Rolling Hills United Methodist
26438 Crenshaw Blvd
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
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Betty Lukas

1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Betty Lukas Obituary
March 5, 1925 - March 25, 2016 Betty Lukas, the first female News Editor of the Editorial Pages for the Los Angeles Times, died in her Palos Verdes Estates home on March 25, 2016, at the age of 91, from ovarian cancer. Her three children were by her side. Betty was born in Toledo, Ohio, on March 5, 1925 to Esther Hoffman Chamberlain, who died two weeks after Betty's birth. Esther's cousin Nettie Larsen, (and husband Neil), adopted her. During the course of her life, Betty maintained close connections with her father, Dr. Herbert D. Chamberlain, and her brother, Herbert, who lived in southern Ohio. She was the proud mother of Dr. Brian Neil Lukas (Wendy), Berkeley, Ca.; Herbert George Lukas, Boca Raton, Fla.; Maria Elizabeth Colman (Barry), Santa Clarita, Ca., and was grandmother to Michael, Coleman and Allison, children of Brian; Berkeley and Brian, children of Herbert, and Natalie and Lukas, children of Maria. She was divorced from Henry V. Lukas in 1975. She welcomed her first great-grandchild, Mona, on July 21, 2015. Her parents are eldest grandson Michael Lukas and his wife Haley Pollack of Oakland. Betty graduated from the University of Michigan in 1947 with a bachelor's degree in English literature and three years' experience at the Michigan Daily which launched her lifelong commitment to journalism. Prior to joining The Times, she was feature editor of the Palos Verdes Peninsula News for seven years (1967-1973) during which time she studied nights for two years to earn a master's degree in Journalism (1972) from the University of Southern California. She was with The Times for 18 years, filling assorted editing jobs that began in 1973, when she became the first woman to join a copy desk of eight men at the Orange County Edition of the paper in Costa Mesa. After seven years in that position, she moved to Los Angeles and joined the then View copy desk before moving on to the Calendar desk, and finally, the Editorial Pages. During 12 of those 18 years, she helped launch the Communications Department at California State University Dominguez Hills. She also tutored at the university and later spent two years as a tutor at Peninsula High School. Following her retirement from The Times in 1991, she enrolled at El Camino College, where she studied architecture for two years, fulfilling a lifelong passion for the subject. Other long-lived enthusiasms were photography, basket-making, baking, sewing, travel, art, theater, and baseball. Her small volume of poems called "Delirium, a Little Story About Love" was published in 2003. Betty's volunteer commitments included editorship of "H.E.L.P. Is Here"; publicity chair for the South Bay Auxiliary of Harbor Interfaith Services' Fall Gala in 2008; publicity chair for the Dawn Unity Group for eight years, and docent in the Local History Room at the Palos Verdes Library. During her six-year stay there, she produced "Peninsula Past: the Complicated Birth of Paradise," an illustrated chronicle of the Palos Verdes Project, published in 2011. (Her book is still available at the library, Terranea Resort, the Interpretive Center and other shops around the Peninsula.) From 1996 to 2013, Betty produced profiles and photos of noteworthy local residents for "Peninsula People." She was still writing for the paper when she died. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at Rolling Hills United Methodist Church at 10:00 a.m. Rev. Jonathon Chute, pastor of Rolling Hills United Methodist Church will officiate. Music will be provided by Wistar Wood, and Jean Cobb. A reception with light refreshments and a time to share memories will follow the worship service. Friends who might wish to honor Betty's memory are invited to contribute to The Betty Lukas Lectures on Contemporary Culture, which she has established at Rolling Hills United Methodist Church. Address: Lukas Lectures, Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd., Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 8 to Apr. 10, 2016
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