Mr. James Spivey Luke, Sr., age 90 of Jacksonville, FL passed away at Lakeside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jacksonville on Saturday, July 16, 2016.
Born in Hartsfield, GA, he was the youngest and last living child born to the late Herbert Hodges and Nora Lee Craig Luke. At the age of fifteen his family moved from Hartsfield to Fernandina where he completed high school and was a standout basketball player. As a teenager he worked at the Florida House Inn which his aunt, Addie Cheshire owned and was managed by his mother. His primary responsibility was to secure and prepare the needed shrimp from the local shrimpers for the Friday night dinners at the Florida House. Mr. Luke also worked at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Fernandina. After high school he enrolled at the University of Florida to pursue a degree in Engineering. In 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps where he served as a Radar Mechanic and Operator until being honorably discharged in 1946. On October 3, 1947 he married Betty Jean Wilson of Wachula, FL. The newlyweds settled in Gainesville as Mr. Luke returned to UF to complete his Engineering Degree and Mrs. Luke worked as a Bank Teller.
After obtaining his Bachelors Degree he joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conversation Service. During his career with the USDA he and his family moved throughout the state until his retiring in 1980 in Gainesville, FL. After retiring the Lukes also resided in Orlando before joining their daughter and son in law in Jacksonville.
Mr. Luke has been a lifelong member of the Methodist church.
He leaves behind, his wife of 68 years, Betty Jean Luke, Jacksonville, FL, their four children, Susan Luke (Ronnie Pope), Apopka, FL, Denise Leigh (Ernie), Jacksonville, FL, James Luke Jr. (Liz), Winter Springs, FL, Kathy Lipsit (Greg), Orlando, FL, nine grandchildren, four great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 11:30 am on Friday, July 22, 2016 in the Burgess Chapel of Oxley Heard with his son in law, Ernie Leigh, officiating.
Mr. Luke will be laid to rest at 2:30 pm in Jacksonville National Cemetery with military honors.
His family will receive friends on Friday, at the funeral home, from 10:00 am until the hour of service.