Benefit in Gilbert remembers, raises money for family of victim of sub-zero temperatures

By KBJR News 1

March 15, 2014 Updated Mar 15, 2014 at 7:51 PM CDT

Gilbert, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Virgina community came together on Saturday to support Andy Kanian who went missing on a frigid night in January near Virginia. The memorial benefit was held at the VFW in Gilbert.

"I don't think there was anyone who didn't like him," said Kanian's wife, Tammy. "He was very outgoing, he liked to fish, liked to golf, loved to go up to the family cabin...very fun"

When he didn't return home the next day, and after a night of sub-zero temperatures during a record-setting winter for severe cold, family and friends started to look for him.

"We had help from the community on the first search, which I believe was a week after he went missing," said Tammy, standing next to a memorial of Kanian with dozens of photos, "and then me and some of my friends went almost every day just driving around looking for him.

Kanian was found nearly a month later underneath a porch. Virginia police say Kanian fell asleep and froze to death. Friends were in disbelief upon hearing the news.

"Shocked...Very Shocked," said friends Kim Henschel and Amanda Shug, "kinda hoping that it wasn't going to be like that, we were hoping he was just at a friends house."

Kanain was one of several people who have fallen victim to the sub–zero temperatures this winter, and authorities have been advising people to be aware of the weather.

"In this cold, cold weather we've had this year in this winter it's best to protect yourself," said Chisolm Police Chief Vern Manner, who attended the memorial Saturday.

Family members of Kanian agree.

"I wouldn't wish it on anyone," said Tammy, "just please be aware of any loved one you know."

All proceeds of Kanian's memorial benefit will go the family to help pay for medical and search party expenses.

Kati Anderson