LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville family is turning to their pastor and church for support through some devastating grief. UPS pilot Doug Lampe died September 3 when his plane crashed less than an hour after takeoff from Dubai. Lampe had been a member of Southeast Christian Church since 1999 and when the news spread of his loss, church friends immediately went to the Lampe home to provide comfort.
"There's no question, reality sinks in when you see a mom there with either of her kids right up there next to her" said Pastor Dave Stone, who prayed with the family on Saturday. "You realize their lives are forever changed."
With nearly 27,000 members at Southeast Christian, it's impossible for Stone to know each one personally, but Doug Lampe was one person he did.
"He and Cindy started coming and I actually struck up a friendship with him" says Stone.
As Stone recalled a golf outing shared by just the two of them, he said it gave him a real opportunity to get to know Doug.
He describes him as a typical pilot, "a steady Eddy, loyal individual, gonna do things right. He was a man of faith, family and he loved his job."
Flying was a job Lampe had in common with his dear friend, Tim Byrd. Doug was best man at Tim's wedding and while they both worked at UPS, Tim says it was faith and family that always came first for them both. He says of Southeast in Doug's loss, its members will "hold up your hands when you can't hold them up yourself, hold up your heart when your heart's breaking."
Doug leaves behind his wife Cindy, 7-year-old daughter Kelly and 5-year-old son, Andrew. After praying with them Saturday, Stone said he tried to encourage them and Doug's children know what an awesome dad they had. Stone said he has no doubts that Doug's children are "more excited about getting to heaven this week than they were last week."
UPS is stepping in with support as well, but from the community, the family is simply asking for prayer.
"There's nothing bigger than that. Prayer is what they need," Stone says, "and prayer is what they want."
At this time, there is no memorial services planned at the church. Stone says once Doug's remains are returned to Louisville the family will make those plans.