On August 9, 2018, the Lord took Alexander Lukza (Alex) home.
Alex, 93, was formerly of Gridley, California. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 4, 1925, to Alexander Joseph Lukza and Lilly Lukza, and attended P.S.51 and Brooklyn Tech before moving with his parents to upstate New York, graduating from Greenville High School. He began his military service after high school, when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and was sent to England as a mechanic working on B-24 bombers. After D-Day, he sought a more active role, and was transferred to the Army, crossing France and serving in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was injured by an exploding landmine while driving a Jeep. After recuperating in a field hospital, he returned to the front lines and helped to liberate Germany. Following the war, he married the love of his life, Ella Gohra, in 1945, and together they shared 72 years of marriage until her death earlier this year. He returned to the Army Air Corps as it grew and changed into the US Air Force, serving in Maine and Massachusetts, before leaving the military for civilian life. During the Korean conflict in 1951 he re-enlisted in the Air Force and worked on F-86 fighter jets with the 4th Fighter Wing at Kimpo Air Base. Afterwards, he again returned to civilian life, opening a milk truck business and running a dairy operation in upstate New York. But service to his country called once again, and he re-enlisted in the Air Force in 1959, serving overseas in Germany and England, and in Thailand during the Vietnam War. As a veteran of three wars, among his many awards were the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He retired from military life in 1972, and became a cattle rancher in Northern California, as well as a truck driver owner-operator and a courier. He and Ella retired for good in 1987 and began traveling, visiting Europe and the far east several times, as well as most of the United States in a succession of travel trailers and truck campers. A lifelong Yankee fan, he will be most remembered for his love of travel, his passion for history and reading, his patriotism, his love for his family and his cats, and for his devotion and service to his country.
He was predeceased by his wife Ella, daughter, Jenny Hawes (husband Donnie), of Los Molinos, California and son, Paul Lukza.
He is survived by his children: Michael Lukza (wife Diane), of Rocklin, California, Margaret Taylor, of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and Janice Lukza, of Los Molinos, California. His loss is also deeply mourned by his adored and adoring grandchildren, Christopher Taylor, Katie Crook, Brian Hawes and Michael Taylor and his three great-grandchildren. Alex leaves behind his beloved sister, Juliana Peter (husband Francis), of Arvada, Colorado.
A private viewing and visitation is scheduled at the Allen and Dahl Funeral Chapel in Anderson, California. Alex will be laid to rest in Westerlo, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to The Willow Springs Special Care Center, 191 Churn Creek Road, Redding, California.