R. Earle Lucas, Jr., 96, Bradenton, passed away March 31, 2014. Earle was born Jan. 27, 1918 in Valdosta, GA to the late Robert E. Sr. and Annie (Lary) Lucas. He moved to Macon, GA when he was 5 years old. Attended public schools there and graduated from Lanier H.S. in 1936. Attended North Georgia College in Dahlonega, GA in 1938. Graduated the University of Georgia in 1941 with a degree in Agriculture. He joined the Navy and spent 3 years in the Atlantic and a year in the Pacific. He served as an Officer on Amphibian transports and made 5 landings in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno and Normandy in the Atlantic and Okinawa in the Pacific. In 1946 he moved to Haines City, FL until 1962 when he moved to Manatee County. He co-purchased the Producers Fertilizer Company in Palmetto which is now known as Heartland Fertilizer. He was active in the community serving for over 40 years on the 4-H Board, member of Bradenton Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, Bradenton Yacht Club, the Farm City Week Committee since its beginning, Extension Advisory Board, Hernando DeSoto Historical Society, serving 8 years on the Crewe and was DeSoto in 1978. He was also a 12+ gallon blood donor. He also served on the board that got the Manatee County Agriculture Museum built and served as Director. In 1983 he was named Outstanding Agriculturist, served on the Committee that got the Manatee Parks started. In 2004, he was elected into the State of Florida 4-H Hall of Fame. In 2009 he was named Outstanding Citizen of Manatee County, and was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton where he served in many capacities. He was predeceased by his first wife Louise in 1968 and a son Robert E. III in 1989. Survived by his loving second wife of 44 yrs, April Boyd Lucas of Bradenton, son, Gary (Alice) Guthrie of Holmes beach, three daughters; Sandra (Murff) Lucas-Germany of Atlanta, GA, Sharon (Jim) Ingram of Bradenton, Nancy (John) Kiernan of Bradenton , two grandchildren; Lindsey and Jeb Garrott and many extended family members and friends. The family will receive friends from 3-4 PM on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, 5610 Manatee Avenue W., Bradenton, with a Celebration of Earle's Life to follow at 4 P.M. Interment will be private at Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton. The family request that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton in his memory. Condolences for the family may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.
Shannon Funeral Homes, P.A.
5610 Manatee Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34209
Published in The Bradenton Herald on Apr. 2, 2014