Tech Terrace residents raising funds to honor house explosion vi

Tech Terrace residents raising funds to honor house explosion victim

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Rodica Gelca, 45 Rodica Gelca, 45
LUBBOCK, Texas -

On the night of March 26, Rodica Gelca was helping her neighbors fight a house fire near 21st and Elgin Street. 

Out of no where, an explosion occurred and she was struck by debris. Rodica and home owner, John Fleming died that night. 

It has been 8 months since Rodica passed, but the neighborhood is doing what it can to make sure her memory is not forgotten. 

"We see this project as a contribution that she makes beyond life, her last contribution," husband Razvan Gelca said. 

Since that night, Razvan Gelca has been mourning the unexpected loss of his wife. 

"I don't think the pain will go away," Gelca said. 

But he has been able to cope with support from close friends and neighbors.

"I feel that Lubbock has a strong sense of community," Gelca said. "I really love this place for the way that people relate to each other."

Margaret Williams took it upon herself to head start a campaign, The Rodica Gelca Art Memorial. Quickly, other neighbors joined in and set out a goal to raise $100,000. 

"It's important that this doesn't get forgotten," Williams said.

With a $20,000 contribution from the Glasheen, Valles, and Inderman Law Firm, the group is one step closer to finding an artist who will bring their vision to life. 

"It was very clear from the beginning, that he did not only want to memorialize Rodica," Williams said. "Although that is a goal but to ask bring beauty to the community, to enhance tech terrace."

Instead, Gelca wants a piece of art that embodies her spirit but enhances the community in a broader sense.

"I would like to see an aspect of her character represented in this work of art, but I insist that this work of art can be something that everybody can relate to," Gelca said.

The hope is to have the memorial up within a year. For Razvan, he wants his wife to be able to leave her mark on the neighborhood, one last time.

"I want it to somehow compensate this tragedy for everybody, to make us discover something good in all this sorrow and hardness that we have experienced lately," Gelca said.

The project will be somewhere within Tech Terrace Park. If you would like to donate click here for the Go Fund Me page. 

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