REGION TRIES TO HEAL
Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2008
By KEVIN CHIRI
Editor and Publisher
LAPLACE – Chance Millet grew up with a future in life that could have matched his first name.
When his mother and father split up early in life, it was left to his grandparents to raise him, making things difficult for the young man from LaPlace.
But listening to family and friends relate the tale of Millet’s life at the funeral services held this week for the 25 year old, it is clear that Millet was determined to leave nothing to chance.
Millet was one of the five young men killed in a boating accident on the Blind River last week, which also saw 22-year-old Stanley Borne Jr., 22-year-old Ken Horzelski, 20-year-old Joshua McNulty, and 23-year-old Patrick McTopy Jr. all die. A sixth person, Brandon Charles Prudhomme, was the only survivor from the boat the boys were riding in, and is still in serious condition in Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.
For Millet, the circumstances he was dealt in life only proved to motivate him to ensure he had a bright future. But more than caring about himself, Millet seemed almost more concerned with the future of two young brothers.
“His brothers were his motivation,” said family friend Rosalind Trosclair, who some called ‘his second mother.’ “He was always saying that he wanted to be successful so he could take care of them.”
And success is something Millet had plenty of.
He graduated from Riverside Academy in 2001, as a standout wide receiver who was an All-Academic performer. Then he walked on to the football field at Louisiana College, and made the team as a wide receiver, also making the All-Academic Conference team three years in a row.
He graduated from Louisiana College with a B.A. in business, then went on to earn his masters at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.
“His drive for success made him special. But he wasn’t the kind of guy who would run over people just to get what he wanted,” Bruce Troxclair, an uncle, said. “He took the tough times he experienced growing up and said ‘I’m not letting them get to me.’ And he turned everything from negative to make it a positive.”
Another uncle, Leslie Troxclair, was like many in attendance at the funeral services who talked about the smile Millet was known for.
“Everyone loved that smile he had. He was always smiling and he touched a lot of people. And he made friends from a lot of different groups of people,” Troxclair said. “He always took a lot of pride in everything he did.”
Troxclair said that the drive in so many areas for Millet was all due to the love he had for his younger brothers.
“That was why he tried to do so much, and to be successful,” Troxclair said. “He even left his insurance policies to his brothers, and set up a trust fund for them both so they can go to college and so they will be taken care of.”
Millet was raised by his grandparents, Huey and Mary Helen Troxclair, and both uncles spoke highly of the way Millet thought about his grandfather.
“He loved his grandpa a lot, and it was tough on him when the grandfather died in 1999,” Leslie Troxclair said.
As a tribute to the grandfather, Millet took a 1998 GMC Truck that belonged to his grandpa, and turned it into a classic vehicle that everyone in the parish knew.
“This thing had the kind of paint that changes color, and listen to this, it actually had five TV’s inside the truck, no kidding,” Troxclair added. “He did it as a tribute to his grandpa.”
His grandmother said that she was always impressed with the way Millet took care of himself, and made sure to get educated, so he could help his brothers.
“The amazing thing is that he put himself completely through college, and got his education, all so he could help his brothers have a good life,” Mary Helen Troxclair said.
Millet was laid to rest next to his grandfather in the St. Peter Cemetery in Reserve.
Millet, single and never married previously, was working at Hammerman & Gaines, Inc., a financial services company in Lutcher, and was remembered by co-worker Deanna Lachney, who helped get him the job there at the beginning of 2008.
“Chance was an awesome employee, and just a great kid to be around,” she recalled. “He was always smiling. I think the thing I will remember most is that grin of his. He had such a great outlook on life.”
Lachney said that Millet was even pursuing a career as a rapper and had been working on putting a CD together.
Millet’s grandmother said that Louisiana College informed her they will be setting up a memorial scholarship in his name, and the football team will wear black arm bands all this coming season to honor him.
Many of the football players and coaches that he had played alongside attended the services on Wednesday or Thursday.
“Chance was the total essence of what you think about when you call someone a friend,” said Ryan Gregory, a defensive lineman on the team with Millet. “He was the guy who would always be there for you.”
Gregory said that he had played on a high school team that Riverside had beaten during their high school years, and Millet never let him forget it.
“He would always talk about how they had beaten us,” Gregory said. “But it was good for a laugh between us.”
Frankie Canova, another player with the team, said that Millet “lit up the room when he came in with that great smile he had, and with a great personality. We were really close friends at college and he became like a brother to so many of us on a team. He was really loved by a lot of people, and is really going to be missed.”
Rosalind Trosclair said that Millet had become like one of her kids, since he became good friends with her three sons, and was frequently at her house.
“He was always welcome in our house, and I always tried to be there to listen to him, like his mom would,” she said. “But with all his troubles, he still was intent on taking care of his brothers. He was a boy that you just had to love.”