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Rawley Keith "Dee" Lukhard

1929 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Rawley Keith "Dee" Lukhard Obituary
Rawley Keith "Dee" Lukhard went peacefully home to be with his Lord on Thursday, February 7, 2019, at the age of 89. He was born in Richmond, on December 26, 1929, to the late Herman and Miriam Lukhard, who nicknamed him "Dee" due to his propensity for singing "deedle-deedle-dee!" in his crib. He graduated from Glen Allen High School, where he was the captain of the football team and was elected most valuable player in 1947, and subsequently studied business at Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU). During the Korean conflict, he served two years in the U.S. Army. After returning home, Rawley began his long career with Lukhard's Markets Inc., where he met his future wife, Helen Marie Melton, when she offered him a cheese tray while modeling at a promotional event as a student at the University of Richmond. When asked about their first meeting in his later years, he reported that he "liked the way she said 'cheese.'" He and Helen were wed at Battery Park Christian Church on September 15, 1956, and had been married for 62 happy years at the time of his passing.

Rawley had a long and illustrious career in the food industry. He was president of Lukhard's Markets until his retirement in 1986. Rawley additionally served on the Board of Directors of Richfood, Inc. for 30 years, and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1982. He was also proud of his tenure as President of the Virginia Food Dealer's Association from 1970 to 1971. A man of deep faith, Rawley was raised as a member of Colonial Place Christian Church and spent his adult life as a member of Northminster Baptist Church. At Northminster, Rawley taught Sunday school, served on the Endowment Committee and hosted numerous youth group events while his daughters were young.

Rawley had many interests and hobbies. He was an avid reader and fisherman who loved big band music and played the drums in various Dixieland ensembles during his youth. He could be found sitting at his drum kit well into his 80s. He particularly loved traveling, and was proud to have visited every continent except Antarctica (which seemed too cold). Rawley had an exceptional sense of humor and loved to laugh, which earned him new friends everywhere he went. Most important to him, though, was his family. Rawley was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Lindsay Lukhard Nicholls, in 1984; and his dear son-in-law, Thomas Dawson Jr. in 2011. He cherished his two younger daughters, Martha Lukhard Childress (William) and Laurie Lukhard Dawson; as well as his seven grandchildren, Rebecca Nicholls Louick (Jonathan), Elizabeth Nicholls Walker (Billy), Cory Philp (Sarah), Craig Philp (Anne), Kathleen Dawson, Charlotte Dawson and Rawley Thomas Dawson. He was actively involved in the lives of his grandchildren, particularly their educational pursuits, and was deeply proud of their accomplishments. He is also survived by five great-grandchildren, Ruby and Alice Louick, Churchill Walker and Olivia and Evelyn Philp. He is additionally survived by his beloved younger sister, Miriam Lukhard Vaughan.

It would be difficult to overstate the degree of respect and love Rawley engendered in all who knew him, including his family, friends, colleagues and employees. He was a kind, humble and generous soul, and a true gentleman in all areas of his life. His children and grandchildren remember him as the first person to call in difficult times, who could always be counted on to calmly solve any problem put before him. He loved babies, animals and laughter. He will be deeply missed, but his family takes comfort in knowing that he is with his Lord, and his daughter, Lindsay.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, February 16, between 1 and 3 p.m. with a memorial service following at 3 p.m. at Woody Funeral Home, Atlee Chapel, at 9271 Shady Grove Road in Hanover. Interment will be private. The family wishes to extend their deepest thanks to Roberta Brent and Jessica Lewis for their loving care over the past three years, as well as Bon Secours Hospice for their kindness and support. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations made in Rawley's memory to , or 3601 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 450, Alexandria, Virginia 22304.
Published in Woody Funeral Home Atlee Chapel on Feb. 8, 2019
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