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What was meant to be a church celebration took a tragic turn Sunday afternoon at Green River Lake.
Members of Iglesia Casa del Alfarero were at the lake for a baptism, when Jose A. Zambrano, 19, drowned while retrieving a child’s swimming aid.
“He loved the Lord with all of his heart. He served the Lord,” Zambrano’s sister Idania Guarneros said.
Zammbrano moved to Lebanon with his family when he was 3 years old. He graduated from Marion County High School in 2013. After graduation, he moved to Louisville for a few months but decided to return to Lebanon.
“He was the most happy boy in the world,” Guarneros said.
She added that her brother brought peace and joy to their lives, and he loved his family very much.
“Everybody knows him. Everybody loves him,” Guarneros said.
She said the church was celebrating Mother’s Day along with the baptism. She added that Iglesia Case Del Alfarero (The Potter’s House Church) was also celebrating its second anniversary. The church holds its services at Abundant Life Church in Lebanon.
Zambrano had eaten just minutes before he went into the water to retrieve a child’s floatie from the water, Guarneros said.
“We all ran and tried to get him, but it was too late,” she said. “It was horrible.”
Zambrano just recently joined the heading department at Kentucky Cooperage, but he was viewed as part of the company’s family, according to Eric Daugherty, who is in human resources at the cooperage.
“Many are feeling his loss today and it may take a while for the grieving process. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they mourn his loss,” Daugherty wrote in an email to the Enterprise.
Zambrano’s sister said he played the drums and piano, and he brought lots of happiness to his family. He is survived by his parents, Primo and Aleja Zambrano, two sisters and a brother.
Guarneros said people should remember that they never know what can happen.
“Every minute counts,” she said. “Walk with Jesus. He’s the only one who can take care of us.”