Remembering John "Lukey" Yang, 16
Farewell to John "Lukey" Yang, 16
AsianConnections thanks Elvis Thao for his permission to reprint his
personal tribute to his friend.
John "Lukey" Yang
September 13, 1991 -
April 22, 2008
The untimely death of John "Lukey" Yang, 16, on Tuesday
from an automobile accident has shocked and saddened
the Milwaukee, Wisconsin community and all the friends and family that knew young John. The local news reported the tragic accident.
Funeral services observing Hmong traditions
will begin tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday for Lukey
at Church and Chapel Funeral Home in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. Lukey will be laid to rest on Monday.
"Lukey", as he was called was like a little brother to Elvis Thao 25, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Elvis, a freestyle rapper and musician with
RARE, a popular band that is based in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin writes this tribute to his young friend Lukey.
He was a good kid. Smart, brave, creative, and to me,
most importantly, fun. This dude was funny as all
Man, he was funny. If there was one thing that I
liked, it was his brightness. At age 16, he knew how
to hunt, fish, touch cars, fix houses, drive and so
A lot of things that at my age (25) I do
not know how to do. He was also very athletic, yet
clumsy (haha) at the same time. He was also a rapper
and a great dancer.
This dude could dance. We always had fun with it.
Messing with each other. He absolutely
loved music. And I really would have liked to use him
for something of that in the future.
I had high hopes for him. Guess that time wont come.
It would have been good. And one heck of an experience.
Though I never got the chance to experience it, his
brothers told me he was a great artist. And I hear he
was great in school. They said he always took it very
He even got along with ALL of his teachers.
They loved him very much. As and Bs only would he
get. And real good attendance. But that somehow seemed
to falter this current year. It all just kind of
changed. I heard his grades and attendance went down.
He was having too much fun. Its amazing how great he
was educationally. I especially believe this because
Ive seen it myself.
The kid was SO smart. So smart that its scary.
He hangs out with me and my buddies every week.
Wed stay up late and have a great time.
He was always telling jokes and making us laugh. There
was never a dull moment with him.
He was ALWAYS the life of the party. I adore him so much for that.
We would always freestyle rap and he would crack on me
all the time. Id feel like a complete idiot. His
rhymes were funny. Id try to come back at him, but
just eventually quit from saving the embarrassment.
Haha. This kid use to keep us up. The night would just
be rolling. Im going to miss that a lot. He was never
at a lost for words. He was always so quick, witty,
and unique with his words and his poise.
Its shocking. So much potential. And so much energy.
I wish I had those attributes. He was going to be
something in this life. Everyone knew that. And can
see that. What? I dont exactly know. But SOMEONE for
He was a special child. You could just tell when
youre in his presence. Theres NO way. Im really
going to miss him.
The nights will never be the same.
Hes so energetic. And the environment just wont seem
as pleasant. So much potential, but in all the wrong
areas. I know he meant well. His intentions were
always good. But perhaps he was a bit lost and
confused at times. Arent we all? All in all, I always
wished him better. At times, Id try to avoid having
him around us. Cause I always knew he could be more.
I always wanted him to explore more. To seek for more in
this life. And to find his place. Perhaps I didnt
quite know what to do or what tools to use. Or rather,
even where to start.
He needed more time to grow. And the atmosphere we
were in was ahead of his time. I wish he would have
had more space. To focus on his identity.
He grew up WAY too fast. I can only wonder.
I wish he could have more. And to instead, put his
full potential in the right areas. Areas where they
needed to be applied the most. If only there was more
time. But that fell short.
Til my dying day, I will ALWAYS ponder the thought of,
what could have been?Cause he has and will ALWAYS
be a special child. Its just too sad we will never find out.
His mother also told me that at times when she would
talk bad about this life and/or others, Lukey would be
the one to correct her, and lead her down the right
path. And strengthen those negativities. He loved her
very much. His father also.
He was like a best friend to his father. They hung out.
Always taking time on weekends to help Dad out.
Even when it was time to play. He would not join us.
The duties and priorities of his family played a major factor.
His parents, also, very much like him, are strong individuals.
They took this death rather well. They never blamed God or
asked why. Instead, they praised Him and lifted His
name on high. They accepted His decision.
They truly understand this life and what its all about. I hope
youre proud of them Lukey. I know theyre proud of
you. I heard he wrote a little book called Me,
Myself, and I. It was a class assignment. Hey Lukey,
I cant wait to read it. Lets have a laugh.
The impossible, yet miraculous happened yesterday.
In the midst of wires and tubes of pipes running through
and out his head and all parts of his body, things in
my mind I never visually EVER want to see again, we
seen one last tear running down his cheek.
A message strong and firm to insure us he was fighting for dear
life. And then like a warrior he dropped down his
oxygen level in answer to his willingness to leave
this earth, as his family pops the question to him.
It was a sign he has made up his mind. And he shall
suffer no more. He knew the consequences. He did it
for US. He did not want us to see him suffering.
Instead, he knew what he had to choose. He did it for
US. I promise, I wont cry if you dont cry. Agreed.
As I sit here and drink away his memory. I realize. If
theres one thing Id like to say, that is sorry.
Sorry to him, his family, and everyone else in this
world he could have influenced.
So many people would have been touched by him.
Im content about that.
Slowly, Im sure we all tried. To find the right path
for him. But then again, for me, obviously, I fell
short. Bringing him into an environment, around grown
adults, where he did not belong. And I guess I have a
sense of guilt for that.
But all in all, it will be a learning process for us all.
You ever wonder why God takes all the good ones?
Cause it is the good angels that he sends down to convert
the bad ones over. I am converted.
Farewell, my friend. You will be missed.
Missed, but NEVER forgotten.
Long live. I will see you up there soon.
And we shall be a new transformation.
We will dance in the heavenly skies.
Miss you forever and ever.
I will long for the morrow.
A Tribute to John "Lukey" Yang by friend Elvis Thao