LUCILE "JILL" LUEBKER

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Lucile "Jill" Lockerby Luebker Jill Luebker, lovingly referred to as Mrs. Tacoma by family and friends, left this world to make her mark in the next one on July 21, 2014. Jill was born 11/14/1923 to Frank and Lucile Lockerby in Vancouver, WA. Her father's newspaper jobs led them to Olympia, then to Tacoma. Jill's sister, Joan (Haslett), was born in 1929. Jill grew up at the Lakeside Club, where lifelong friendships and memories were made, and was a proud graduate of Clover Park, Class of 1941. She attended the University of Washington and joined Chi Omega sorority, but left after her sophomore year to join the Army. She trained to be an X-ray Technician, was promoted to Sergeant (she always claimed it was because her voice carrieda valid pointbut assuredly not the only reason she rose through the ranks), and bonded with her future husband, Earl, over orange juice and their interest in the daily news. After Earl returned to Oklahoma to pursue his journalism degree and Jill returned to Tacoma to work at Tacoma General, he wooed her with daily love letters, never failing to mention how bright and clever she was. It was the beginning of a true partnership that epitomized mutual respect, love, integrity, humor, and compromise throughout their 50 year marriage. Jill had myriad interests and talents. She belonged to PEO (Chapter CA), Julia Hallen Book Club, Les Jardiniere's Garden Club, Antiquers, Avon Study Club, 3 bridge clubs, and was one of the first two female Session members at Immanuel Presbyterian Church. She served on the Tacoma Children's Industrial Home Board, and was on the Board of Directors at Franke Tobey Jones for 23 years. She made hats, tap-danced, played flute and piano, read voraciously, had an uncanny knack for finding museums on vacation, arranged flowers and threw parties with flair. The family spent magical summers at our beloved beach home on Orcas Island, where Jill delighted in serving as tour director; roaring around familiar (and some not-so-familiar) island roads with our many visitors. She and Earl traveled the world, including three Summer Olympics, trips to Hong Kong, Europe, Russia, South and Central America, Canada, and attended sports events throughout North America. Jill was interested in everyone, and known fondly by her daughter's friends as the Grand Inquisitor! At her 80th birthday party, she introduced nearly 100 guests without prompting, explained each connection, and how, and why certain guests should be sure to meet while we were all in that room, that day. She had a way of making things happen, always. Jill faced her Parkinson's diagnosis and decreasing mobility bravely and lived life on her own terms as long as possible. She was an amazing friend, a devoted daughter to her own remarkable parents, an adoring aunt, a true patriot who voted in every election, a fierce Mom and doting Grandma. She often led with bluntness and honesty thankfully, most often tempered with a giant dose of humor. Her life lessons will remain with us forever. Jill is survived by her daughter, Anne Leatherman, and beloved granddaughters, Megan and Lauren Leatherman, all of Seattle. A celebration of her life will take place at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 901 N. "J" Street, Tacoma, WA, on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Jill and Earl Luebker Endowment for Intercollegiate Athletics at PLU, which supports PLU sports teams through funding for recruitment, travel, and equipment.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on July 23, 2014
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