SANTA BARBARA (CBSLA) — A candlelight vigil for the Montecito mudslide victims was held at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden on Sunday evening.

As CBS2/KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen reports, thousands of people were at the vigil organized by one of the county supervisors in Santa Barbara.

“Missing out on a really great couple.  Great grandparents.   I love them so much,” said James Weimer about his maternal grandparents Alice and James Mitchell, who perished in the Montecito mudslide.

“My grandma would, every Saturday, she would get her hair ready expecting me to come over,” said Weimer.

In fact he saw them last Sunday, a little more than 24 hours before the hills gave way. The family had come together to celebrate Mr. Mitchell’s 89th birthday and you can bet that Mrs. Mitchell shined for the occasion.

“My grandpa thought she looked like a Hollywood movie star and that was the last time I saw them,” said Weimer.

Sunday evening the Mitchells were remembered during a candlelight vigil along with the 20 other victims.

Anthony Rodriguez came to honor 10-year-old Jonathan Benitez, who was his Sunday school student.

“He was an amazing kid.  He was so good with everybody. He always put a smile on somebody’s face.  We even had our own little hand shake and everything,” said Rodriguez.

Appreciation is what Weimer has for his grandparents, who he says passed on some important life lessons.

“My grandpa always told me to take risks.  Don’t be afraid,” said Weimer. “My grandma taught me how to love my family.”

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