Home city: Chatham Head, NB
Date of crash: March 30, 1984
Rodney, even after 22 years, not a day goes by that we don’t think about you. You were gone so suddenly that we never had a chance to say goodbye or I love you. This still bothers us to this day.
We wonder why such a tragedy had to happen to such a beautiful 11 year old boy. We forever wonder about “what might have been”. Would you have played Major League Baseball? Even though you were only 11, many people thought that you had the right stuff. One of the things we miss the most is watching you play ball with your friends. You were so talented – something special.
We also wonder about where would you be living and where would your travels have taken you? Would you have started a family? We know you would have been a terrific Uncle to Andrew and Sarah.
You are gone, but not forgotten.
Lots of love from Mom, Dad and your brother Brent.
I will never forget my special student, Rodney Lanteigne. During the school year of 1983-84, I was his French teacher and basketball coach. Rodney was the type of student that could win a teacher’s heart right away with his outgoing personality. He was bright, mannerly, and always tried to please people. I remember that Friday when he was killed. That morning at our school the bus drivers were conducting a meeting. They had the coffeepot on and Rodney knew I loved coffee. He rushed down to the meeting room, grabbed a coffee, and brought it down to my desk. I can still see the grin on his face as he brought me that coffee. This is one of many memories I have of him.
As well as being an excellent student, Rodney was quite an athlete. Shortly before his death he was picked up by another team to play basketball in Woodstock, NB. I accompanied him and was responsible for him that weekend. He was so excited to be staying in a hotel room! That evening the team crossed over the border and ate at Burger King in Houlton, Maine. Rodney enjoyed himself immensely. I was so pleased that he had that fun-filled weekend. Nobody would suspect that his time was running out.
Suddenly everything was taken away from Rodney. He was killed on the last Friday of March 1984. The most difficult moment in my teaching career was that Monday morning when I went into my classroom and faced his empty desk. I saved a French test he had written and two Valentines he had given me. I still treasure those items today.
When I see his peers, now in their 30s, I often wonder what he would have become. He had so much to offer to this world. Rodney touched the lives of many and will always have a special place in the hearts of those that loved him.
Patrick Lange, Miramichi NB – Teacher
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