Make new year’s resolution to own every second

The Church of the Resurrection was filled past capacity. The attendees were a who’s who of the community, from educators to engineers, from the communities of Houghton/Hancock to Calumet and back to L’Anse, elementary students to retirees.

If I were a stranger arriving late, I would have guessed it was Christmas Mass. It wasn’t, but it was a celebration of the life of a silent leader of our community, Steve Lancour.

Steve was a native of Hancock and attended the Church of the Resurrection as a youth, actually meeting his future wife Emily there. He started dating Emily his junior year in high school. At the junior prom, they knew the chemistry was everlasting. Steve began his collegiate experience at Michigan Tech studying civil engineering. He loved to tinker and build things, but felt a greater calling to education.

Steve went on to get his degree from Northern Michigan University in special education. His passion was working with kids. He taught in the school systems of CLK, Hancock and Jeffers, with his career leading him to teach sixth-grade math at CLK.

Steve could be seen on the field after Hancock football games talking to his son Michael and my son Jake, both offensive linemen. He would joke with them about great blocks and bad penalties, reliving the contest through successes and areas of improvement needed, but capturing the excitement and exhilaration of the moment.

Steve was a valued friend, springing to action when needed. When a bad storm rolled in and toppled a large maple tree in the yard of friend Matt Griffith, Steve joined Matt immediately, spending eight hours to chop up the tree and then went to Matt’s mother-in-law’s to cut up a tree in her yard.

The end of the day brought aches and pains only 40-year-old men could appreciate, but both were grateful for the experience.

An avid fishermen, Steve and Matt went out for the first time trolling for steelhead. Steve got one on the line. He was just about ready to land it when the fish spit out the hook.

Steve was excited, thinking he had landed the fish with tension still on the rod. Matt calmly told Steve not to move, the lure was now hooked in Matt’s cheek! Matt slowly pulled it out with little fanfare, but uncontrollable laughter ensued!

The lyrics of a song “I Lived” by OneRepulic include: “I owned every second that this life could give/ I saw so many places, the things that I did/ Yeah, with every broken bone, I swear I lived!”

Those attending Steve’s service at Resurrection were mourning the loss of Steve Lancour, but also celebrating how he lived! Steve Lancour spent every moment on this earth contributing to the happiness of others, through each gesture, from kind words to two high school football players after a game to helping a neighbor in need of a driveway shoveled or a downed tree cut up.

When you consider making your new year’s resolution, remember Steve Lancour and how he lived. Dedicate each day to helping another, quietly without fanfare.

God bless you, Steve, for the precious lessons you have left each of us, through your inspiring life example teaching us how to live in 2018.

Steve Patchin is director of Career Services at Michigan Technological University.

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