Lucas Henry Mehl

A Tribute to Lucas Henry Mehl



While there are no words to express our unimaginable pain

with the loss of our son and brother we’d like to share a few thoughts, memories, and what we fondly refer to as “Lucasisms”.


Lucas always had a positive attitude, a great sense of humor, and was an inspiration to many.

As a child, the highlight of his year was going to Muscular Dystrophy camp and as a young adult with MD, going to FUSE camp.  Upon his return from camp, his favorite line was always, what happens at camp stays at camp.’’ (He liked to use that line for a few other occasions as well, when he returned from trips with his friends or after a stay with his brother, sister, and cousin).

Lucas loved road trips. He traveled to 46 states and was our trusted navigator on the road. We didn’t need Google Maps, we had Lucas Maps.  He was always a back seat driver and never missed a beat when telling Dad where to turn. He had a special way of referring to each and every RV we passed along the highway that can’t be mentioned here.  He could tell us every state’s capitol, where to find the major football stadiums, basketball arenas, historic fire stations, landmarks, etc.

He was a wealth of trivia knowledge, history buff, and geography expert (he could tell us the name of a random country by looking at its shape). His nightly ongoing commentary during the evening news often resulted in a continuous back and forth of pushing pause and play, pause and play on the TV remote, he always had just one more thing to say…

Lucas had a thirst for knowledge and never-ending questions, but if anyone had a random question, he could answer it – like why are some of the streetlights in Lawrence blue. He had a memory like an elephant – Mom and Dad will be lost without him telling us what we did yesterday.

He was a jigsaw puzzle master.  His bedroom wall is covered with his completed masterpieces.

He loved Sunday jam sessions at his Uncle Chuck’s house as their auxiliary percussionist –  #1 cowbell player and woodblock extraordinaire.

Rarely would you catch Lucas off guard with the phrase, “Hey Lucas”, “what?”, “you’re a nut”, but he loved catching others off guard.

A tech savvy, young man, Lucas knew all the latest gadgets, apps, etc.  Lucas would always tell us which remote to use and which buttons on the remote to push. Guess Mom and Dad won’t be watching much TV anymore.  On occasion, Lucas would get stuck in an elevator, unable to push the button, he was quick to ask Siri to text Dad “I’m stuck.” – thank heavens for Siri!

Lucas had a penchant for keeping things organized, which kept everyone on their toes (often organizing his brother and sister’s rooms). He had a keen sense of attention to detail. He was meticulous about his hair, clothes, socks, and after 15 minutes of adjusting and re-adjusting, Lucas would always ask “Is my shirt even? Is my hair down in the back?”   If Mom dusted his room and moved something in even the slightest direction, he noticed and was sure it got back in it’s place, everything had a place.

An avid KU fan, Lucas could rattle off the sports news and stats like an ESPN pro (his dream job was to be a sports commentator). Lucas wouldn’t think of ever missing a game, even if it meant waking up at 2:00am when we were living overseas, or finding a KU watch bar if we were on a road trip.  Most recently, his all time favorite find was KC Barbeque in San Diego with a KU alumni fan room and watching KU win the Final Four.  Of course we had to cut that road trip short to get back in time for the KU National Championship parade.

Lucas enjoyed going out on walks with us, he knew every accessible trail around Lawrence, he was our motivation, he kept us going, pushing us to go just a little bit further.  He spent hours sitting in the sun in our backyard, a backyard nature enthusiast, he recognized bird calls, loved hearing the owls that nested in the trees nearby, watching the many animals pass through our backyard – deer, bobcat, fox along with the resident rabbits and squirrels. (Next time you’re enjoying the great outdoors and hear an owl in the woods, think of Lucas).

He had an adventurous spirit, traveling to 4 continents; he loved our time living abroad in Myanmar and Africa (as long as he made it back in time for March Madness). He was such a trooper on our many travels as we maneuvered him in and out of some tight squeezes on planes, trains, buses, and boats. His favorite stories to tell are about being lifted while in his wheelchair by a few strong men into the cargo area of a bush plane while on safari in Africa. Also being lowered over a short cliff/wall into a narrow wooden boat on a river in Myanmar, only to turn around and have to be hoisted back out on the other side by a few more happily waiting men at the shore. Landing safely each time at the expense of Mom’s frayed nerves.  No matter what country we were in, the local people loved their time with Lucas. His favorite time spent in Myanmar was joining the building security guards sitting out on the front steps in the evening.  Lucas not able to speak a lick of Burmese, nor they a lick of English, they spent hours together communicating with hand gestures, smiling, laughing. It was the universal language of a smile that spoke volumes.  Whether he spoke the language or not, he never met a stranger.

Lucas never complained about his situation, living a life with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, (only about the wrinkles in his shirt, and the loop in his hair at the back of his head – or the single piece of hair standing up).  He rose above the challenges; he was our hero.  Lucas made us better people, we were lucky to have him.

Lucas lived a short life, but a well-lived, full life. He was loved by many and will be forever missed by all.  He sends his love to all the friends and family he leaves behind, especially his Grandpa & Grandma B, his aunts, uncles and cousins, his mentor Bobby, and his dear best friend Ruben.


We ended each day as we turned out the lights with

“Goodnight, Lucas, love you.”  We end this tribute with

“Good night Lucas, we love you, Dad, Mom, Johanna and Zachary.

Lights out….


Please join us in a Remembering Lucas Day

Saturday, May 21st from 2:00 – 5:00

2115 Terrace Road

Lucas would enjoy seeing everyone in their favorite KU gear

We would love for you to share a favorite memory, thought, or photo.

To honor his memory, Lucas would love it if the next time you see someone in a wheelchair, you see the person, not the wheelchair.

Contributions can be made to

  • Muscular Dystrophy Young Adult Group – MpowerDKC


Facebook:  M Power D KC

Checks can be mailed to

MpowerDKC/Josh Malena

12175 South Black Bob Road Apt.307H

Olathe, KS  66062

Or Venmo: @MpowerDKC

  • Muscular Dystrophy Young Adult Camp – FUSE


Facebook:  The Fuse Foundation

  • Your favorite charity

Messages & Condolences

From Tammy Becker...

Joe & Kathy, my heart goes out to you, Johanna & Zach. Colin & I are sending you our deepest sympathy to you all. We have such wonderful memories of Lucas and Colin just saw him recently. Our hearts break for you! The world has lost a wonderful young man who was a joy to be around. May your wonderful memories provide you with some comfort during this time.

From Marcia Riley...

I am so saddened to hear of Lucas’s passing. I have heard so many wonderful stories about Lucas from Mary and John. Your beautiful tribute paints such a loving picture of him and his zest for life. I was always so impressed and amazed at his international travels! I am inspired by his attitude towards life’s challenges and adversities. I am thinking of you all.

From Laura Mohammed...

Dear Kathy, Joe and family,

We are so very sorry to hear of Lucas passing and our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time.

You all created a lifetime worth of adventures and memories with Lucas that will stay with you forever. He was such an inspirational young man with a zest for life and livedit to the full. I remember fondly our street food dinner in Zanzibar by the sea and the wheelchair escapades!

With much love and prayers from, Laura, Eddy, Yasira and Haris

From Steve and Carla Ramirez...

Dear Mehl family, that is the finest memorial I have ever seen as you captured the many memories you have with Lucas. Our prayers for you are that the memories will sustain you till you are with him again. In the meantime, may Jesus wrap his arms around all of you during this time of sorrow as you mourn the loss of Lucas.

From Susan and Dave Cosgrove...

We never had the opportunity to meet Lucas, but heard about him from Ruben and Carlye. We loved reading the beautiful obituary about Lucas’s life. Our sincere condolences that such a vibrant and kind boy had such a short life, but happy to read is was so fulfilling. Sending prayers to Lucas’s family.

From Susanne, Henrik, Josefin and Pelle...

Sending all our love across the ocean. We will always remember Lucas as a kind and funny guy. We will treasure the great memories we have from our visits, and times spent with Lucas and his family. Always in a warm and loving atmosphere.
We have become better humans, because we knew him.

From Fire Station 2Y...

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the Mehl family. Thank you for sharing his memories.

From Tiffany Saturday...

Family Love Laughter and Life
A traveler with so many wonderful experiences. Lucas left a piece of himself in every heart he touched around the world. Thank you for showing us the beauty of him in this awe-inspiring “Lucasisms”. My condolences to the Mehl family.

From Marion Anderson & Chris...

“I’m Sorry” doesn’t seem like enough. You’ve joined a club no parent ever wants to join. God (or the Universe) sent Lucas to exactly the right family. We were all blessed to know Lucas.

From Mark and Gina Hummel and Family...

The Hummel family sends their condolences for the passing of Lucas. Your obituary was beautiful and captured his spirit and your love for him. Thank you for sharing your enduring memories.

From Joe, Judy, Jared, Kim, Brylee, Bryce, Josh Brummer...

Lucas is an inspiration to all of us. When adversity comes, we think of how Lucas kept going without complaining. There is no time in eternity, nor distance in the spirit. Love conquers all. Loving you.



From Rick Laughlin...

The loss of this young man is such a sadness, but his love for his family, and they for him, will transcend the pain the memories of him will carry them through and on. My condolences to you all.

From Chris Smith...

Joe and Family, Thank you for sharing Lucas with me at MDA Summer camp. It was always a great joy to sit and have conversations with him. And I was always ready to see the mohawk he would get every summer. And to see all the other boys want one to be like him. He will truly be missed. Prayers sent to help you all during this difficult time.

From Joseph Thibodeau...

So sorry for your loss Joe and family.

From Jaylyn Jenks...

I was able to spend time with Lucas up at KU while I was a graduate assistant within athletics academics. Lucas would come up to help out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He sure loved to talk and truly knew EVERYTHING. I loved learning more about him in your story of him. It was perfect. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Lucas will always be in my heart.

From Yoko and Japanese relatives...

We are deeply shocked to hear of Lucas’s sudden passing.
He was a great man, and it was our pleasure to have known him.
We really wanted to see you again.
May his soul rest in peace.

From Jill Morgison...

Joe, Kathy and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

From Jordan Platt...

So sorry for your loss I remember having a good time hanging out with Lucas

From Angela Hills...

I will forever be grateful for the amazing memories with Lucas starting at MDA camp and FUSE camp as well as countless adventures between the two. Lucas you will be missed more than you know and thanks to you a game of Ring Toss will forever be my favorite sport! Love you my friend.

From Jeff Farney...

Joe, Kathy and the kids – I’m so saddened to hear of Lucas passing. He was such a good kid. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. God bless.

From Brad Stoll...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul.
I have fond memories of carrying him to the top of the slide at the indoor aquatic center on my back and the both of us laughing the entire time. What a great young man and proud to have worked with him along his journey throughout USD 497. We are all better people for having crossed paths with him.

From Bob Kent–Duke to many...

What a good man Lucas was. Like the firefighter Joe continues to be. This tribute to Lucas was so beautiful I cried

From Shawn Doughty...

I have known Lucas since we was both 7! When we went to mda camp together! We did the talent show together and started the mohawk crew! I will never forget having matching red colored mohawks! I will always love you bro! Miss you so much! Mohawk bros for life!

From Alynn Jackson and Bob Hunter...

Lucas Henry-an amazing boy , an amazing young man. Kathy and Joe, I well remember the joyous births of all three kids as well as the early days after his MD diagnosis. The wonderful life that you and your whole family made for Lucas is a testament to your capacity for love, courage and imagination, as you all helped him deal with his health challenges.

From Shannon Gieber...

I got to witness Lucas grow and mature through MDA Summercamp. The whole time I thought, “Man this kid has great hair!” But getting to know him made me think what a great young man he had become. I will miss him at FUSE camp and at outside camp activities. God bless…

From Marsha Halpin...

It was such an inspiration to watch Lucas grow up to be an outstanding young man. He had a strong spirit – he handled his disability with dignity and grace. He had so many experiences and travels in his life than most people can even imagine. Joe, Kathy, Johanna, Zachary, and family: May God grant you comfort and peace in this time of loss.

From Suzanne Sherr...

Dear Mehl family,
You were all apart of the community of neighbors on Terrace Rd. This was a special place to be living because of this family of friends.
Your beautiful tribute to Lucas just illustrates the quality of the people we were living around.
May his name be for a blessing, and your hearts heal and your memories linger.

From Kevin and Claudia Kressig...

Kathy, Joe, Johanna and Zach, when I think of Lucas—I see his grin and his loving “oh Mom” look at Kathy when we’d come through his line at the movie theater. Back in the Lawrence Letterday days I saw the joy he experienced hanging out with everybody. Your family is a testament of love as you have all enjoyed a full life together. My heart breaks for you. Know we are here and praying for strength as you grieve. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

From Janice Clausing...

Joe, Kathy, Zachary and Johanna – I had the privilege of watching Lucas grow from a boy to a young man, from walking and running to being in a wheelchair. He made the transition and never once did he look or act discouraged or unhappy. He was bright and funny, and he always had a smile for me along with some conversation about our beloved Jayhawks! I miss him as I would my own child and will cherish every moment I spent with him during his short life. He was indeed our hero! Hugs and love to you all. See you soon to celebrate Lucas.

From Elaine Engstrom...

Kathy, Joe, Johanna and Zachary, my heart goes out to you as you mourn the loss of dear Lucas! What a lovely tribute you wrote for him, and how I admire all of you for your adventurous spirit! I have great memories of you and your family, and getting to teach Johanna the violin, and the friendship my son Jordan had with you all. I will be holding you all in the light!

From Tristan Brown...

Lucas may have been the baby of the group but we all looked up to him and admired his tenacity. He proved that you were only limited by your mind and his mind had no limitations. Thank you Lucas for being and inspiration and I am grateful knowing you are whole again. My prayers are with you, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Joe, Zach and Johanna

From Sandra and Mark Nowasell...

What a wonderful tribute to the bright light in your life. We are heartbroken at the loss for your family. We pray the amazing adventures he led and the amazing life he led, will hold you in comfort during this time of great sorrow. Kathy and Joe – you were definitely chosen as his parents , because you were the best possible he could have !

From Sheri & Delbert Thomas...

I loved reading about such a full life Lucas led! So many adventures already and many heavenly ones to continue! My deepest sympathy to all your family My heart breaks for your loss. Love and prayers ❤️🙏

From Steve and Betsy Kelly...

What a beautiful tribute to your amazing son/brother!! Thanks to you he lived a wonderful, fulfilling life full of truly awesome adventures!! We are sorry for your loss but happy that you enjoyed his life and learned so much from him!!! May all those special memories give you comfort!! ♥️💔♥️

From Gwen Jansen and Peggy Thom...

Dearest Kathy, Joe and family. The world has lost a beautiful soul. Lucas touched the hearts of so many and we are grateful to be among them. What a wonderful tribute to a life well lived. Thinking of you with love.

From Kate Falkenstien...

Johanna and the Mehls, I know we haven’t seen each other in more than a decade at this point, but I have such fond memories of your family from when Johanna and I were little kids. We never would have imagined back then that any of us would live in Myanmar or Africa!! I’m happy to hear that you and Lucas had so many adventures. This was a beautiful tribute. I’m thinking of you all. Much love.

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