University of Richmond students and alumni gathered at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Va., on Friday to celebrate the life of Richmond College alumnus Lance C. Moore, who died on Feb. 8 at the age of 24.
Moore was born on Jan. 17, 1985, in Roanoke. He graduated from the university in 2007 with a bachelor of science in finance.
After graduating, he lived in Richmond and worked for the Bon Secours Richmond Health System as a reimbursement analyst in Fiscal Services. During his four years at the university, Moore was a brother in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity's Virginia Tau chapter, and a percussionist in the Brazilian Music Ensemble.
Moore was always an energetic, lighthearted and funny person to be around, his friends said. Even if somebody had never talked to him before, Moore would treat that person as if they were his best friend, said Andrew Werner, a brother in SAE and member of Moore's fraternity family.
"Lance loved life and lived it to the fullest," said Morgan Barnes, a 2007 Richmond College graduate and one of Moore's good friends and SAE pledge brothers. "He was one of the most genuine and thoughtful people I have ever known."
Senior Mike Fredrickson, a former SAE president, recalled a night when Moore displayed his lively personality: "It was a Monday or a Tuesday at an SAE intramural soccer game. It wasn't a big game or anything, but he came out with Kevin Moriarty and a big set of bongo drums and just started banging on the bongos and singing and yelling in the middle of the game as if it was a huge deal."
Moore also had an intense love for music, friends said.
"He was the kind of person who could pick up any instrument on a bet and make it play music," said David Marquardt, a 2008 graduate, SAE brother and close friend. "His life moved to a rhythm I would personally love to experience."
Although he could play a number of instruments, Moore was most talented on drums, friends said.
Salem Leinbach, a 2007 Westhampton College graduate, dated Moore for a year during their time at Richmond. Moore often talked about how he felt when he played music, she said.
"When you're playing music and it just hits you and you feel as if you're in this warm bubble and everything's right with the world, that's what Lance called 'the pocket,'" she said. "He loved being in 'the pocket.' He would always talk about it."
Moore was also an avid chess player, friends said.
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"I would see him in the library and he wouldn't be studying," Leinbach said, "he would be playing chess against the computer and he would always win."
Moore's other interests included practical jokes and animals, friends said.
"The best friend he made during our trip to Costa Rica was the hotel security guard's Doberman," said Chris Ribando, a 2007 graduate and another of Moore's pledge brothers.
Between 400 and 500 people attended Friday's memorial service, friends said.
"People came from California, New York, Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania; from all over the country just to pay their respects to the guy they knew," said Aaron Plante, a 2007 graduate and close friend of Moore's.
During the service, professional drummer B.J. Purcell performed a few-minute drum tribute to Moore, weaving together beats and rhythms Moore had created on his own drums in both high school and college. Those who attended also sang a hymn Moore often sang when he went to church.
The lyrics appear in the hymnal in both English and Korean, and, according to the pamphlet from the service, Moore always chose to sing the lyrics in Korean.
"That was just the type of kid Lance was," Barnes said. Guests sang the first verse in Korean and the second in English.
"To call Friday's service a 'funeral' would be quite inaccurate," Barnes said. "It was a celebration of Lance's life and I think it was exactly as he would have wanted it."
Moore's sister, Lauren, delivered a reflection on her brother, friends said.
"She talked about Lance and his life and how he enjoyed everything, how he laughed at everything, how that's what we should remember about him," Plante said.
Since Moore was an animal lover, his mother, Debra, father, Stephen, and sister ask that, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to pay their respects send donations in his name to the St. Francis of Assisi Service Dog Center, P.O. Box 19538, Roanoke, Va. 24014.
Moore's brothers in SAE intend to hold a commemorative event in the future, junior SAE president Luke Parsons said. Those plans are still ongoing.
"Lance's amazing ability to brighten the lives of others with his radiant energy was a gift that few possess," Barnes said. "His contagious smile, perpetual joviality and unwavering sincerity touched everyone around him and will be greatly missed."
Contact reporter Guv Callahan at email@example.com
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