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Luke Sifford


1929 - 2020
Luke Sifford Obituary
Luke Sifford

Luke Sifford, age 90 of Bellevue, WA died peacefully on March 12, 2020 after a short illness. Luke was born in Charlotte, NC on December 10, 1929 to Luke and Nell Morton Sifford. In 1931 his family moved to New Jersey and later to Connecticut where Luke graduated from Hamden High School near New Haven, CT. For the next two years he attended college and played basketball at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. He then enlisted in the Air Force and qualified for USAF flight training at Samson AFB, TX and Marana AFB in Tucson, AR. After leaving the Air Force he attended and graduated from the University of Miami, Miami FL in 1958 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. For several years he worked for Texaco in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

It was in Fort Lauderdale that he met Charlotte Townsend. They married in 1962 and moved to Huntsville, AL where Luke began his 25-year career with the Boeing Company working on the Saturn V Stage 1 booster. In less than a year Boeing offered him another position and returning to Florida, Cape Canaveral was home for the next five years. He took part in the Apollo, Lunar Orbiter and Minuteman programs. In 1967 Luke joined Boeing's Commercial Airplane Division in Seattle, WA where he worked on Boeing's 747, 737, 727 and 757 production programs.

His greatest loves, other than Charlotte and their daughter, were sailing and golf. He also enjoyed and participated in sports of all kinds. He took his family on many sailing adventures on Puget Sound, through the San Juan Islands, British Columbia's Gulf Islands, Princess Louisa, and Desolation Sound. He enjoyed racing with friends, but Luke preferred cruising with Charlotte, their daughter and friends. He was an excellent golfer with a handicap, at one point, as low as four.

Luke and Charlotte moved back to Florida in 2003, made many wonderful friends and travelled extensively. In 2016 they returned to Bellevue to be near their family and reconnect with long-time friends. Luke will be remembered for unconditional love of family, esteemed ethics, being a gentleman, and having a great sense of humor. He will be missed very much.

Luke is survived by his wife of 57 years, their daughter Cindy Overby and her husband Erik Overby, and by two granddaughters Claire and Grace Overby.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to your . A Celebration of Life will be at a later date.
Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 22, 2020
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