1935 - 2021
Resident of San Jose
Carol Cunningham Luckhardt was born in Spokane, WA to Dr. Arthur F. Cunningham and Connie H. Cunningham. She was pre-deceased in 2008 by her husband, John Down Luckhardt, a long-time San Jose CPA. She is survived by her sister, Connie Hungate (Dan), her brother-in-law Charles Luckhardt (Jean Ann), 5 nephews and nieces, and 10 great-nephews and nieces.
According to Mrs. Todd, her sixth grade teacher at Roosevelt School, Carol was always "a happy and well-adjusted child who never complains and does her best at all times," early signs of her approach to life, finding joy and fun in everything and approaching troubles and obstacles with optimism and persistence. Growing up Carol led an active life, playing sports and teaching water activities at Girl Scout camps, reflecting her passions for the outdoors and for inspiring kids through physical education. After graduating from Lewis and Clark High School in 1953, Carol attended Whitman College where she affiliated with Alpha Phi sorority. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in physical education in 1957, and then began her first full-time teaching job teaching physical education at high school in Tracy, CA where she made many lifelong friends. In 1961 she accepted new employment at Jordan Junior High School in Palo Alto, CA, at the same time working toward her Masters of Arts in Education with specialty in Counseling and Guidance which she received from Stanford University in 1964. At Jordan she became Director of the Physical Education Department.
She met John Luckhardt in 1961 for miniature golf, a blind date arranged by her sister. Married in 1974, Carol and John frequently opened their home to many friends and groups. After John's death she joined John's Kiwanis club and hosted many of their board meetings.
Together Carol and John were mainstays of Calvary United Methodist Church for over 25 years, John as treasurer and Carol as bookkeeper. With their friends Karen and Fred Shirey, Carol and John put on many dinners for congregational meetings and events. They sparked a drive to repair major earthquake deficiencies to the Sanctuary and building which preserved meeting rooms, kitchen and basement used for Boy Scout Troup 38 and the Hoover Hangout, a favorite site for parties and dances for middle schoolers.
Together Carol and John established the Luckingham Charitable Foundation which for years supported the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Save the Redwoods League, Sempervirens Fund, Yosemite Fund and many other organizations. Carol led many successful fundraising efforts for these charities. For over 30 years she volunteered for the San Jose Thrift Box which supported Stanford Children's Hospital.
Carol treated John's and her sister's families as her own, known as "AntiDote" because she was a doting aunt and the cure for any ailment or obstacles. She enjoyed hosting family barbecues for the extended Luckhardt/Down family in the San Jose area and for her sister's extended Hungate family at Priest Lake.
Carol Luckhardt danced to all the colors of life. She loved adventure, whether backpacking in the Yosemite high Sierra Camps, walking through the Cottswolds, birding in Costa Rica, or immersing herself in Wagner's Ring Cycle. She loved games from Clue to duplicate bridge, at one point belonging to seven different bridge groups. She loved skiing, jumping the wake on water and down the moguls on black diamonds. She loved music, from the top 40s to Scott Joplin to Beethoven. She loved helping people, through teaching, volunteering, and generous philanthropy. And she loved her family, her friends, her community, and her life in this world.
The family would like to express their deep gratitude and appreciation for the compassionate care provided by the team of caregivers from Boundless Care, and from Hospice of the Valley.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Carol's memory to the Lucile Packard Foundation, 400 Hamilton Ave., Suite 340, Palo Alto, CA 94301 View the online memorial for Carol Luckhardt