Following many visits from family and friends, Kenneth Richard Lukow, 88, died Thursday, May 16th at the Hospice Alliance House in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. Ken was born in Chicago on April 27, 1931, to Harry and Gertrude (née: Hoppenrath) Lukow.
Ken graduated from Purdue University in 1953, earning a chemical engineering degree and an ensign’s commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He then served as an engineering officer on LST 857 for 15 months at the end of the Korean War. While overseas, he developed a great fondness for Japan, where he returned on several memorable trips over the years. In 1955, he was released from active duty as a lieutenant (junior grade) and married Margaret (Peg) Morrison in Wilmette, Illinois, on October 8, 1955.
In 1959, Ken accepted an engineering position with SC Johnson & Son. Racine became Ken and Peg’s adopted hometown, and they raised three children—Mark, Heidi, and Kathryn—here. Ken built a successful nearly 40-year career at Johnson’s, where he was universally known as a “good guy.” He was recognized as a Johnson Symposium Fellow for outstanding technical achievements in 1978. Outside of work, Ken was an avid photographer, Ansel Adams enthusiast, lover of music and theater, Boy Scout leader, and member of Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church for 50-plus years. He was devoted to nature, including canoeing, camping, sailing, and fishing up north at Maiden Lake, where he said he felt most spiritual.
Passionate Frank Lloyd Wright fans, Ken and Peg’s much-loved home—built in 1967 and one of only two in Racine designed by La Verne Lantz—was featured on the Racine Wright & Like tour in 2016. Ken spent decades cultivating its native landscape and enjoyed sharing plants and advice to help others with their own native gardens.
Ken will be deeply missed by his children, Mark (Luanne Frey) Lukow of Racine and Heidi Anne Lukow and Kathryn Louise Lukow, both of Tucson, Arizona; grandchildren, Meredith and Nathan Lukow; siblings-in-law, Joanne McPhee, Thomas (Judy) Morrison, James (Gerry) Morrison, and Jean Cathcart; and myriad other relatives and dear friends, including among his bridge and Wii bowling groups at Primrose, the ROMEOs, and his book club. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Peg; parents; and sister, Marion (Casper) Lehuta.
A celebration of Ken’s life will be held at Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, 625 College Ave., Racine, on Saturday, June 8th at 3 p.m. with a visitation at 2 p.m. and a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Ken’s memory to Riverbend Nature Center (riverbendracine.org/about/donate), Next Act Theatre (nextact.org/donate), or a charity of your choice.
Please send condolences to Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home.