Lance McCollum.

California based luthier Lance McCollum, pass away from an abdominal aortic aneurysm on Sunday, February 1, 2009. Lance was a fanastic person and luthier. He always seemed to have time for you no matter if you were drooling over his creations or actually placing an order.

Fellow luthier Hank Mauel, a close friend of the McCollum family has been organising a Fund to benefit the McCollum family. This is what he wrote:

There has been an enormous outpouring of condolences and prayers for Lance’s wife, Dawn, and their children from, literally, around the world. To all those who sent messages, thank you.
One predominant theme in all was “What can I/we do for the family”
I have the answers below.

1. Of most importance and urgency at this time is the financial solvency of the family. Even the best laid plans generally do not include enough resources to deal with the sudden, enormous impact of such an event. Luthiers are no exception. So, today I established the McCollum Family Fund at my local bank to accept contributions to help defray these expense, and others that may arise, until some semblance of “normalcy” can be re-established. I know this is not the most auspicious of economic times, but neither does the need go away.

You may direct your contributions to:

“McCollum Family Fund”
c/o Bank of the West
13422 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603


“McCollum Family Fund”
c/o Mauel Guitars
P. O. Box 3014
Auburn, CA 95604

If there is the slightest concern on your part, you are welcome to contact the bank directly and speak with Diane Nolen, Branch Manager at 530-889-6280 regarding this matter. Diane, and her husband Dave, live in Colfax and know the McCollum family. You may also email me directly with any question you have.

2. Of less urgency but no less importance…there have been a fair number of replies and internet posts that contained anecdotes, stories or what I’ll call “Lance-ism”. These are all about relationships between Lance and his many customers, friends and fellow luthiers. I would like all that have posted these remembrances and anyone else who can recall one (or more if you got ‘em) of these “special moments” to put them to paper (on a letterhead if you have it), sign it and send it to me with a photo of yourself, or with Lance if you have one, or with a McCollum guitar if you are a proud owner. They will be assembled into a memory book that will be at the Lance McCollum table at this summer’s Healdsburg Festival. Luthier’s Mercantile International (LMI), the festival producers, has graciously supplied a table to celebrate Lance’s life and his contributions to luthiery and guitar players in general.

You may send these to Hanks address noted above. Hank can be reached at