Pre-deceased by his father Arthur Anderson. Surviving spouse John Venturelli; Children Jennifer (Tim), Danielle, Nicole (Andy), Aaron (Becky); Niece Jordan; Grandchildren Donker, Johnny, Abby, Shawn, McKenzie, Jack, Gavin, Brinley, Chloe, June; Great Grandchildren Valentino, Shawn, Giovanni, Jayda. Parent Kathleen Moore, Brother Daryl, Sister-in-law Faith. Beloved husband/best friend, son, brother, dad, uncle, grandpa, teacher, mentor, singer/actor, and life-long friend to many.
Lance was a pillar in so many lives. If you were his friend for a moment, you were his friend for life. The profound depth of his heart and the selflessness of his soul was felt by many. Above all, Lance’s love for his family and his husband, John, surpassed everything else. When you think of Lance, we hope you hear his boisterous, unfiltered laugh and feel his engulfing hugs with that tight squeeze at the end. Some dearest to Lance describe him as a larger than life man with childlike enthusiasm, an authentic soul with a killer laugh and an impish grin that promised fun, someone who would only say the truth even when you didn’t want to hear it, and a man with a huge personality and wonderful voice. An educator, Lance devoted his own life to fill the lives of others with music, song, dance, and theater. His voice was an “amazing trumpet” and his talent undisputed. The king of inclusivity, Lance had a special way of making all feel needed and welcomed. Lance is Love. He will be tremendously missed.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -Winnie the Pooh
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Lance’s memory to the Lake Plains Players Performing Arts Scholarship, c/o Lake Plains Players, 94 Jesson Pkwy, Lockport, NY 14094 or at https://lakeplainsplayers.wixsite.com/lpporg/sponsor-donate.
On December 1, 1994 I left a note I had handwritten to my friend and roommate on his car in a plastic sandwich bag. I tucked it under the windshield wiper. I wrote to him that we should be more than just friends who share an apartment. There seemed to be a vibe growing stronger between us like a magnetic field, causing two opposites to attract. I felt certain that he felt it too, so I decided to take the leap. When I got home from work that night, he was waiting for me. He had been feeling something too, so he took my hand and took the leap with me.
It was meant to be from the very first day we met. Lance had the most contagious laugh- so full of joy and love for life that it was inescapably infectious. Lance taught me so many things, but never meaning to teach me anything. He taught me that love in its truest form was better given than received, that friendship was not something to be taken lightly or surrendered on a whim, and that any obstacle faced by one could be easily overcome by two.
Whenever we teased each other with one of our private jokes, he would get the tiniest smirk at the corner of his mouth. I adore that expression. It constantly confirmed how much he truly enjoyed his life with me and just how lucky I was to be the one he called his best friend and love.
Lance and I have made many memories together from California, to Maine, to Florida. From the prime of our youth to the fringe of our golden years. Sometimes we laughed until we cried. Sometimes we just cried. We shared our pains and joys, failures and successes, and helped each other bear our burdens. Sometimes we fought because it wasn’t always easy, but we always made up and came out the other side- all the stronger for it and more committed to the life we were making together.
The loss of Lance is physically excruciating. Nearly crippling at times. It is this way because that loss, the thing that was just there and now is missing, was a life and a love that was meant to last us forever through the end of time. We’ve told each other countless times over the years, and even more earnestly during the last few months, “I love you. Together forever.”
Although Lance and I married in 2011, we always held December 1st as our true anniversary, and the one we always celebrated. That was the day our forever began.
Your loving husband and best friend ever. I will love you always. Together forever. -John
From the Kids:
It’s hard to begin to express the impact you’ve had on us kids growing up and into adulthood. You came into our lives and instantly you felt like family. We’ve not only been lucky enough to call you dad, but we are even more fortunate to have children that get to call you grandpa Lance. Sitting down and putting pen to paper is not easy, but remembering all of the good times makes this difficult time just a little bit more bearable.
Our weekends with you and dad were always something to look forward to. Our weekends were nothing fancy, but they were comforting in their simplicity. You always made us feel so welcomed. We remember you always waiting at the door to greet us with a big smile. You would help us hang our jackets, and get us settled. Our family dinners would be filled with fun conversation and laughter. And, we will never forget that you were the ultimate napkin enforcer!!
As we moved into our teenage years, we loved the encouragement that you showed in all aspects of our changing lives- teaching Aaron to drive even in the worst of weather, giving us singing lessons, always ready to give relationship advice, and most of all teaching us that it’s ok to be our true selves.
It’s clear that parenting came very naturally to you. You were tough when you needed to be, but always reminded us how much you love us with words and your actions. There was never any doubt about how much you loved us.
As we transitioned into adulthood, our relationships with you changed and grew in so many ways. Our conversations with you were deeper with or without a glass of wine…or two! Between serious conversation and tough-love advice, were long stretches of laughter, light-hearted banter, and “WOO-HOO’s”!
Watching you with all of your grandkids was always a fun sight to see. Being grandpa always came so easy for you because you were just a big kid yourself. You especially went out of your way during Christmas. We all huddled into yours and dad’s cozy place and settled in for a night full of so much love and joy. We never got away with missing that annual family Christmas photo crammed into your stairwell, no matter how chaotic it got, no matter how many takes it took, no matter how big our families grew, you always took that picture, never fail. It was so special to you, and now even more special to us and our children.
Even during quarantine, you found creative ways to stay connected to us and the grandkids. We will never forget when you invited the grandkids to be a part of your “Sweet Zoo” video project. It was so exciting for them to see their artwork while you sang the song. Without a doubt, that video will be something to always treasure.
Lance, we love and miss you terribly, but we are so grateful for the influence you’ve had on us as a dad, and for the immense love that you’ve not only brought into our lives, but the kind of love that you’ve shown us is possible by loving our dad with your whole heart and soul. We will be forever thankful.
Love, your kids- Jennifer, Danielle, Nicole, and Aaron