Herbert S. Luck died October 30, 2021. He was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of Herbert Julius Luck and his wife Hazel. When Herb was two, as the Great Depression began, he moved with his family to Hillsborough, Oregon, to his mother’s family farm. There he went to school in a one-room schoolhouse, worked on the farm and cared for the animals, and enjoyed life in the mostly German immigrant community.
He and his parents moved back to Portland--“back to town,” as Herb told it—when Herb was 11. In Portland, like many boys his age in those days, he went to school and then went to work after school. He carried buckets of hops for the brewery, worked as a plumber’s apprentice, stocked grocery store shelves, worked in a potato chip factory, and all sorts of odd jobs to help the family income.
When he could, he loved to fish, play golf, and play ball with a group of boys his age. They would go on to be his lifelong friends. They kept in touch for decades.
Herb received a scholarship to play football for the University of Oregon, where, at 6’5 and 250 pounds, he played end. He remained a lifelong fan of the Quack Attack and followed the PAC 12 religiously.
After graduating from the University of Oregon, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity, Herb enlisted in the Marine Corps, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a Marine in WWI. Being a Marine was an essential part of Herb, even after he no longer was on active duty. As one of his favorite t-shirts said, “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.”
One of his daughter’s fondest memories of Herb occurred when she took Herb and her daughter Celia to Washington, DC, to see the WWII Memorial. They went to Arlington on that trip as well, to see the Iwo Jima US Marine Corps War Memorial, and arrived close to sundown. Two young active duty Marines were taking down the Memorial’s flag for the night. Herb stood by, saluted, and as the young men began the ritual cadence and drill, Herb marched every bit of the ritual with them just as he had done as a young man fifty years before.
He was always a Marine.
Upon discharge from active service, Herb went to work for Crown Zellerbach Corporation in San Francisco, where he met his wife, Virginia Padgett. His career took him all over the West, from Seattle to Salt Lake City, where his daughter Susan was born, to Boise and to various places in California. In the 1960s, he switched divisions and transferred to Charlotte, where he lived for most of the rest of his life.
He was a 33 degree Mason and took his work for the Shriners Children’s Hospital very seriously. He taught Sunday school and was a scratch golfer. He retired early to take care of his seriously ill wife; after she died, at the age of 72 he went back to work for another 15 years.
Herb loved to read, loved military history, loved the sunshine, and loved his daughter and grandchildren Celia and Sam. He was at nearly every school event or athletic event either of his grandchildren participated in—although he quit going when Sam took up running cross-country. “They disappear into the wood and come back out of the woods a half hour later,” he said. “There’s no fun in watching that.” His grandchildren could do no wrong in his eyes. He was so proud of both of them.
Herb was kind, funny, patient, and always had a smile for everyone. He told great stories and was interested in nearly everything around him. He was much loved by his daughter, Susan Luck, and her husband, Don Leonard; his grandchildren, Celia Luck-Leonard and Sam Luck-Leonard; and two special friends, Stephanie Wilcox and Deborah Buckley.
At Herb’s request, there will be no funeral. A celebration of life will be held at a later time, when we can gather in the sunshine and summer warmth Herb so loved. Memorials can be made in his honor to the Semper Fi fund.
He will be greatly missed. Semper Fi, Daddy.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Herbert (Herb) S. Luck, please visit our floral store.