July 10th, 2010
James Allison Luker of Prescott, Ariz. died Wednesday, May 19, 2010 with his wife of 63 years Peggie by his side.
Mr. Luker was the Dean of the School of Engineering at Syracuse University for nearly 20 years before retiring in 1982. Born in Yazoo City on February 5, 1923, James dedicated his life to promoting engineering and education.
His foundation and belief in education began early in his life as his mother Laura Lee Luker was the high school principal at the public school in Yazoo City. Her father, James's grandfather, William Roy Jones was also an educator. William Roy had been sent to England as a young boy to be educated just prior to the start of the Civil War, upon his return at the end of that conflict, he found his six brothers, mother and father had been killed during the war, and only William Roy's older brother also named James had survived but was badly injured. William Roy became a noted scholar and advocate for equal rights and education in Mississippi and is credited with the formation of Pinewood School for boys which offered education to all races.
Encouraged by his mother and grandfather both James and his older brother William Dean pursued an education in chemical engineering and received doctorate degrees. James attended M.I.T and Northwestern University. Both James and William made significant contributions to the field of chemical engineering during their professional careers. James also served in the Army as a First Lieutenant during War II.
James is survived by his wife Margaret Luker, and his four children Laurie, Lin, Julie and James A Luker Jr of Marstons Mills, Mass.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. July 27, 2010 at Granite Peak Unitarian Church in Prescott, Ariz.
Memorials may be made to: Syracuse University -Chemical Engineering Scholarship, Attention Ms Angela Lafrance, Director of Alumni and Donors Records, 820 Comstock Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244