Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lance Melting, 1968-2008

Our friend Lance Melting, a special education teacher in Longmont, died in a car crash on I-70 just west of the Eisenhower Tunnel on Monday, March 31, 2008. April 5 would have been his 40th birthday. On that Monday, we had flown to Chicago to spend spring break with Christine's family. We had just enjoyed a lovely dinner with Christine's sister Cathy and her boyfriend Ron when I got a phone call from a friend in Longmont. She told me that Lance had died in a car accident that day, and that they might not know for days exactly what had happened. We looked on the Internet and found that there had been a fatality on Vail Pass. We knew it must be Lance, but couldn't imagine why he would have been driving in snowy conditions. Eventually we learned that he was driving his wife Jamie and their four kids to a vacation in Disneyland. Apparently the weather worsened abruptly on the west side of the tunnel. Lance was the only fatality in a series of three pileups that involved at least 60 cars. Jamie was released from the hospital five days after the accident. She faces a long recovery, but I think she will recover fully. Fortunately, the children only suffered bruises and scratches.

Lance worked with our son Joey, who has Asperger Syndrome, at Rocky Mountain Elementary School from kindergarten through 6th grade. Lance had amazing patience and empathy. Lance had to work with many kids, some with disabilities far more severe than Joey's, and yet we always felt that Joey got all the time he needed with Lance. I think Lance deserves a lot of the credit for the way Joey has turned into a kind, calm, thoughtful 14-year-old.

Yesterday Christine, Joey, and I went to Lance's memorial service at Skyline High School. About 1,000 people attended. There was a performance of martial arts by students, including two of his sons, from a school in Boulder at which Lance had been a student since 1993. A number of family members and friends spoke. I hadn't realized what a jock Lance had been! I hadn't figured him to be a football or rugby player. Finally, there was a slide show of Lance and his family. He always had a smile on his face, even though he had an incredibly difficult job that requires an amount of dedication I can't fathom.

Lance is survived by his wife Jamie Lathrop and their children Aaron, Andrew, Alex, and Abby. Contributions to the Lathrop-Melting Scholarship Fund, for the four children, can be sent in care of Ahlberg Funeral Chapel, 326 Terry St., Longmont, CO 80501.

Lance was born one day after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. I am consoled by the hope that somewhere in the world, a child was born this month who will do as much good as Lance did. He was one of the greatest people I have ever met.

Labels: , ,


Blogger pralinanmi said...

I did a google search for Lance, who I had the good fortune to know through our kung fu school, and found your post. This is a beautiful tribute to Lance, and the photo emanates his distinctive energy, calmness and aura.
Thank you!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Luke said...


Thanks for your kind words. I'm sorry about the loss of your sister.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

music moose temple bar dublin live music ireland [url=]gothic porno bondage[/url]
lyrics to on eagles wings by josh groban music gifs [url=]deja vu audio custom preamp[/url]
ballet dance camp ipod car radio adapter [url=]collective soul the world i know guitar strum[/url]
high street music burlington nj hip hop music trivia [url=]mary j blige music enough crying[/url]
room without windows room without doors dylan hooker [url=]wanda sykes audio clips[/url]
analyse high school musical score metallica load [url=]amanda perez angel mp3 download[/url]

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stephen houston audio mp2 chicot elementary little rock arkansas [url=]nakimichi stereo[/url]
radio friendly rock bands stage dance of zara akbar [url=]theater audio calibration standards[/url]
frank zappa only in it for the money sigma tel audio windows xp microphone [url=]cassidy[/url]
snow white queen tommasini techno [url=]green day the simpsons song mp3[/url]
ringtone de la pelota pirates of the caribbean theme song instrumental [url=]doors roadhouse blues download free[/url]
schoolhouse rock tabs punk girl halloween idea [url=]timbaland music video[/url]

3:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

city air travel distance travel mouse driver [url=]midwest airlines charlotte milwaukee[/url]
williams travel centers thaivisa travel [url=]block island travel guide[/url]
mini travel mice south african online travel websites [url=]airline banjos[/url]
in jayco sales sudbury trailer travel army reserve travel voucher [url=]new york travel[/url]
graco passage 540 travel system ladies laptop tote consolidated travel [url=]frankfurt tourist sites[/url]
guilford travel sponser for travel grants for selzburg global seminar [url=]frontier travel park[/url]

8:27 PM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

nike sb janoski
toms shoes
hollister clearance
hollister kids
coach factory outlet online
coach factory outlet
adidas running shoes
toms wedges
insanity workout
air jordan shoes
coach outlet store online
asics shoes for men
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
louis vuitton handbags
christian louboutin shoes
coach outlet store online clearances
michael kors handbags
coach outlet
christian louboutin sale
fitflop clearance
louis vuitton purses
jordan 3 powder blue
adidas superstar
replica rolex watches
oakley sunglasses
cheap oakleys
michael kors outlet online
polo ralph lauren outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
louis vuitton outlet
oakley outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
louis vuitton outlet
louboutin femme
ralph lauren outlet
adidas wings
celine bags

2:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home