DANVILLE — Donald G. Lucas, age 84, formerly of Danville, Ill., passed away Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, in Knoxville, Tenn.
He was preceded in death by parents, Maurice Guy and Vera Lavina Stuart Lucas; and siblings, Samuel, George, Gwen and Doris.
He is survived by his beautiful wife, Betty Ann Duke Lucas, originally from New Zion, S.C.; precious sons, William Maurice (Reese) Lucas and wife, Mary Kay, and Steven Donald Lucas and wife, Chele; wonderful grandchildren, Kimberly Marie (Michael) Carter, Bradley Steven Lucas, Kathleen Elyse Lucas, Aubrey (Adam) Southwell, Michael (Courtney) Smith; cherished great-grandchildren, Caden, Isiah and Eli; and many nieces and nephews who each were special to him.
Don graduated from Danville High School in 1947, Danville Junior College and Illinois State University in 1959. While attending high school and college, Don played basketball and was captain of the first basketball team at Danville Junior College. He later received his master’s degree from Eastern Illinois University.
Don worked for General Electric for 12 years, was in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and taught school for 30 years. For 28 of those years, he taught social studies, woodworking, drafting and was the guidance counselor at Catlin. Don enjoyed sports. He was the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball coach, assistant football coach, golf and track coach and started the baseball program. He played softball and tennis until he was 55 and played golf until he turned 80. The most important things in Don’s life were his family. Betty was more than his wife; she was also his best friend. She took care of him when he was unable to take care of himself and was always there when he needed her. She was an Angel to him and a “Super Mom.”
Being a teacher, Don had the summers off to watch over his sons. They played many rounds of golf together, played on the same softball team and had many precious times working and playing. He completely rebuilt the engine on a 1940 Plymouth with Reese, and, when finished, it ran like new. He and Steve tried to finish the roof before Steve went back to school, and he let Don finish it.
He enjoyed being with friends, a good joke and telling stories, some of which he made into books for his grandchildren. Don liked to sing little songs to his children and grandchildren and work with wood, making many projects for his grandchildren and friends.
Don has come to the end of his journey; He has traveled his last weary mile.
Forget if you can that he ever frowned, and remember only his smile.
Forget unkind words that were spoken, and remember some good he has done.
Forget that he ever had a heartache, because I know we’ve all had some.
Remember all the good times we’ve had together, and these memories will linger on.
Remember, yes, remember that in this life, Don had lots of fun.
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at Highland West Memorial Funeral Home. Funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Highland West Memorial Funeral Home, with graveside service to immediately follow in Highland West Cemetery. Please sign Don’s online register book at www.highlandmemorialparks.com. Highland West Memorial Funeral Home, 9913 Sherrill Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37932; (865) 693-9547.