By all accounts, Luke Reece was a loving father, devoted husband and hard-working member of the Davison, Michigan, community. So when he was rushed to the hospital out of nowhere for DVT blood clots, everyone prayed for a miracle. Sadly, the blood clots worsened and Luke passed away at just 32 years old, leaving hundreds of friends, family members and loved ones to grieve.

Shelley and their five children couldn’t imagine life without their rock. Things were never going to be the same without Luke’s gregarious smile and warm soul…

While the neighborhood rallied around the Reece family financially, their daughter’ former teacher, Steven Culbert, decided to help in a different way. He stopped by Luke’s hospital room several times and made sure to support the entire family as best he could.

The thought of his former students suffering was too much for the big-hearted educator to bear.

As Luke’s health continued to decline, Steven sensed he had only had a little time left to really make a difference. With a heavy heart, went to Luke’s bedside one last time. But this visit was for a specific purpose: he had to ask Luke an incredibly important question.

Steven asked Luke for the permission to take his two girls to the Daddy-Daughter school dance, along with his own daughters. Luke enthusiastically agreed before passing away shortly after when a blood clot moved to his heart causing cardiac arrest.

His final wish was for his children to be happy after his death – there was no way he would stop Steven from taking his girls to the dance!

Shelley posted a heartfelt message on her Facebook page thanking Steven for his generosity and sharing exactly what went down the night of the Daddy-Daughter dance.

“Wow! There are not enough words to express my gratitude to this humble giving teacher and friend and everyone involved to make this a night to remember. He has wrapped his arms around my girls and made sure they know he is there for them since Luke’s passing.

He has always been a teacher and role model children could look up to, he goes above and beyond for all his students. He visited us while Luke was in the hospital, and while there he asked the girls to be his and his girls’ special dates for the daddy-daughter dance.”

Losing their father is a daily struggle the Reece children will have to work to overcome every day of their lives – but when the day of dance rolled around, Luke’s daughters smiled wholeheartedly.

“He, among many other giving people, made sure this was a day to remember. The morning started out with him taking them to breakfast with his sweet family, off to the park to play, then to Stonegate where he got their hair and nails done, of course, hit their favorite-McDonalds.

Later he traveled out to North Branch where the girls were in their Aunt Laura’s wedding. We got them in their dresses picked out for them and their corsages all bought by other parents. They were surprised when their ride was a limo (thank you, Mr. Matt, for driving) to the dance, all four girls were so tickled and excited.

They even ended up getting ice cream after the dance.”

Shelley explained that this special outing was exactly what her daughters needed more than anything!

“They had so much fun and after an emotional day at Aunt Laura and Uncle Will’s wedding, this made their night. They have not stopped talking about it and love the necklaces they received.

I can’t thank you enough Mr. Culbert and everyone else that made this day happen. Thank you to his little girls for sharing your daddy.”
Steven didn’t have to take the Reece girls to the Daddy-Daughter dance, but he did so out of the goodness of his heart. In Steven’s mind, he just did what he hopes others would do if he were to pass away unexpectedly.
Thank God there are people like Steven in the world. Those who would donate their time and love in order to make someone’s day even a little brighter!



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