The People's Tribune

William “Bill” Luke

William “Bill” Luke, 92, died Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Homewood, Ill., where he resided for 39 years.

He was the son of the late Wendell and Nadine Luke and grew up on a farm near Clarksville with his younger siblings, Rosemary Luke Hitchner and husband, Jim of Bettendorf, Iowa and Frances Luke and wife, Mary Burns of Clarksville.

Bill and his wife, Andrea, were parents of two children, a son and a daughter and enjoyed their granddaughter

He graduated in 1943 from the Clarksville High School. He then attended DePaul University and graduated with a double master’s degree in voice and music education. He taught music for 39 years in the Homewood Elementary Schools and was choir director at St. Paul Community Church for over 35 years. He was awarded a yearlong sabbatical to study in Europe, including the ORFF Institute in Austria and the University of London. In 2014 he was honored for his contribution to music education and was inducted into the Homewood Hall of Fame.

He organized the Parent Music Association (PMA) in Homewood and today it is the oldest continuous middle school parents support group in Illinois with 143 members. The curriculum is an academic class the same as students study for math and science classes. Homewood School District has a 65 plus year history in music education earning wide recognition for its programs throughout the state of Illinois. The catalyst behind that music program was William “Bill” Luke hired by that school district in 1950. Always smiling, always humble, William “Bill” Luke left a legacy for young students past, present and those to come, according to school officials.

Many people in Pike County will recall Bill Luke’s mother, Nadine, a pianist who gave music lessons, played at weddings and funerals, churches, operas and school plays and taught and influenced youngsters sharing her talents generously throughout Pike County.

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