Sgt. Donald Lucas (April 8, 2007)

Sgt. Donald Lucas, 31, was hailed as a respected soldier and a valued friend, as about 1,100 mourners filled St. Thomas Anglican Church in downtown St. John's for a private service.

Grieving with Lucas's widow and two young children were family members and fellow soldiers from Lucas's regiment at Canadian Forces Gagetown in New Brunswick.

"He was my friend. That's why I'm here," Paul Noftall, who grew up five houses away from Lucas, said while choking back tears.

"Very hard day. Very sad."

Describing Lucas as "an outstanding soldier and highly regarded by those soldiers he commanded," Brig.-Gen. Rick Parsons said the loss is deeply felt.

"He was a soldier that  probably the best way to compliment him  is that his soldiers that served with him would follow him anywhere," Parsons told reporters.

"And as a military person, you couldn't ask for a higher compliment."

 

Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday morning to bid a final farewell to Sgt. Donald Lucas who was killed in Afghanistan on Easter Sunday. Rows of military personnel stood at attention saluting their fallen comrade. His wife, son and daughter held hands. Brigadier General Rick Parsons called Sgt. Lucas well respected and highly regarded.

Sergeant Donald Jason Lucas died on Easter Sunday when the armed military vehicle he was travelling in was hit by a roadside bomb. Five other members of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, Hotel Company died in the blast, including Private Kevin Vincent Kennedy of St. Lawrence. The 31-year old was born and raised in St. John's, and was the youngest child of Ella and Fred Lucas. He started his career with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment before transferring to the Regular Force and 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. Sgt. Lucas, his wife and two young children were living in Burton, New Brunswick.