Lucas Anderson, 26, Fargo, died at home on Saturday, March 12, 2016.  The youngest child of Jon and Nikki (Garamella) Anderson, Lucas was born on September 12, 1989, in Fargo, ND, a child whose blithe spirit and irresistible personality became evident at an early age. A toddler who talked at home but liked the comfort of hiding behind his mother’s skirts where he might peek out to meow like a cat to people he didn’t know; a preschooler who could do spot-on imitations of characters, such as “Forrest Gump”—an ability that grew as he grew to the delight of friends and family; and a teenager whose affinity for the piano began to shape his life: Lucas and complexity were one and the same.  In a contest at South High School, Lucas impersonated the character Kramer from the sitcom “Seinfeld,” after which he dressed simply in black, sat down to the piano, and played a classical selection by Franz Liszt.  The crowd who had been laughing heartily, hushed, and he was named “Mr. South.” Lucas showed talent for sports, particularly golf, but the joy of his life was the piano.  The piano became both his anchor and the channel for his passion.  At the Concordia vigil for Lucas a friend said that Lucas understood well how “the art of music making and the journey of self-discovery are indelibly intertwined.” And his piano teacher told of a woman who recently heard Lucas play for the first time.  She said, “He reached into the bottom of my soul with his playing.” Indeed, many will miss his music making and the tremendous pleasure of hearing him perform: “hearing it live.” People were drawn to Lucas for a multitude of reasons: he was kind, empathetic, and not afraid to appear vulnerable; he was funny; he was honest about his struggles and helped other people with theirs; and he was brilliantly talented.  One of his friends wrote that life for Lucas was “just like the [piano] keys.  There are white days and there are black days and [he] brought out the best in them all.” The family and friends of Lucas would like to see greater compassion and understanding for those whose lives are troubled with substance abuse and greater attention given to this societal problem and its devastating consequences.  Addiction is part of a life experience; it is not anyone’s identity. Lucas is survived by his parents, Jon and Nikki Anderson and brother Michael (Sarah Erikson), Fargo; pampered cat, Wren-kitty; grandparents, Minerva L. Anderson, Frazee, MN, and Michael A. Garamella, Denver, CO; aunts and uncles, Dave and Roxann Daggett, Frazee, MN, Tim and Margaret Holcomb, Neil and Michelle McCoy, and Robert Garamella, all Denver, CO; cousins, Stephen (Michelle) Daggett, Detroit Lakes, MN, Melissa Daggett (Jeff Clark) Atlanta, GA, Paul (Courtney) Kelly, Little Rock, AR, Matthew (Naomi) Kelly, Zach and Nick Holcomb, Terry and Mari McCoy, all Denver, CO. He was preceded in death by his sister, Ashley, and his grandparents, H. Victor Anderson and Helen Garamella . Memorial Service: 3:00 P.M. Thursday, March 17, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church, Fargo with visitation starting at 2:00 P.M.


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  1. Nicki, John and Michael, May the angels attend thee and all who loved Lucus. Too, may he engage the choirs of heaven and play for you a loving, grace filled song…and the rythyms of his too short life move soothe, and gently resound in your tender hearts.

  2. Luke was an awesome guy that I was able to grow up with through high school. Could always make me laugh, with his unique Luke style humor.

  3. Jon, Nicki & Michael,
    My heart is aching with the news of Lucas’ passing. I’m praying that God brings you all the peace and strength that you deserve. Lucas, like Ashely, was beyond blessed to have such amazing parents and such a wonderful brother in Michael. Your children have taught us so many lessons about life and love. They are loved by so many! God Bless!
    Much love,
    Nancy & Bob Babich

  4. It’s hard to have the words to say during this time, but Jon, Nikki, and Mike- please know that you are and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Our life was blessed, in so many ways, because Luke was a part of it. He was a great friend who also brought tremendous joy! Thank you for raising such an incredible person that we were able to call our friend. Hugs to you all.

    Brady, Jenna and Melody Meyers

  5. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I truly enjoyed being Luke’s teacher. He brought such creativity and warmth to my class. Thoughts are with you in this challenging time of grief.

  6. Oh Luke-
    Where to begin… I will never forget the many memories shared together. You brought such smiles to all of the lives you touched. You had such a passion for music and I am so glad I got to share that with you when you’d play and I would sing. You had such a kind heart for all around you. You were loved so deeply by many. You will be more than missed my friend, forever and always.

    Until we meet again my sweet friend.

    Love-Sara Nemer

  7. With heartfelt sympathy and continued prayers, I write this note. I had the privilege to be a teacher of Lucas yet the reality is Lucas was a teacher as well as a student. Lucas taught by actions. He was kind to all; he was quick to smile and add witty humor; he was so talented and yet very humble; and he was intellectual and pensive. He earned my admiration as I reflected upon his insights, as I observed his interactions with others, and as I listened to his marvelous musical talent. May strength to the family come from memories, faith, and friends.

  8. Lucas will be deeply missed by so many people. Bobbi Jo was a part of the Clara Barton Gang and I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Lucas later on in high school and college. He was a very kind and thoughtful person. Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents, extended family, the Fargo South class of 2008 as well as all of Lucas’s friends.

  9. John, Nikki and Mike,
    I cannot begin to tell you how much we hurt for you. You have been given more of a burden to bear than anyone could ever have to deal with. You are such good people and do not deserve to have bad things happen to you.

    Whenever I think of Luke, I remember the one hockey tournament (I think it was in Jamestown) when the girls were playing the championship game and Luke was holding these long streamers, one in each hand, and was running back and forth in front of the crowd and going wooooo. He did that for almost the whole game. Nikki and I looked at each other and busted out laughing. After that we had to laugh at him every time he passed in front of us. He was such a cutie.

    Deepest sympathy to you. Praying that you find comfort in knowing that so many are grieving with you.

    Pat, Bonnie, Andrea and Eric

  10. I’m gonna miss running into you in the most random locations. You always had something interesting to say and always had an open ear for your friends. You were a true Mensch.

  11. Nikki,
    My heart is breaking for you and your family. No words can ever comfort you at this time.
    Please know that I am praying for strength and peace for you, as I know your faith is strong.
    Take comfort knowing Lucas is in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior.


    Shannon Charpentier

  12. Nikki, John & family; our thoughts & prayers are with you. We are gone for the month, but are thinking a lot of you and your loss of Lucas. Know that you have many friends thinking of you daily! ,Brad & Deb Wimmer

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you. Cherish the wonderful memories & the joy he brought to your lives. You are in my thoughts & prayers. Beth

  14. Nikki, Jon, and Michael,

    I am at a loss of what to say. You are all wonderful people, and such tragedy breaks my heart for you. I remember Lucas playing for us,
    Nikki, when I’d come over to have coffee and visit with you. So talented!
    Made me feel special that we had such good entertainment!
    I am so so sorry.


  15. Dear Anderson Family,

    Our hearts grieve with you during this time. We’ve never met. We may never meet, but we do hold a commonality and that’s in the loss of a child. We too have lost a son. He was of 21 – fall of 2009 when God took him home. He was a musician, as your son Lucas was. Please know that your family is being uplifted in prayer.

  16. Nikki, Jon and Mike
    Our hearts are breaking for you. Lucas was such a talented and gifted individual. We are praying for you and hope you find peace through all the memories you have of Lucas.
    Mitch, Shelly, Ashley and Aaron Buerkley

  17. Anderson family,

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Too much tragedy for one family. I can’t even imagine the pain you are going through. Sending lots of love your way.

    -Jenna Buth-Croes

  18. Andy, Nikki & Michael. You have experienced losses that no family should have to go through.
    Please know that your friends pray for you, hope for you and will be there for you.

  19. I am so very sorry for your loss. I had the honor of getting to know Luke when I drew the lucky card of teaching Luke in sophomore Englsh. Luke was someone that always made things very interesting in class, and I feel grateful for that opportunity. I hope you find comfort from the memories and his infectious smile that touched us all.

  20. Jon, Nikki, & Michael ~
    My deepest sympathy to you as you say farewell to Lucas, your precious son & brother. Sorrow runs deep, but love runs deeper. Many tears are being shed for you, dear friends.
    The good news, is that Christ has triumphed over death! Our bodies fail us, but our souls stay strong in God our Savior.
    As we prepare to celebrate His glorious Resurrection, we give thanks for the beautiful lives of Ashley and Lucas, entrusting them to our Father’s loving care. In their heavenly home, every tear will be wiped away!
    “God confidently assures us – in the great symphony of life, the final refrain for the believing heart is triumphant, everlasting joy.” – M.B. Anderson (Luke’s beautiful music plays on…)

    May our Blessed Mother surround you with her tender love, Susan & Family

  21. Jon, Nikki, and Mike,
    To say I’m so very sorry for your loss is a tremendous understatement. I’m struggling to find the right words, but I just want you to know how loved Luke was. I enjoyed following his journey on Instagram and was beyond thrilled when he took up music again. What a talent! I recall him playing his heart out after school back in our elementary days.
    Whenever I ran into him around town he was always sure to give me a hug. You raised a wonderful son and it’s so sad that the monster known as addiction took him from you – from all of us. Every memory I have of Luke is a happy one and that’s just the kind of person he was!
    I kept telling him I’d come listen to him practice sometime but I never did. I could come up with a list of excuses but now every one seems inadequate and I regret not going. Wherever he is now, I hope he’s playing to his heart’s content.
    Lucas Anderson was one of a kind, likely the most talented person I’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing. My heart aches for you. Please let me know if there’s any way I can help you guys.
    Rest in paradise, Luke. You’ll forever be missed.

  22. Jon and Nikki..I met Lucas for the first time 6 yrs ago in treatment in Crookston and also the first time I met both of you…I remember thinking what an amazing person he was…and so very talented. We have kept in touch over the years..we would talk when he was down and when he was up. My life will forever be better because he was in my life. I always told him I could listen to him play for are both in my thoughts and prayers and Lucas will forever be in my heart..I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  23. Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity. he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.

    Thoughts and Prayers to family and friends of Luke.

  24. I did not know Lucas, but I just really wanted to say how absolutely beautifully this tribute to him was written. It made me feel as if I did know him. The honesty, the love, and the care that this was written with was breathtaking and touched me deeply. Your love for him and the pride in knowing such a special young man is palpable in each word.
    It is my sincerest hope that by openly sharing his life, his spirit, and his struggles with others, more people will see beyond substance abuse and see the beautiful person who suffers. And by all accounts, Lucas seems to have been a bright, beautiful soul who touched the lives of many.
    May you feel all the love and support that surrounds you now. I am so very sorry for the loss of such an amazing young man.

  25. Jon and Nikki we are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts are aching for you. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless!

  26. My heart is with you. There are no words in times like this, but I think of the Native American proverb:
    “Death is not the putting out of light, but rather extinguishing the lamp for the day has come.”
    Please know you are in my heart, prayers, and thoughts. Nancy

  27. I remember your little “Lukey” with the beautiful eyes hiding behind your skirt, Nikki. My heart breaks for you and your family. Sending love and prayers…

  28. There are no words to say to ease your pain. I knew the joy that was Lucas for one semester in high school. You raised a darling, beautiful, sweet and caring boy who was loved by all. So sorry.

  29. Your obituary for Lucas is one of the most beautifully written obituaries I have ever read. I feel as though I know his black and white keys; but mostly the gifted white keys. May you find solace in the days ahead.

  30. Though I did not know Lucas, I am grateful to you for the glimpse you offered of Lucas as a person. The moving tribute you wrote is one I plan to give to anyone, like a recent acquaintance, who blithely characterize people who struggle with addiction as those who need to pull themselves together and…
    I am so sorry for your loss.

  31. John and Nikki,
    Lisa and I are heartbroken over the passing of your son. I wish I had the right words to say…. just know you are surrounded by a loving community of friends and family to help in any way we can. God’s peace to you all

  32. Dear Nikki and Jon,
    I find it hard to express my heartbreak for you, even tho I did not know Lucas, but can feel somewhat akin to your pain. Know that I understand how delicate your lives are right now and I send my deep sympathy.

  33. Nikki and Jon, My heart breaks for you! Too much tragedy for a family to endure! Remembering Luke as a young boy coming in to me for haircuts, really enjoyed seeing that young man! So praying that you find comfort as you hold all the wonderful memories close to your heart! With strong felt sympathy, Connie no

  34. What a beautiful story of Lucas’s life. I didn’t know him, but we too lost our 26 year old daughter to addiction last August in Fargo. Thank you for sharing his story and for letting us get to know him through these beautiful words. I’m so very sorry for the loss of this amazing young man. Peace to you all.

  35. Jon, Nikki, & Michael,

    I wish I could be there today to help you celebrate Lucas’ life. I can only start to imagine how much you must miss him. My heart goes out to all three of you. I want you to know I think of you often and this is just another reminder to hug Payton every chance I get. My mom is in charge of passing on my hugs to each of you today.

    Love, Brian.

  36. Nikki,
    My deepest sympathy to you and your family, in the loss of your son and brother. I recently met you at ceramic art night for cancer survivors, at the Plains Art Museum. After class, we briefly talked and you shared with me that you had lost your daughter to suicide. You said that Ashley would never be forgotten and that I should not fear being forgotten. I hope those words will comfort you now, after the passing of Lucas, because he will not be forgotten either. You and your family are so brave to share his struggles with the community, in order to help others. Even though I never met Lucas, I can tell by reading about him, that he was a wonderful young man. I look forward to meeting him someday, and hearing him play the piano “live.”

  37. Luke has been a good friend since childhood. He was always supportive and understanding of everyone. He sought out help when he needed it and was okay with feeling vulnerable. He allowed others to explore his mind and encouraged them to do the same. It was never a dull moment with him.
    He’s a friend until the end and will remain that way. I am forever grateful for his love and compassion he shared with me and everyone. Luke will be sorely missed. He touched so many lives. I know he will be remembered by many more to come. His spirit and love lives on in myself and others. Thanks to Luke for always having something interesting and insightful to talk about and for always sharing your talents with those around you. He was and always will be an asset to the human race.

  38. Jon – I heard the news this Thursday am from Tom T. your former Frazee classmate. Minerva and your family are in my thoughts and I will pray for all your children and family. Sincerely, Dr. Paul Hendrickson

  39. It is with heavy hearts we have you in our thoughts and prayers. Especially on this day when you celebrate Lucas’s life. Know we pray for strength for all of you and send our sincere sympathy. We are wintering away so unable to be there for you but are in thought and spirit.

  40. Dear Nikki, My name is Michael Scott. I worked at the PAM until recently. You are such a nice person and I enjoyed meeting and working with you. I am so sorry for the loss your family has suffered. I read about Lucas. He is a special person. I hope your family can find comfort and support from your strong net work of friends and family. May I offer my sympathy and my best to all who loved Lucas. Sincerely,
    Michael Scott

  41. Nikki, John and Mike,

    My heart just broke for all of you when I heard of Lucas’ passing. I could not believe that you lost this talented and loved child. I still remember the lovely and warm enology Lucas gave for his sister such a short time ago. My sympathy and prayers for God’s love to surround all of you as you grieve this great loss for your family. Nikki, when I return to Fargo in late April, I will call to share my sympathies with you. Nancy

  42. Jon and Nikki, We are saddened to hear about Luke’s passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. We cannot imagine the pain that you are going through. Our hearts go out to you.

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