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H. Alan LukeMarch 19, 1918 ~ September 20, 2017 (age 99)
After a full life, Alan Luke passed away peacefully at home on Sept 20, 2017 at age 99½. Hal, as he was affectionately known as a child, was born March 19, 1918 in Junction, Utah to John Henry and Ivy Viola Morrill Luke. He lived longer than any of his ancestors and had hoped to make the century mark but is now happily reunited with his mother who passed away when he was only 12. Growing up on a farm, he quickly learned the rewards of hard work and the value of land. He graduated as Valedictorian of Piute High School and received a scholarship to Utah State where he earned a degree in Agricultural Economics in 1941. While at USU, he met Ellen Thatcher. They were married for 19 years and had two children. Alan served in the Army during World War II, and was pleased to have qualified for the Signal Corps. He attended graduate school in Ithaca, NY where he earned both a Masters and PhD from Cornell University.
Upon graduation, Alan was hired as an associate professor at the University of Maine; then moved to Marketing Specialist and Senior Economist with the USDA in Washington DC. He worked in Milk Market Administration in Florida and then Utah. This job took him to SLC where he met Janet Marchant who was Director of the Dairy Council of Utah. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple on January 19, 1962 and moved to Denver where their three children were born. In Denver, Alan became the Milk Market Administrator for several western states. In 1973, Cream of Weber, Hi-Land, and Challenge dairies decided to merge and recruited Alan to be president and help establish Western General Dairies in SLC. He later went to Tacoma, WA where he was a Joint Professor for both Washington State and Oregon State Universities in their extension services. During this time, he and Janet enjoyed a six-month sabbatical in England where he was affiliated with the University of Reading. Although he tried to retire, his expertise was always in demand and he did consulting work in dairy marketing for many years after.
He loved to travel and visited all 50 states and 50 foreign countries. One of his favorite spots was the Colorado Rockies where he spent time fishing, camping, hiking, and even built a new family cabin there while in his eighties. He was a handyman who loved his tools and was often found fixing cars, making repairs or building needed items utilizing his excellent carpentry skills and ingenuity. He enjoyed working in the garden, researching family history, keeping up with new technology and using computers, and the challenge of investing in the stock market.
Alan was active in community service, participating with the Sons of Utah Pioneers as Mills Chapter president, and was elected National SUP President. He enjoyed being the advisor of the Young Dairy Cooperators in the Northwest for 10 years. He was President of the USU Old Main Society and was honored by USU Agriculture for Distinguished Service for his many contributions to the Dairy Industry. Realizing the importance of education, he has endowed scholarships at several Utah universities and Piute High School which continue to help many students.
A faithful member of the LDS church, he was serving in the Swiss German Mission when World War II broke out and he had to be evacuated with other European missionaries. He served a second mission with Janet in Toronto, Canada after he retired. Throughout his life he served in many capacities including teacher, High Councilman, Bishop, Seattle Temple worker, and Patriarch. He managed a large dairy farm for the church in Virginia and organized a stake welfare apple orchard in Tacoma, WA. Due to his love of family history he enjoyed working with the Young Single Adult stakes in the Family History Center at the University of Utah.
He had a keen wit and liked to make people laugh, retaining his quick sense of humor throughout his life.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Janet; children Jordan (Kathleen Cook) Virginia; Lynell (Gaylord Gardner) Logan; Lisa (Mark Freeman) Oregon; Matthew (Margaret Bowman) New Mexico; and Linda (Alex Castro) SLC; 15 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren; and his sister Retta Taylor, Bountiful. Preceded in death by his sisters Rosella Johnson and Wilma Anderson. The family wishes to express appreciation to Millcreek Hospice for their support at the end of his life.
Funeral services will be held in the Crestview Ward Building at 2795 E. Crestview Drive (1020 S.) on Saturday Sept 30 at 12:30pm with a viewing from 11am to 12noon. Burial will be in the Memorial Holladay Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the LDS Perpetual Education fund. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.HolbrookMortuary.com