Celebrating life stories...

Memories

 

Memorial created 11-26-2005 by
Kay MacKenzie
Luke Floren
December 10 1983 - July 30 2005

Crosby Stills, I Can See Clearly Now

A Celebration of the Life of

Lucas James Floren
December 10, 1983-July 30, 2005
Buffalo Hill Funeral Home
Kalispell, Montana
August 2, 2005, 2:00 p.m.
The 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his Name’ sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Join us in singing Tears in Heaven, the lyrics are printed in your memorial. Eric Clapton wrote this song for his young son who died.
Tears in Heaven Would you know my name, If I saw you in heaven. Will it be the same, If I saw you in heaven. I must be strong, and carry on, Cause I know I don't belong Here in heaven. Would you hold my hand If I saw you in heaven Would you help me stand If I saw you in heaven I'll find my way, through night and day, Cause I know I just can't stay Here in heaven Time can bring you down Time can bend your knee Time can break your heart Have you begging please Begging please Beyond the door There's peace I'm sure. And I know there'll be no more... Tears in heaven Would you know my name If I saw you in heaven Will it be the same If I saw you in heaven I must be strong, and carry on Cause I know I don't belong Here in heaven Cause I know I don't belong Here in heaven
Luke was named in part for the Book of Luke. The name Luke means Enlightenment. It symbolizes light and knowledge. The candle on the altar represents Luke and what he meant to each of us.
Luke 11, verses 33-36 (read by Chris Reid, Luke’s best friend) No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel, but on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays give you light.
Thank you all for being here today and helping us to celebrate the life of Luke Floren.
I am Gwen Lachelt, one of Luke’s aunts, and I have the terrible and great honor of delivering the eulogy for my precious nephew.

I’m going to share my memories and thoughts and then I’m going to open it up and have an open mike and invite anyone who wants to, to share a memory of Luke. Following the service we’ll have a reception at his Aunt Karen’s house. Before the eulogy, first these words from the Book of Psalms and another of Luke’s favorite songs.
Psalm 30, 11 & 12
(read by Luke’s grandmother, Lora Jean MacKenzie) Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou has loosed my sackcloth And girded me with gladness, That my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to thee forever.
Luke was a lover of music and singing. Please join us in singing Teach Your Children. Just imagine Luke driving down the coast in Florida with his mother and the windows down belting out the words to this song at the top of his lungs:
Teach Your Children You who are on the road Must have a code that you can live by And so become yourself Because the past is just a good-bye. Teach your children well, Their father's hell did slowly go by, And feed them on your dreams, the one they picks, the one you'll know by. Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry, So just look at them and sigh and know they love you. And you, of tender years, Can't know the fears that your elders grew by, And so please help them with your youth, They seek the truth before they can die. Teach your parents well, Their children's hell will slowly go by, And feed them on your dreams The one they picks, the one you'll know by. Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry, So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
Eulogy for Lucas James Floren
(by Aunt Gwen) Swing low sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home. Swing low sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home. I looked over Jordan and what did I see? Coming for to carry me home. A band of angels coming after me. Coming for to carry me home. I just have to imagine that Luke had that bike full on, topped out and catapulted himself right into the arms of those angels. They say never to drive faster than your angels can fly. Luke was just catching up. Lucas James Floren was 21. He lived in Whitefish, Montana and worked as an electrician. He died in a motorcycle accident early Saturday morning. Luke was born December 10, 1983 in Havre, Montana. As Luke’s grandfather, DeWayne Lachelt, used to say, “It was colder than a well digger’s belt buckle in Unalakleet, AK.” When I arrived from Durango, Colorado, a few days after Luke’s birth it was 75 degrees below zero. A hundred below with the wind chill. But he stayed cozy and warm and there were never more proud parents than Kay and Ray. Luke was born and raised on the beautiful high plains of northern Montana just south of the Canadian border and near the Bears Paw Mountains where Chief Joseph and his people were captured in their flight to Canada. Luke was born to Kay MacKenzie and Raymond Floren. Luke’s little brother Michael came along 5 years later. As a little boy Luke loved his red toy helicopter and his stuffed toy “Puppy”. Puppy is here with us today on the altar, along with Michael's Beary. As a teenager, Luke loved playing his guitar, doing his artwork and pottery, skateboarding driving his pickup, and snowboarding. “Not skiing Mom, snowboarding” Luke would say. Luke was brilliant. He could do anything he set his mind to. Luke’s art teacher said he was the best pottery student she’d ever had. As a teenager, Luke loved BMX bikes and motocross racing and huckleberry ice cream cones and golfing. As an adult Luke loved his music and movies and rafting and canoeing and fishing and pool and playing hacky sack. And he loved hanging out with his best buddy Chris and Chris’ family, Sherry and Brian and Stacia and little Ella. In 2002, he graduated from high school and immediately enrolled in the Marines. 12 grueling weeks later he graduated in the honor platoon. He was bursting with pride and he looked absolutely dashing in his uniform. And boy was Luke loved. It was tough for him to realize and internalize just how much love was in his life. There’s an expression that is printed on the front of the memorial:
Wabi Sabi… a Japanese expression that evokes the perfection found in imperfection; the beauty of things in their process rather than in their completion.
To me that captures so much of our lives. Life is a process. It’s the means not the ends. If we’re always focusing on the ends we’re ignoring most if not all of what happens every day. Cause when will it all ever be done? When will it all ever be finished? It just won’t. Life is messy and hard. The perfection found in imperfection - the beauty of things in their process rather than in their completion. Luke was beautiful. And he was perfect.
Luke is survived by his mother, Kay MacKenzie, and his brother, Michael Floren of Key Largo, Florida, along with his father and stepmom Ray and Gloria Floren of Havre, Montana, his grandmother Lora Jean MacKenzie of Whitefish, aunts and uncles Gwen Lachelt of Durango, Colorado, Karen and Ken Bigelow of Columbia Falls, Mike and Ginger Lachelt of Wasilla, Alaska, Rod Floren of Kalispell, Ric and Denise Floren of Havre, Robert and Vonda Floren of Havre, many step-siblings and uncles, great aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Luke was preceded in death by his grandparents Clyde and Evie Floren of Havre, Michael Griffith of Whiteford, Maryland, and DeWayne Lachelt of Newcastle, Wyoming.
Luke 3, verses 4-6 (read by Luke’s brother, Michael Floren) As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, Makes his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, And every mountain and hill shall be brought low, And the crooked shall be made straight, And the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Luke 6, verses 20-23 (read by Michael Floren) And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: Blessed are you poor for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
We’ve each heard it all since learning of Luke’s death: Only the good die young; The best times of his life were yet to be lived; He’s in a better place now; What a tragic loss; He’s at peace now; and, the kicker, you aren’t supposed to bury your children. What we know for sure is that we are in shock. And that we miss him and that we want him back. We want to rewind. We want to turn back the clock to that moment before he lost control and keep that bike steady and smooth. Luke had dreams. He wanted to learn to bow hunt. He wanted to move to Seattle. He wanted to meet the love of his life. I know we all imagined ourselves at his wedding and sitting in the waiting room awaiting the birth of his first child. But clearly that’s a script that wasn’t intended for every person. That’s our script. This was Luke’s script and it’s just such a hard one to swallow. There’s no script for us and we’re all grasping at straws to figure out how to be. The sayings of our lives run through our heads as we search for answers: Time heals all wounds and, there, but for the grace of god go I. There is little comfort in those old adages right now. Time and grace. Time and grace. We’re all so damn lucky. Every one of us can turn to our loved ones and friends today and say I am so glad you are in my life. I love you. But we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Luke or to tell him one last time, I love you. At any time between now and the end of the service I invite you all to come to the altar where Luke’s ashes and pictures are and to light a match from his candle and to say goodbye to him in your own way. I want to invite anyone who wants to, to share a memory of Luke (you can stay seated or you can stand up or come up here to the podium). (Wonderful memories of Luke were shared by Chris Reid, Michael Floren, Kathy Kramer, Flo Williams, Heidi, Luke’s first grade teacher, Vicki Cariveau Lora Jean MacKenzie aka Mimi, Donna Hassen – Mimi’s next door neighbor, Brian Reid, Kay MacKenzie, and Kris Martens). We will end the service with this song.
Swing Low Sweet Chariot Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home I looked over Jordan and what did I see Comin' for to carry me home A band of angels comin' after me Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home If you get to heaven before I do Comin' for to carry me home Tell all my friends I'm comin' there too Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home

Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home I'm sometimes up and sometimes down Comin' for to carry me home But still I know I'm heavenly (freedom) bound Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home If I get there before you do Comin' for to carry me home I'll cut a hole and pull you through Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home Swing low, sweet chariot Comin' for to carry me home

Thank you all. We love you Luke.
 
 

Luke's Second Service Home Town of Havre, Montana
Fifth Avenue Christian Church
Havre, Montana
August 4, 2005, 2:00 p.m. Here is a picture of Luke's best friend, Chris and his cousin and good friend of Luke's, Eric. They traveled behind us from Kalispell to Havre to attend the 2nd service.
 

Many of the special things of Luke's: his graduation picture, racing jersey, pictures of his Jr. and Sr. proms, tool belt, middle school wrestling pictures, skateboard and motorcross trophies. Half of Luke's ashes were buried at the cemetary in Havre on his grandfather Floren's gravesite.
 

Please sign the guestbook for Luke by clicking here

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