat that morning while duck hunting. Shorter can't believe it's already been a year since he passed.

"I'm not ready for it," said Shorter.

But, she still feels like he's with her everyday.

"I've had dreams, of course," said Shorter. "Just everyday, there's always something."

Shorter said she can always count on the community and her family to pick her up and make her smile.

"Just going out places or whatever, there's still people everyday that say I know your husband or your husband left such a legacy or just everyday everywhere," said Shorter.

She encourages those who knew Tanner to be strong and try to remember the good times they had with him.

"He would do anything for anybody, but he wouldn't want people to be sad or upset," said Shorter. "I mean, he would want people to be happy. I strive to live like he did everyday."

Shorter and their family are setting up another benefit to honor Tanner in June in Duncan. There will be a car cruise, silent auction and live music. All of the donations collected will go toward a scholarship that's given in honor of Tanner to one student at Empire High School, where Tanner and Makenzy attended. Last year, they raised five-thousand dollars for the scholarship. If you would like to donate or attend the event, we will keep you updated with more information when it gets closer.

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