Lance Waldroup from “Moonshiners” died at 30

April 18, 2024
7 mins read

Lance Waldroup was a beloved reality TV personality, who rose to fame as one of the starts of the popular Discovery Channel series “Moonshiners”. His rough and tumble exterior combined with his casual and care-free attitude made him an instant fan favorite, but it was his kindness and good-hearted nature that truly endeared him to viewers all around the world. Lance sadly passed away in 2021 at the age of 30, from a combination of mounting health issues.

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Early life and Background

Lance Waldroup was born on 7th September 1982, in Robbinsville, North Carolina. He grew up in a family with a long history of moonshining, and from early childhood, learned the ins and outs of the trade from his father and grandfather. Moonshining was a way of life for the Waldroup family, and Lance was no exception, quickly developing a deep passion for the craft.

Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, Lance was an avid outdoorsman, and loved spending time in the woods, also enjoying hunting and fishing with his family, becoming incredibly skilled at both. Lance also had a passion for music, and often played the guitar and sang at local events and gatherings.

Despite his love for moonshining and the outdoors, Lance faced his share of challenges in his early life. He struggled with substance abuse, and was a recovering opioid addict, apart from which, Lance also suffered from high blood pressure and suicidal thoughts.

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Growing up, Lance had a very strong bond with his sister Lindsey and brother Lamar. Both of his siblings had health issues relating to Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease which affects the lungs. His sister tragically passed away at the age of 11 due to the illness, while his brother had to have a lung transplant, after which Lamar lived for over 11 years, but ultimately passed away at the age of 20. Losing both of his siblings was very difficult for Lance, and he struggled a lot with “survivor’s guilt”. Lance’s drug problems are likely to be have been caused by these tragic events as a form of coping mechanism, but he eventually turned his life around, going into rehab.

Lance’s relationship with his father Jeff

Lance had a very close relationship with his father Jeff, who taught him most of what he knew about moonshining. Jeff was a proud father who was quick to praise his son for his skills and expertise in the distilling process, always encouraging and teaching Lance. The two often joked and teased each other, but their deep love and appreciation for one another was always clear.

While Lance was struggling with substance abuse, it was his father Jeff who was there to support him, encouraging him to get help for his addiction, to which Lance eventually listened and went to rehab.

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Career in “Moonshiners”

Lance Waldroup’s career officially kicked off in 2011, when he was featured in the Discovery Channel show “Moonshiners” alongside his father Jeff. As their family has a rich history in the moonshining business, it’s no surprise that directors of the show found them to be the perfect fit. Lance’s laid-back and charismatic personality made for very compelling television, and it didn’t take long for him to become a fan favorite.

On the show, Lance demonstrated his incredible skills as a moonshiner, despite being significantly younger than the other cast members. He often came up with new and innovative ways of distilling which made him a valuable asset. Working in often dangerous environments, Lance didn’t shy away from taking risks in order to get the job done. He was also in charge of security, and keeping their operations hidden from authorities, where his strong physique played an important part. He also helped mediate arguments between his father Jeff and Mark, who are known to frequently get into arguments.

Despite all the seriousness and dangers associated with moonshining, Lance is often joking around and being silly; not even guns are taken seriously when Lance is around. His behavior could even be characterized as reckless, and he’s caused a few mishaps during his time in the show. Still, Lance always tried his best and didn’t let mistakes discourage him.

Lance and Jeff’s appearance in “Moonshiners” ended in 2018 with season seven. Many fans of the show were left disappointed that Lance and Jeff weren’t featured in season eight – their disappearance from the show was later explained, as Lance and Jeff decided to conduct their business online. It was also rumored that a police investigation may have been a strong influence on their decision. Whatever the reason may have been, fans of the show miss their quirky personalities and banter-filled interactions.

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Death and Legacy

A few years after his last appearance on the show “Moonshiners”, Lance Waldroup tragically passed away on 25th of February 2021, at the age of 30. He spent his last moments at home playing video games in his room, where he was found unconscious by his mother just four hours after their last conversation.

Autopsy results revealed that the cause of death was congestive heart failure, a condition where the heart is unable to pump enough blood through the body. The fatal heart failure is likely to have been sparked by Lance’s morbid obesity and cardiomyopathy, as he weighed around 580lbs towards the end of his life. His struggle with opioid addiction was confirmed by the presence in his room of Suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid addiction and help with withdrawal, however, despite narcotics not playing a role in Lance’s death, there was plenty of evidence of drug abuse in his body.

Lance’s death came as a shock to his family, especially considering the ill fate of Lance’s siblings. His mother Lynn was devastated, saying that she had never felt such pain in her life. His father Jeff felt like he’d lost a piece of himself with Lance’s passing.

Fans of the show “Moonshiners” were quick to send their support, love and condolences to the Waldroup family and their friends, with many of them posting pictures of Lance on social media, and sharing their favorite Lance moments from the show. In addition, the “Moonshiners” cast and crew also expressed their grief at the loss of Lance. Tim Smith, a fellow moonshiner in the show, shared a tribute on social media, saying that Lance was like a brother to him, and that he will be deeply missed.

Following Lance’s death, the Waldroup family faced some financial issues as Jeff lost his job due to the coronavirus pandemic. For that reason, a “GoFundMe” page was started for Lance’s memorial fund, as a way for fans and friends to give back to the Waldroup family, as Lance and Jeff had co-ordinated many fundraisers for others in the past, often at their own expense. Aside from that, the fundraiser was also intended as a means of covering the funeral costs; it quickly reached its goal of $15,000, with almost 350 donations.

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The overwhelming support from fans that the Waldroup family received stands as a testament to Lance’s popularity and impact he had on people. There’s no doubt that he was an inspiration to many, with his kindness and willingness to help others. Lance’s passing left a hole in the heart of fans, one that will not be easy to fill.

“Moonshiners”, a Discovery Channel controversy

“Moonshiners” is a reality television show that premiered on the Discovery Channel in 2011. The show follows a group of people who produce illegal moonshine in the Appalachian Mountains, and has become one of the channel’s most popular programs.

Over the years, the show has had a large number of dramatic events, mainly due to clashes with authorities. In 2013, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control raided the set of “Moonshiners” and arrested several cast members for moonshining, including Tickle, one of the show’s most popular stars. Two years later in 2015, another cast member, Jim Tom Hedrick, was arrested in Tennessee for driving under the influence.

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Since the early days of the show, the public opinion on “Moonshiners” has been split. Many viewers appreciate the show for its unique portrayal of the hard-working people in the moonshining community, while others criticize the show for glorifying an illegal activity, and for perpetuating negative stereotypes about the Appalachian region and its people.

Despite the controversies and occasional troubles with authorities, “Moonshiners” has been a successful show, staying on air for 12 seasons and over 200 episodes so far, reaching a rating of six stars on IMDb. Due to its immense popularity, the show also spawned several spin-off series, including “Moonshiners: Master Distiller”, and “Moonshiners: Whiskey Business”, which series delve deeper into the intricacies of moonshining, and the people who make it all possible.

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What is Moonshining?

Moonshining refers to the illegal distillation and production of alcoholic beverages, such as whiskey, without any permits or licenses. The term “moonshine” originates from the tradition of creating alcohol at night, under the light of the moon, to better avoid detection by authorities.

Moonshining has a long history in the US, and particularly in the Appalachian region, where it became popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a way for low-income people to make a living, especially during times of economic hardship. The introduction of Prohibition in 1920 also brought the widespread production of illicit alcohol, or moonshine. As prohibition made alcohol illegal and hard to get, it put moonshining in a very lucrative position. People’s thirst for alcohol did not vanish with the introduction of Prohibition: if anything it increased it, and moonshine was in high demand.

Production of moonshine is a complex and dangerous process that involves distilling a fermented mash of grains and other ingredients, such as sugar or fruit, in order to create a high-proof alcoholic beverage. Moonshine made with such methods can be around 190 proof, compared to 80 proof, or 40% alcohol, which is the most common amount for alcoholic spirits. This high concentration of alcohol makes the drinks extremely potent, and potentially dangerous.

Moonshining is illegal in all parts of the US, and those who are caught often face fines, imprisonment, and other legal penalties. Despite its dangers and illegal status, moonshining continues to be practiced in some areas of the country, particularly in rural areas where there is a strong tradition of producing homemade spirits.

Olivia Wilson

As the Freelance Writer at Net Worth Post, I steer producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output.

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