Country singer Alan Jackson and his family have been hit with a tragedy of inexplicable proportions with the passing of his son-in-law, Ben Selecman.
Selecman, who was married to the "Remember When" singer's oldest daughter, Mattie, died after a boating accident on September 12.
The 28-year-old, who has been described as "outgoing" and "godly" by his wife, was reportedly trying to help an unnamed woman onto a boat when he slipped and "suffered severe traumatic head injuries."
The Jackson and Selecman families confirmed their beloved son's passing via Jackson's website, and asked for "prayers during this difficult time."
Mattie has remained silent since tragedy struck, but she recently opened up about her relationship with Selecman in an interview with Southern Bride.
"Ben will tell you we first met at a mutual friends’ wedding, but I just remember dancing with a cute guy and never thinking about him after. We reconnected two years later while he spent a summer clerking for a judge in Nashville during law school. He asked me out and I said 'no,' but he didn’t give up.
"He pursued me until I finally saw the handsome, outgoing, Godly guy I needed. After deciding we were meant for forever, he took me on a picnic on the Old Historic Natchez Trace, where we enjoyed incredible wine, cheese, dancing, and the most romantic proposal."
The couple, who tied the knot last October, had big plans for their 10th wedding anniversary, including opening a bottle of Tattinger’s Comtes de Champagne.
"One of our favorite memories was popping a vintage 2006 bottle of Tattinger’s Comtes de Champagne, a bottle they only make in the best years. We’re looking forward to opening another from the 2006 vintage on our 10th anniversary."
The Office of the District Attorney General of Nashville Davidson County, where Selecman worked as an an assistant district attorney, also posted a statement and tribute on their Facebook page. It read:
"Assistant District Attorney Samuel Benton ‘Ben’ Selecman 1990-2018. Thank you for your service, your kindness, compassion, and for the laughs and memories."
They also shared a second statement with Taste of Country, in which they said, "The District Attorney’s Office is saddened to announce the passing of Assistant DA Ben Selecman… District Attorney Glen Funk said the DA’s Office is thankful for every day that Ben had the opportunity to serve the people of Davidson Country. Our prayers are with Ben’s family. He will truly be missed."
Selecman is survived by Mattie, his parents, Mark and Brenda, his brother Cole, and sister-in-law, Morgan.
You can read his obituary below:
Samuel Benton Selecman, age 28, passed away Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Palm Beach, FL, surrounded and beloved by his wife, parents, and close family members. Born on August 21, 1990, in Knoxville, TN, Ben had as big a heart for God as he did ‘God’s Country,’ his self-ascribed name for the hills of East Tennessee where he grew up.
He’s town of Farragut was home to Ben, his parents, Mark and Brenda, and his younger brother, Cole, from childhood throughout his undergraduate years at the University of Tennessee. His drive, charisma, and heart for justice sent him to the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law, where he earned his Masters Degree, Doctor of Jurisprudence. Ben worked as an Assistant District Attorney at the Davidson County DA’s Office from April 2017 until his passing.
A man who always put his family first and never met a stranger, Ben had a true disciple’s spirit and a knack for making all those around him feel adored and respected. A lifelong lover of nature and avid hunter and fisherman, Ben cherished God’s creation and found peace and life in the outdoors. An east Tennessee boy through and through, his soul always hummed of classic country music. A committed follower of Christ, Ben lived out the Great Commission with unconditional love for all those he knew, and a humble prayer for those he didn’t."