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Lance Michael Sheely

Lance Michael Sheely

Lance Michael Sheely


- October 6, 2018

Lance Michael Sheely, 43, born in Sturgis, SD, to Wayne A. Sheely and Evelyn M. (Compton) Sheely on March 4, 1975, passed away on July 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA, at the Los Angeles County University Southern California Hospital.  He was born in Sturgis at Sturgis Community Hospital, now known as Regional Health Sturgis.  He was raised in and around the Sturgis area along with his little sister, Leanne Michelle Sheely, who came along a few years later.  The two were raised in and around Sturgis and attended the Sturgis schools.  Lance graduated from high school in May of 1993.

He was also an ambitious person.  Lance mowed lawns in his early preteen and early teen years to earn extra income.  Lance was an active person when it came to the American Diabetes Association.  He was elected twice to go to Washington DC to represent South Dakota’s diabetes youth among the association.  He also attended diabetic camps not just for support for himself but to help support others.  As he got older and became an older teen, he became a counselor at the camps.

He was hired on at McDonald’s in Sturgis, and by his senior year, Lance took on two more jobs plus managing senioritis.  He was working at the Sturgis Community Center and as a custodial worker after school at the elementary schools.  After Lance graduated from high school in 1993, he did attend Western Dakota Tech where he earned his Associate degree in computer science.  He also earned his diploma or certificate for CPR and first aid training.  He graduated in 1995 from WDT.  Somewhere along the way, Lance moved on from McDonald’s to working at Motel 6 in Rapid City, SD, where he was trained by cousin, Darlene.  Lance then was promoted to relief manager for Motel 6 and with this promotion, it gave him a chance to travel around the United States.  He got to go to Reno, NV, and to Las Vegas, NV, and he walked the strip.  I know he was in Texas once; he was able to live a little.  From there, he finally decided to settle in Denver, CO, temporarily staying at another cousin’s place until he could get his own apartment.  He found a job at EchoStar, which was a cable company in Denver at that time.  He then was promoted to an executive position until his health declined enough that he had to go on disability due to being so sick due to kidney failure the first go around. 

During the four years Lance was on disability, he went back to school to Metropolitan State University of Denver and earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting.  When he was unable to find work in Denver, he broadened his horizons and looked beyond Denver.  He thought he had a really good job waiting for him in San Diego, CA.  Long story short, he did not, and so he made his own path by starting his own business again.  He started by dog sitting, house sitting, doing book work, accounting, and taxes for others.  He finally called it “Lance’s Mobile Services.”  He then found a job with a CPA, Leslie Martin, and he worked for her for about 3 years including 1 full summer because she and her husband went to Africa on vacation, so they entrusted him to hold down the fort for them.  He even had an opportunity to be on Wheel of Fortune with two call backs but missed out on the final call back to be on the show.

While Lance had still lived in Denver, he did have a chance to meet his donor family and was invited to meet them at the Rose Bowl Parade.  Between a couple of fundraisers done for him, he was able to fly out to the Rose Bowl Parade to meet up with the family.  He then stayed in contact with the sister of his donor.  She then moved out to San Francisco, CA, so when he moved to San Diego, and he still went on occasion to San Francisco for his transplant checkups, they would meet up for a lunch or something and talk. 

However, the past year or so, from May of 2017, he was unable to work again due to being so sick.  He was back on kidney dialysis, and had diabetes, type 2 again.  He had his kidney and pancreas transplants for 10 years, so he was able to be healthy for 10 years.  He lived his life to the fullest and he helped others by volunteering his free time when and where he was able to.  He found happiness from within and it shined through.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Charles and Alma Sheely, and Glen and Bernice Compton; uncles, Jack Frost and Marvin McRoberts; and cousins, Wilbur McRoberts and Darlene (Sheely) Larson. 

He is survived by parents, Wayne and Evelyn Sheely; sister, Leanne Sheely; uncle, Raymond and aunt, Marlene Sheely, aunt, Delona (Sheely) Frost, uncle, Jim and Hazel (Sheely) McRoberts, uncle, Ken Compton, and uncle, Robert and Jen Compton; and several cousins. 

Lance had his body donated to research and UCLA had accepted this gift.  They took the organs and tissue that they needed, and we had the body cremated and his ashes sent back here to Kinkade’s.  UCLA then covered all of the costs including his cremation and costs for him to be sent back.  Lance was a very giving person, even in death.  In donating his body to research, the doctor that met with us informed us he would be helping not just thousands of people, but millions of people worldwide.  He will be helping researchers across the world to come up with cures for what he had.  This is an amazing gift that he gave.  Lance couldn’t re-donate his organs due to the fact he was sick again.  But, he did want to give back something in return because he was so grateful for receiving his double transplant 10 years ago.  And talk about giving back, he has, tenfold.  You can’t ask for a better gift to the world than what he has given. 

I know in my heart, Lance has gone to heaven.  How could he not be in heaven with God through Jesus Christ when he had such a huge heart and a loving, giving one at that.  This is why we want to reflect on his life here with us, and celebrate his new eternal life with God, through Jesus Christ, in heaven.  God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus represents love and that is what shines through us.  This is the light in which we don’t want Satin to blow out.  We keep it lit in our hearts and our minds throughout our lives and we share this with others. God Bless everyone.

There will be a memorial service at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis, SD, on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at 1:00 p.m.   We will also have snacks afterwards in the Erskine Clubroom (the basement of the church). 

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.



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