The Buddy Card - Family honors son killed after a night of drinking

The Buddy Card - Family honors son killed after a night of drinking
By: Mary-Ann Maloney
STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. - Many people know Wade Lurk as the young man who, after drinking at an under aged party, crashed his car into Goose Creek Lake and died.   Those who loved Wade hope his life isn't measured or judged by a lapse in good judgment.  Wade was, by all accounts, a good kid.  Wade mowed yards for senior citizens, went on mission trips to help the less fortunate and always looked out for his friends.
The night of March 31st, Wade and a bunch of friends were at a lodge at Goose Creek, drinking and having fun.  After sleeping in his car, police believe that Wade attempted to drive the 25 miles home.  He never made it.  Wade was missing for more than two weeks.  Hundreds of people searched Ste. Genevieve County for him.   Then, on April 17th, a fisherman spotted what looked like Wade's car in Goose Creek.  For Tina and Mike Lurk, there was a sense of great relief.  No longer did they lay awake wondering what had happened to their first born.
Because Wade was so special, his family wanted to honor his memory in a meaningful way.  Thousands of dollars were sent in my friends and family from across the country.  Since Wade loved all the science classes taught by Nancy Fischer, Tina and Mike thought it would be appropriate to pay for the chemistry lab to be renovated.  There are new computers, new desktops, cabinetry and flooring.  On the door, there is a plaque, dedicating the room in Wade's memory.
There is also a memorial garden in the family's backyard, again paid for by those who loved Wade and who love the Lurks.  Statues, a fountain and chimes offer a peaceful place for the family to reflect.
At Valle High School, where Wade was a senior last spring, they've started what's called the "buddy card" system.  It's a card about the size of a credit card, small enough to fit in a wallet or pocket.  On one side there's a prayer, on the other, four blank lines.  The students are asked to write the names and numbers of people they can call when they need help.
For the Lurk's nothing will fill the void left by Wade's death.  But if they can save one child from getting hurt, or even worse, they'll feel that Wade didn't die in vain.  Just as he did so often in life, even in his death, Wade continues to look out for his friends.  If you're interested in learning more about the buddy card, go to, you'll find more information there.