Leon W. Luke

Leon W. Luke, 91, died Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005, at his residence in Portales.

He was born Dec. 25, 1913, in Melbourne, Fla., to Myrtle and Robert T. Luke.

He married Emma E. Clark on April 13, 1940. He volunteered for service in the U.S. Army during World War II and completed officer training school in 1942. He served in north Africa, France, Italy, and Germany, and was with troops the day the Dachau Death Camp was liberated. He was awarded a Bronze Star on July 31, 1945. He served in active duty until 1946, when he joined the U.S. Army Reserves. In 1951, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in accounting from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

He worked as an accountant for Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque for many years before retiring in 1973, when he also retired from the U.S. Army Reserves.

Family members said he accepted Christ at an early age and had been a devoted Christian throughout his life. He served in various capacities at the First Baptist Church and Del Norte Baptist Church in Albuquerque and then attended Texico Baptist Church and Central Christian Church after moving to Portales.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Schubert Luke; his sister, Nell Downer; and his wife, Emma E. Luke.

Survivors include his brother, Paul (Marsha) Luke of Phoenix; son, Robert (Erras) Luke of Albuquerque; daughters, Wanda Palmer of Largo, Fla., Deborah (Dennis) Eben of Littleton, Colo., and Lora (Jerry) Wood of Portales; grandchildren, Austin (Kate) Luke, Marques (Marissa) Luke, Bethany Luke, Don (Carrie) Eben, Dale (Amy) Eben, Matthew (Kris) Wood, Marcus Wood, and Mandi Wood; and great-grandchildren, Erin and Payton Luke, Seth, Leah, Rachel, Joshua, and Levi Eben, Zachary and Aric Wood, and Shelby and Jordan Wood-Jasso.

Rev. Dick Ross will officiate.

Pallbearers will be Austin, Marques, and Bethany Luke, Don and Dale Eben, and Matthew, Marcus, and Mandi Wood.

Honorary pallbearers will be great-grandchildren.

Burial will take place at Portales Cemetery.

Arrangements are by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales.