In Nov. 11 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Editor
Lucas Pierce was 16 years old when he passed away at his home on Oct. 27 but the memories he leaves his family are ones they will cherish forever.
Luke, whose death was ruled an accident, was your typical teenager. He loved his animals, his music, his video games, cooking and his friends and family. His parents wanted Luke to be remembered as a "good kid" with a "big heart."
"It is hard to live daily life," said Luke's mother, Wanda, now that Luke is gone. "It is constantly there … it is the hardest thing I've ever dealt with in my life."
Luke's love for animals shows in a loveable black German shepherd pup he found and took in and a stray cat that he nursed back to health. Two fish tanks in the Pierce household hold Luke's fish as well. He had fed them every day.
"He loved his animals," Wanda said. Luke's dog, Max, is a "big baby" and was spoiled by him.
"All that dog knows is love," said Larry, Luke's father.
Much like his older brother, Josh, Luke also had a love for music, especially playing the guitar and writing lyrics.
"He was very talented," Wanda said. "He was just taken way too early."
Larry said he had hoped Luke would have been able to play music with Josh, who plays in the local band Gravel Switch, on the road.
"For me, I wanted to see the day that he and Luke would be there together … I can see them on stage," he said. "I think about it a lot and now it is not going to happen."
Wanda even called Luke a Gravel Switch groupie, following the band to many of their concerts and helping to set up or take down equipment.
"He so loved that," she said. Cooking was another one of his favorite activities, much to the surprise of his parents.
"He loved that grill," Larry said. "There were times that I'd come home from work and he would have the burgers ready."
The Pierce family is a close-knit family and that, along with their faith in God, is one reason they are making it through this trying time.
"There wasn't a day went by that we didn't tell each other we loved each other," Wanda said. "Before I would go to work at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning I would go in to his room, push the hair out of his face, kiss him and tell him I loved him before I left."
It was the same between Luke, Josh and their older sister, Gina.
"They never parted ways without telling one another they loved each other," she said. "It wasn't anything for Luke to jump around on the couch with his dad, saying 'I love you, daddy,' picking at him and playing."
Wanda said when Luke was growing up, Gina would spoil him by getting him new video games to play or catering to any other of a number of his needs or wants.
"He would go to big sister and big sister would get it for him, you see," Larry said.
Luke was also close with two of his cousins, Courtney and Cory Polston, and spent much time with them, even going as far as calling Cory, whose close in age, as a "brother."
"They felt that way about each other," she said. "And Courtney was kind of like the little sister, he would look out after her."
Cory even dressed Luke's dog up and took him out on Halloween night, something the two had planned to do together, in his honor.
Luke had even helped his grandfather raise a garden over the summer and planned to have an even bigger one next year with a watermelon patch.
"He loved gardening with his grandpa and grandma," she said.
Besides his parents and siblings, Luke was survived by his maternal grandfather, Phillip Anderson of Jamestown; his maternal grandmother, Jestine Scully of Russell Springs; his paternal grandfather, Delmer Pierce of Russell Springs and his paternal grandmother, Lorene Pierce of Jamestown as well as a niece and a nephew.
Wanda said it was amazing how the community has showed up to support the Pierce's in this time of tragedy.
"The community has come together and donated and it just amazes me," she said. Larry also commended the folks who have supported the family following the loss of his son.
He said the family was forever grateful to those that have gave money, food, cards as well as those that have offered prayers during this time of grief.
"You can't even begin to imagine what its like," Wanda said. "He was my baby."
She said he had many friends that will miss him.
"He was just a loving kid," Wanda said. "It wasn't anything for him to run and jump and hug you."
His aunt, Trisha, also brought out the best in him, Larry said.
Wanda said she also missed hearing the television at night as Luke would leave his TV on all night.
"It was so loud but I miss it, I miss hearing his TV on," she said.
His brother handled most of the funeral arrangements for the family.
"I know he had to be hurting, it was his little brother," Larry said of Josh. "But, hey, he did it … he's awesome."
Funeral services were held Saturday, Oct.30th at H.E. Pruitt Memory Chapel with Bro. Steve Bunch officiating.
Pallbearers were Josh Pierce, Jordan Pierce, Aaron Pierce, Jason Pierce, Cory Polston and Nathan Smith.
H.E. Pruitt Memory Chapel, who the Pierces said were amazing to work with, was in charge of arrangements.
While Wanda said it was impossible to mention every person or church who has helped them out, she wanted to take this opportunity to thank them for their support.
"God has just blessed us through this," she said. "If it wasn't for the comfort of God and that peace from God I don't think I could handle it ... it is hard to think about not ever seeing him again."
Larry said it was amazing how when people heard, they came to the family's assistance.
"When they said they wanted to help, they did it," he said. "Some from people we don't even know, I'd never even met them."
Wanda said even a church in Albany, where Gina now lives, has donated to their cause.
"I keep telling myself that God doesn't make mistakes and that helps me a little bit," she said. "Because God could have saved him that day if it was his will, but it wasn't. God doesn't make mistakes."
And with Lucas Pierce, God may have just called one of his own home.