Richard Ralph Lucas departed this life on Sunday, January 5, 2014 at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Richard was born in Spring Hope, North Carolina on April 1, 1927 to his loving parents, Russell and Minnie Hendricks Lucas. Richard was one of fourteen children born to this union. He graduated from Spaulding High School in 1944, and then enlisted in the United States Navy, Submarine Service where he served until his honorary discharge in 1947. With fond memories of his time in the Navy, he often spoke of how the maturity he gained during this period impacted his work ethic for the remainder of his adult life.
Taking advantage of the GI-Bill, Richard attended and graduated from Fayetteville State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1950. He had a long career as a teacher in the Nash
County School System. He was distinguished mid-career by being selected to head the first drivers education program in the Nash/Rocky Mount area. It was also one of the first programs in the State of North Carolina. So many people in the Nash County/Rocky Mount area affectionately remember "Mr. Lucas" as the person who taught them to drive. After retiring with 37 years of service in the school system, Richard realized a lifelong dream of owning a business when he opened the Nashville Koretizing Cleaners in 1987. He loved this business and his customers loved him. He worked until his health prevented him from doing so in August 2013.
Throughout Richard's lifetime giving back to his community was important to him. He was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and earned fourth degree status in the Knights of Columbus. One of his memberships that was dear to his heart was serving as a board member, president, and holding various other offices in the Spaulding Alumni Association. He was especially interested in providing scholarships to worthy high school seniors aspiring to go to college. He also received special recognition for his 39 years of unique and distinctive contributions officiating basketball and football games for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. To the end, he treasured his 50-year membership in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Richard is survived by: the love of his life and wife of 62 years, Katherine Neal Lucas; their five beautiful children, Stephanie Lucas Mitchell, Richard Ralph Lucas, Jr., Jana Lucas Chester (Marquette), and twins, Lukas Sean and Neal Dion Lucas; their grandchildren, D. Stephen, twins, Richard, III. and William, Preston (PJ), Adam, Kaylan, Malcolm and Maxwell; brother, C. Payne Lucas (Freddie); sisters, Dorothy Whitley and Augusta Jones (Eugene); sisters-in-law, Audrey Lucas and Thelma Lucas; one brother-in-law, Lloyd Eason; and numerous nephews, nieces, other family, extended family and friends.
A visitation with the family is scheduled for Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at William Toney's Funeral Home, 516 S. Poplar Street, Spring Hope, NC 27882. Expressions of condolences can also be made at www.williamtoneys.com.
The funeral mass is scheduled for Monday at 11 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 331 Hammond Street, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in memory of Mr. Richard R. Lucas, Sr. to the CC Spaulding Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, PO Box 842, Spring Hope, NC 27882.
The family would like to give special thanks to Ms. Linda Nicholson, Richard's caretaker over the past few months and to the medical team and staff in the Intensive Care and Gentiva Hospice Units at the
Emory University Hospital for the excellent medical attention and loving care they provided Richard during the last two weeks of his life.
Published in Rocky Mount Telegram on Jan. 11, 2014
William Toney’s Funeral Home
516 S. Poplar St. Spring Hope, NC 27882