The family of Lucas Marcelli is finalizing plans for the funeral Mass on Saturday for the Jackson Township man killed in a plane crash this week.
The Case Western Reserve University student who was majoring in biochemistry and premed lost his life Monday night in a plane crash that claimed three other students.
The four friends planned to take a short sightseeing flight over the Cleveland skyline after their first day of classes.
Marcelli was a sophomore. He wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon.
Marcelli’s siblings said their brother was excited about going on a plane ride with two of his wrestling buddies and one fraternity brother.
The four were aboard a 1999 Cessna 172 propeller plane that crashed in Willoughby Hills shortly after taking off from the Cuyahoga County Airport.
“We were Snapchatting the night it happened,” said his 15-year-old brother, Victor. “He was sharing pictures of the plane he was about to board and pictures of his friends in the cockpit.”
He also sent a video to his sister, Marissa, 17, talking about how they were clear for takeoff.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol says the airplane appeared to have engine trouble and the pilot, William Felten, 20, of Michigan, tried to turn back toward the airport when it crashed.
Abraham Pishevar, 18, of Maryland, and John Hill, 18, of Georgia, were also killed in the crash.
Marcelli’s family didn’t find out about the crash until around 3:30 a.m.
“Lucas was adventurous, but not a risk taker,” said his mother, Angela. “He didn’t see this as a risk. Statistically you have less of a chance of dying in a plane crash than in an automobile accident.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. A spokesperson said a preliminary report on the crash should be ready within 10 days.
Marcelli was a standout wrestler.
As a freshman, he was named Rookie of the Year for all sports at Case and was named the team’s wrestler of the year.
A 2013 graduate of Jackson High School, he finished sixth in state wrestling in both his junior and senior years.
His family said he enjoyed fishing, camping and hiking and was mindful of good health, always watching his diet and exercising.
“He always tried to better himself,” his mother recalls. “If he said he was going to do something he did it. He studied organic chemistry all summer long to get a jump on the class because he knew he was going to have a heavy load this year and would be busy with wrestling. He was doing very well.”
The high school chemistry teacher said she helped him work through the basics.
His twin sister, Michaela, who is older by one minute, said they always got along and her brother was very protective of her.
She said her brother’s most recent postings on Instagram and his Twitter account, “Choosing the pain of sacrifice over the pain of regret” and “Live life, never looking back” best described him.
“He was always upbeat, ambitious and excited about things,” she said. “He was fun to be around. He was always more mature for his age. He could hold a conversation with someone 10 years older with no problem.”
His parents, Angela and Bryan, said their son had an awesome relationship with everyone, including his siblings.
“He was good company and led by example, always trying to pay it forward, helping others any way he could,” his mom said.
A memorial fund in his name has been set up at FirstMerit Bank.
Calling hours will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Paquelet Funeral Home, 1100 Wales Road N.E., Jackson Township.
A funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary Catholic Church, 206 Cherry Road N.E., Massillon.
By Marilyn Miller - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2014 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
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