BRANDON, Fla. (FOX 13) - Hundreds of people packed into Nativity Catholic Church in Brandon Saturday morning to pay their final respects to 68-year-old Matthew Korattiyil.
Korattiyil was the unfortunate victim of Tuesday's bank robbery turned carjacking, but his family said that's not how they want him to be remembered.
"The lives that he touched in a positive light, that's what I want people to remember," said Melvin Korattiyil, Matthew's son.
Korattiyil was a staple in his community. After owning a convenience store for over 25 years, he touched the lives of his regulars and even complete strangers.
"Matthew was a good person, he's a big hearted person, he was a big part of our community," said Christina Dimauro, a customer who frequented his store.
Saturday, as family was forced to say their final farewell, they said it was a goodbye that came far too soon.
Korattiyil's life was cut short Tuesday morning when James Hanson Jr. carjacked him. It was Hanson's attempt to make a clean getaway from the CenterState Bank in Valrico after robbing it at gunpoint.
A short time later, Hanson strangled Korattiyil to death behind the Sacred Heart Catholic Community Center.
"He had no reason to suffer like this. There was no reason he had to undergo what happened to him," said Korattiyil's son.
Hanson, a previously convicted felon, is once again behind bars. He has been denied bond.
But for Korattiyil's family, their loved one's legacy outshines the heartbreaking tragedy.
The hundreds of people who poured into the church Saturday to pay their final respects served as a humbling example of just how many lives he touched.