Lucas Eibel Remembered As Lover Of Animals And Life

By Ryan Haas (OPB)
Oct. 9, 2015 10:50 p.m.

Courtesy of Eibel Family


Lucas Eibel, 18, came from a family that friends describe as extremely close. He was born in Portland to Keith and Donna Eibel, along with three siblings as a set of quadruplets.

As Eibel grew up, he developed broad interests and did well in school. He played soccer, loved to draw, and spent his free time caring for homeless animals at the Saving Grace Animal Shelter in Roseburg.

Family members said he had a passion for Future Farmers of America, and the group has shown an outpouring of grief and support for the family.

“Lucas Eibel was an (FFA) officer, and friend to all.

We are devastated by his passing

,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.


Eibel graduated from Roseburg High School in 2015, and earned scholarships from the Ford Family Foundation and Umpqua Community College, where he went on to study chemistry.

“He really was amazing, you know. He always had a smile on his face,” said Leila Goulet, education coordinator for the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

Goulet spent a summer in 2014 working with Eibel as part of the Safari’s “junior zookeeper volunteer program.”

She said Eibel always had a positive attitude when he came to volunteer — an “always willing to roll up his sleeves and get dirty” attitude that people across the Wildlife Safari noticed, even if they didn’t work with Eibel directly.

As a junior zookeeper, Eibel would clean cages, feed the animals and helped educate young children about the animals there. Goulet said kids loved him.

Eibel had a particular fondness for Wildlife Safari’s badger, Bandit. One day, Goulet could sense that Eibel was anxious to walk Bandit, but that’s a responsibility junior zookeepers usually aren’t afforded.

Still, Goulet said she knew she could trust Eibel.

“He was able to take badger’s leash, which is not something we give up to any junior,” she said. “I just remember him being so happy and so proud.”

Goulet says Wildlife Safari plans to put up a remembrance plaque in Eibel’s honor. They also plan to fulfill a request from Lucas’ mom: Name a baby animal after him.

Church on the Rise will hold a memorial service for Eibel at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. His family asked that donations go to the Roseburg FFA, victim relief funds, Wildlife Safari and Saving Grace Animal Shelter.