Services will be at 10:00 am Wed., Sept. 11 in Washington Avenue Christian Church, 3800 South Washington Avenue, Amarillo, with Luke's long-time friend and evangelist Norman Jones of Elk City, Oklahoma, officiating, assisted by Lenny McCay, associate pastor / Jim Shelburne, pastor of Washington Avenue Christian Church. Arrangements are by Memorial Park Funeral Home, 6969 Interstate-40. Entombment will be in Memorial Park Mausoleum East. Honor guard from the Navy will render military honors.
Luke was born March 2, 1922, in Childress, Texas, to Samuel Newton and Lydia Myrtle Franks Avary who moved to the family farm four miles south of Carey soon after Luke's birth. Luke grew to adulthood on Avary Hill, attended school at Carey graduating in 1940, and played basketball for the Carey Cardinals.
Luke joined the Navy in the fall of 1942 in Los Angeles and went to boot camp in San Diego. He was a machinist's mate shop mechanic on USS Bradford (DD 545). Luke was one of the sailors on board USS Bradford at its commissioning on June 12, 1943. After ten weeks of shakedown training off the West Coast, Bradford arrived at Pearl Harbor on August 24, 1943, and joined Boyd, Brown and Cowell to form Destroyer Division 92 of Destroyer Squadron 46. Bradford earned twelve service stars in the Pacific Theater and the Navy Unit Commendation as a radar picket ship during the Okinawa Operation. Luke proudly served his country and was proud that his grandson, Tucker Bennett, and Tucker's wife Meagan attained the rank of lieutenant in the United States Navy.
Luke was with the Lubbock Police Department from 1949 to 1958; he loved the excitement and action of being a policeman and ranked being a motorcycle cop as his favorite job. In 1958, Luke went to work for Schlumberger, which took him to the oil fields of the Chihuahuan Desert of Texas, the offshore drilling rigs in the Pacific Ocean, and the permafrost fields of Western Canada's Oil Patch, initiating moves to McCamey, Texas; Long Beach and Ventura, California; Fort Nelson, Canada in the Great Sierra Oil Field; and Pampa, Texas. In 1975, Luke and Joy moved back to Texas where Luke worked in the oil fields of the Panhandle until his retirement from Schlumberger after more than thirty years. Luke lived in Canyon, Canton, and Amarillo.
Luke married Annie Joy Glass on March 23, 1946, in Wellington, Texas. They raised their two daughters in Texas and California. Luke and Joy moved back to Texas for the remainder of their lives. They celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 1996. Luke always had a hammer and saw at the ready; he built a new home for Joy or made improvements on their existing one everywhere they lived. After Joy went to be with the Lord, Luke married Janie who died in 2003. Luke married Helen Josephine Smith Brewer on March 30, 2007, in Amarillo where they made their home at her residence for almost seven years.
Luke was a Christian and a Baptist having held membership in Southwest Baptist Church of Amarillo, where he was an usher, and, most recently, in Washington Avenue Christian Church.
Preceding him in death were his first wife and the mother of his children Joy Avary in 1998; Janie Ragsdale Avary in 2003; his parents, Samuel Newton Avary in 1953 in Lubbock and Lydia Myrtle Franks Avary in 1961 in Childress; his siblings Mattie Marie Avary Faulkenberry in 1998; Frances Inez Avary Bass Barnett in 2012; and Corporal Charles Russell Avary, 1950 in Korea; his grandparents Luke Denton Avary; Martha Louisa Elizabeth Randall Avary; Thomas Louis Franks; and Mattie Belle Southerland Franks.
Luke is survived by his wife Helen Avary; two daughters, Ginger Dorice Avary Bennett Cochran (Monty) of Ojai, California, and La Donna "Dona" Avary Walker of Mission Viejo, California; grandson Nicholas Russell Bennett (Kathryn Mullin Bennett) of Seattle, Washington, and their children Olivia Jean "Livi" Bennett, Avary Lee Bennett, and Nicholas Ryan Bennett; grandson Michael Tucker Bennett (Meakin Poor Bennett) of Silver Spring, Maryland, and their twin boys Hatcher Ames Bennett and Thomas King Bennett; grandson Jess Avary Walker, of Mission Viejo, California; granddaughter Jennifer Joy Walker Heim and her daughter Annie Joy Heim of Mission Viejo, California; sisters Lucille Avary Faulkenberry of Seagraves and Willie Avary Osborn Diggs of Canyon; stepson Billy Glen Brewer (Lisa Jean Taylor Brewer) and their daughters Courtney Ashton Brewer and Betsy Lynn Brewer all of Dallas.
The family extends a special thanks to Brandon Mickey and Trish Beckwith for their attentive care and concern for Luke during his final days; to the loving staff of Baptist St. Anthony's Hospice for their tenderness and support; and for the many kind acts of family and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be to Washington Avenue Christian Church Building Fund, 3800 South Washington Street, Amarillo, TX 79110, or a charity of choice.
The family will receive friends from 5-7pm today at Memorial Park Chapel of Memories, 6969 Interstate-40.