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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 20
Year of Death: 2003

Charles ‘Lance’ Mathew

Submitted by his family

Charles ‘Lance’ Mathew was 20 years of age when he answered his last call on March 18‚ 2003‚ while responding to an early morning automobile accident. At that moment‚ our lives were changed forever.

He graduated from Hamshire-Fannett High School in 2000 and attended Lamar University for a short time before joining the LaBelle-Fannett Volunteer Fire Department. Lance worked harder than any of us had ever seen‚ and he made the rank of Lieutenant in less than a year.

At home‚ Lance was a typical 20 year old. While he may not have been excited about helping Mom and Dad around the house‚ there was no stopping him from jumping in his truck to help someone else. Never have I met someone so generous. Whether it be putting up Christmas lights‚ helping with building projects or just running errands – whatever anyone needed‚ all they had to do was ask. And‚ he never said a word about it. He’d just shake his head and grin.

Lance joined the fire department in April 2002 with his good friend‚ Lee. It just fell into place. There were no discussions‚ no questions‚ no worries. Joining the fire department turned out to be the most important decision Lance made in his lifetime‚ and yet he took it with a grain of salt. He didn’t join to become a hero. He didn’t join to be important. But‚ he was so proud to be a part of the department. I think he showed that badge to everyone he met.

To Lance‚ the two most important things in life were fishing and firefighting. It has been said numerous times by those closest to him that he would fish in a ditch if it had a little water in it. But‚ look out if you were with him when tones sounded! There was nothing more important. He’d drop everything to respond to that call.

Lance had a gift for making people feel special. He probably never realized that he touched so many lives in so many ways. That smile could brighten up even the darkest days.

It is doubtful that Lance ever realized how important he was to our community‚ to his friends‚ and to our family. The truth is‚ his death has left a hole in our hearts that can never be filled.

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  1. Lance was the greatest person you would ever meet, he was the best freind you could ask for the best firefighter that ever steped foot on a truck, no matter what he gave his all for that station and the dept. it was more than an honer to work alonside such a great man, I greatly love and miss Lt. Lance Mathew.

    – Lt. Jeremy Stepan
  2. On behalf of Jefferson County ESD No. 4 serving the LaBelle, Fannett, amd Cheek communities, we humbly offer our deepest respects in Lance’s honor. His picture hangs proudly in our Headquarters station, as it always will, reminding us of his ultimate sacrifice in protecting our community. Lance, as well as his family and friends, will forever remain in our hearts and prayers. “We have the watch LT.”

    Chief Jeremy Hansen, JCESD4
  3. Lance is one of my best friends in school he was the comic relief in our group to this day I miss him. Till we meet again my friend!

    – James Perry
  4. Lance was my one of my best friends for so many years!! I miss so much about him. He had the best sense of humor, a contagious smile, and some of the best hugs. I wish my kids would have had the pleasure of growing up with their Uncle Lance. They may not have ever met him but I make sure they know who he was and what he was all about. we have a picture of Lance that sits in my kids’s hallway right at both of there bedroom doors, where he can watch over, guard, and be a light for my kids. He remains in the hearts of my little family forever. We love and miss you Lance!!!

    – Brandy Freeman
  5. Lance was my very 1st boyfriend. We were just kids, nothing serious, but I still have so many good memories of him. He was always a gentleman, always thoughtful, and was a good man long before he was ever a man. I look forward to seeing him again in heaven one day.

    – Amber Patterson
  6. Lance was a fine young man. I was his middle school counselor and watched him develop into a very warm and courteous man. He will always be missed and never forgotten. ??

    – Just Lehner