Iron Range Community Honors 15-Year-Old Alaric Lamke
A Celebration of Life is Happening Saturday, Sept. 5 at Miners Memorial Building in Virginia
VIRGINIA, Minn. – The Iron Range community is mourning the loss of one of their own as they prepare to say a final farewell Saturday, Sept. 5.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, in the blink of an eye, 15-year-old Alaric Lamke of Britt, Minnesota, lost his life after an accident involving a skid steer.
Now Alaric’s family and friends are looking to honor a life taken too soon.
“He was proud to be making money, he’s 15-years-old,” said Eric Lamke, Alaric’s father.
As a teen, time is often taken for granted.
“That day started about six in the morning. I woke Alaric up, said it’s time to go to work and he sprung out of bed and was ready to go,” said Lamke.
His father says Alaric had a passion for working hard, and playing even harder.
“Dirty hands, clean money. That was his thing,” said Lamke.
But in the blink of an eye, a horrific fatal accident unfolded.
“I’ll never forget that day with my kid,” said Lamke.
Eric would witness his son’s passing that day.
“I turned, looked away and I turned and looked back. He was already under the machine. In the blink of an eye, a heartbeat,” said Lamke.
In a split second, 15 years of memories in the making were slipping away.
“I’ve run it through my head a million times. I go to sleep thinking about it — I wake up thinking about it. I wish I had answers, but only God knows what happened that day,” said Lamke.
As answers to why remain unknown, family, friends, and strangers from even hundreds of miles away now look to honor Alaric as he watches from up above.
“That kid was a one-of-a-kind,” said Lamke. “There’s nothing that kid cared more about in life than his family, and of course hockey.”
Alaric had a passion for the game as a player for the bantam Bluedevils in Virginia.
“He’d get out of the shower and he’d shake that hair and he’d say, ‘isn’t it beautiful dad? Isn’t it just beautiful?’”
Family and friends say while his hockey hair was on point, his heart was also in all the right places.
“It’s the first time I’ve been in here [Miners Memorial Building] and it put tears in my eyes to see what these gentlemen went through for my son,” said Lamke.
The Miners Memorial Building in Virginia has been transformed to host Alaric’s memorial service.
“It breaks my heart to have to come here and see my little buddy play his last game when there’s no ice,” said Jeffrey Hunt, Alaric’s hockey coach.
Hunt happened to cross paths with Alaric for two years as his coach.
“I was warned to watch out for him at first,” said Hunt. “After the first practice I went up to him and I said, ‘I’m supposed to watch out for you.’ He skated away with the biggest smile on his face like he knew I was to watch out for him.”
The connection coach had with Alaric now holds a deeper meaning in Hunt’s heart.
“I just came to coach hockey, I came to coach the kids, I didn’t come to bury them,” said Hunt.
It’s a reality no one should ever have to deal with. But as the community mourns, many look to pay their respects to the young man who gave his all to make others smile, and love life to the fullest.
“He’s going to have many more games here, maybe not on the ice, but he will be in the stands watching over his teammates, he’ll be watching over his brother,” said Hunt.
“Love your child, hold your child, tell your child you love them because in the blink of an eye it can all be over, and it’s really sad when it happens,” said Lamke.
The Virginia Hockey Association plans to celebrate Alaric’s life by retiring his #11 jersey he wore last year as a Bluedevil bantam.
A Celebration of Life will take place Saturday, Sept. 5 at Miners Memorial Building in Virginia starting at 11:00 a.m.
Click here to donate to the GoFundMe page set up to help the family cover medical bills and funeral expenses.