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Memorial Eulogy to Dennis Luker by Victor Kubik

April 11, 2013

We met Denny & LeeAnn at SEATAC airport on a visit through Washington in 1996. He agreed to help our fledging group in Alaska as UCG was regrouping.  I, Richard, had seen him at the Indianapolis conference “roar” when he could see the focus getting misplaced!  They started visiting Alaska for UCG and stayed with us nurturing any and all who would gather with us.  He/they were here when Christian Fellowship became part of UCG and it was a loving union.  We were “stranded” at their home two times while they were hosting us, when 911 happened and a weather crisis shut down flights in Jan. 2011.   They said they wouldn’t invite us anymore because we never knew when to go home. J  He/they treated us with kindness, respect and appreciation.

They treasured friendships old and new.  We were able to share an excursion to visit the glaciers of Alaska with them.  The sea otters inspired them to give us a stuffed otter representing a shared personality trait.  Denny and I, Richard, enjoyed a man’s movie on one of their visits, “Hidalgo”.  We will miss him so much and looking forward to seeing LeeAnn at the next opportunity.

Richard & Dorene Eckman


April 9. 2013

He looked at me and spoke to me as if dear friends. He looked in and not through; looked at, not down to. It's not that he knew me well, for it's just about two passing moments in time I tell. What makes it so special is that the meaning was made living by any message or service he did to us bring. In two moments of time I discovered a man who appeared to be what he preached. Upholder of doctrine in full service to God; ALL of doctrine! That which included love and honor for his fellow man as given to God. From him it was clear that Christ is the head and all we the body; not platitudes about a body or the pandering to the body or the patronizing of Christ's body. ALL WE, the body!

Denny looked into me, and I could tell that he was not just aware of his own purpose, but acutely aware of mine. That is a true gift of the Spirit. May he rest in peace as he and we await our birth into God's family.

Kelly Irvin


April 8, 2013

How do you put into words your feelings for people that that have left their imprint on your life in such a profound and everlasting way? 

As we all live out the life God has granted us, we inevitably come in contact with special people.  The special ones are the individuals we choose to help us transform from what we began with to what we desire to be at the end of our days.  Far too often we find that distance, life choices or the will of God,separates us from those we hold dear.  Certainly an occasional card, letter, email, phone call, prayer or brief meeting can not possibly pay tribute to the full measure of gratitude and deep appreciation for gifts these precious individuals have freely given.  Since words are not enough, "doing" must be the ultimate barometer that reveals our thankfulness and commitment... to coin the phrase "Pay It Forward".  While Denny and LeeAnn were always by their own admittance "normal everyday people", God has been glorified through their reflection of Him.  God is once again providing proof of His power, taking the normal and transforming to something so spectacular our limited minds can not comprehend.  At the end of my life may I also leave for others (as Denny and LeeAnn have), a clear and luminescent path to Christ and His Father.

Our love to LeeAnn and the whole family.

Rob & Tina Slocum and Family


 

“Just Call Me Denny”

by Randy Stiver

In memory of Dennis Luker—a tribute to a spiritual warrior

Each great warrior brave and true
Hopes for one last battle ere he’s through;
A remembered fight that makes a wave,
Or turns a tide and stops the knave.

And in that war without a pause
He spends himself in the worthy cause,
That from his efforts in God’s hand
Great good is done and left to stand.

So fought our warrior for faith and friend,
He held the line time and again.
Always at his side he had LeeAnn his wife
Who partnered insight, joy and life.

He pastored churches far and near
From all of Australia to Mt. Rainier,
He strengthened the weak, mentored the youth,
And preached the loving kindness of God’s truth.

But when truth was trampled by heresy’s herd,
He roared like a lion and championed God’s Word.
He played on the team like a fullback would
As they together united the Church of God.

Then pastoring, youth camps, the cares of a region
As he ministered to ministers for a season.
He preached peacemaking not just once or twice,
And emphasized the role of Jesus Christ.

Then came that rumble deep down in the Body,
Trouble was brewing, the Lord needed somebody
To stand in the gap with the sword of the Spirit.
Christ wanted a warrior whose heart was in it!

Our warrior was willing, he came and he stood,
Enduring great grief with encouraging words.
With fasting and prayer he forged a team
To unite God’s brethren yet once again.

Now here we stand, but he’s at rest.
This remembered fight was in fact his last.
We pray comfort for family and for us all;
We’ll miss our kind warrior till resurrection calls.

How the mighty are fallen and the good ones gone!
But his humble service still lives on…
As for pomp and titles, he cared not a penny,
And he always said, “Just call me Denny.”

 


April 6, 2013

We met him personally in 2010--a wonderful man, full of kindness and humility.  Like the prophet Daniel, he is now at rest, but he will arise to his inheritance at the end of days.  Dan. 12:13.

David and Kim Nunn
Edmond, Oklahoma


From Roderick C. Meredith

“Mr. Dennis Luker and I were friends and co-workers for decades. He was one of the outstanding student leaders in Ambassador him and his wife up in the Bay Area during their pastorate there, and worked with him more than usual as I could see that he was one of our most balanced and dedicated ministers in Worldwide at that time. We certainly became dear friends during those years.

Later, he came in to assist me for three or four years during the late 60s and early 70s directing Church Administration throughout the entire United States. He always did a fine job and was very loyal to Mr. Armstrong and to me—and certainly to God. Then, during the “Receivership” when the state broke into our campus and had armed guards running around thinking some evil was being perpetrated, I called Mr. Luker to come and act as my deputy over the entire ministry worldwide. He was living in the Phoenix, AZ area and serving well at the time. He immediately agreed and as I remember flew out to Los Angeles within in a day or two and worked long, hard hours faithfully working with me “holding the churches together” during the seven months of that crisis. His faithful, dedicated wife, LeeAnn, had to sell the house and move everything out to Pasadena herself. They were both a great help to me and Mr. Armstrong and the entire Church at that time.

Even though we had gone our separate ways regarding church organizations since, we have kept in close touch and I always loved and respected Mr. Luker deeply and regard him as a dear friend. So it certainly hurt me a great deal when he died. I know that his approach of love, kindness and spirit of service will be a great example to his brethren and to God’s people around the world who knew him. I pray for God’s comfort for the family and for all of those in the United Church of God who knew him.”


April 5, 2013

From Peter and Terri Eddington

Denny Luker was a true friend and a greatly valued mentor to us. He and his wife, LeeAnn, were always a couple that we could trust and rely on to give us sound and balanced spiritual advice—no matter the situation.

For the past 40 years, since coming to know Denny, his was an ear that we could confide in and share our hearts with. Even until just one week before his death, he never ceased to raise the bar for us in our personal and spiritual journey towards the Kingdom of God—and his sage advice and perspective will be so greatly missed.

We look forward to our time together for eternity.


 

A Personal Tribute to Dennis Luker from Reg and Joan Wright

AN EVERLASTING FRIENDSHIP

In 1972 Denny and LeeAnn Luker arrived in Australia where Denny took up the responsibilities of Regional Director for this country and some Asian countries to our north and west. I was an employee in Church Administration at the time. Their arrival began a truly remarkable friendship between their family and ours and this bond has continued for more than forty years without missing a beat. In fact, as the years went by, the bond of friendship grew stronger and more precious.

As we reflect on those years of friendship, so many times we remember the blessings extended to us through the generosity and kindness of Denny and LeeAnn. They made it possible for us to see and experience some of the beauty that abounds in America. We will never forget Yosemite National Park, the extraordinary beauty of Tioga Pass and the time spent with them in Alaska. To write of all those wonderful times would take many pages in a book.

When it was announced that Denny had been diagnosed with stage 4 aggressive cancer we were shocked ad greatly distressed and we, unashamedly, shed some tears. As the days went by we found that, out of his most serious trial, a wonderful benefit was emerging. We were all being drawn closer to our Father in heaven, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Along with so many others, we turned to the Ones who love us more than any other asking for mercy, comfort, and intervention in the lives of our dear friends across the ocean.

During his term as Regional Director, Denny left a legacy in Australia that needs to be recognised and commended. At the time he and LeeAnn came to Australia, the Work of God was facing a considerable financial crisis and, with God’s help, he was the one who negotiated us out of that dilemma and set God’s Work in this country on the road to recovery and ultimately to a position of strength. In order to reduce costs and live within the Church’s indigenous income, the decision was made to decentralize from the high cost of living area of Sydney where the church administration office and printing plant were located. The challenges and difficulties faced were many but under his leadership the national office of the Worldwide Church of God was built on the Gold Coast and dedicated in 1976. It was recognised as one of the finest of all international offices. I had the privilege to work in that office for 19 years and enjoyed the opportunities of service in God’s Work there immensely.

When the United Church of God was founded in 1995, Denny and LeeAnn, who have a great love for the brethren in Australia, and the brethren for them, came and gave us considerable advice and help in establishing UCG in this country. Their visit gave us the confidence and encouragement to hold fast to the truth that God so graciously had given us, to establish congregations and a national office, and to begin reaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Just as UCGIA did in the USA, we started with nothing, trusted in God and He provided our need. Denny and LeeAnn are indeed part of our church history in this country, and for that we are most grateful.

Denny was a man who had a considerable talent for making people feel special and he had a way of mentoring and developing manpower by expressing confidence in people to rise to the occasion and get the job done. My wife, Joan, and I personally blossomed under his guidance and mentoring, and that of LeeAnn.

Perhaps their greatest legacy is they both set the finest of examples in Christian conduct and always encouraged us to place our confidence and trust in God. This commitment and love of God has always been at the heart and core of their lives and this is the legacy that we have and cherish.

The words of the apostle Paul to Timothy fitly describe Denny’s life:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

He was a true and faithful servant of God, a wonderful friend and mentor who so positively influenced the lives of so many many people around the world. By his personal example he helped and encouraged us to always trust in God and, as he said in his last address to the Council of Elders: God’s love never fails.

We thank Denny and LeeAnn for allowing us the privilege of sharing with them both an everlasting friendship. For a time that friendship with Denny is placed on hold but, in the resurrection to come, the re-union will be absolutely profound.

Reg and Joan Wright
Australia

21 March 2013


April 5, 2013

A testament to a loving Christian servant:
Denny and  and Lee Ann came to Garden Grove (Calif) congregation at just the right time.  Looking back it is evident that it was God's great blessing to our congregation that they came when they did.  They became well positioned to help a lot of us through the tumult of the 1995 split with Worldwide.  They brought an approach to the ministry, up to that point, not widely seen or popularized.  That being of true outgoing affection and loving desire to share their lives, good and bad, with others to aid ALL in growing stronger in the faith!  Their stories and experiences, the joys they experienced, the trials with their own children showed us all a side to the ministry we had perhaps never seen in Worldwide of old.  It was so very refreshing to see someone talk with you, from "true experience" rather than at you from head knowledge alone.  They led us through that terrible period of time for many within God's church and restored a hope that had been dimmed because of all the problems in Worldwide.  Over the years, afterwards, we all grew to understand better what that time meant, what we learned and what we experienced.  It was never perfect in United, still isn't, but that is NOT the point.  The key is the truth of God which should sustain us all.  That truth is better served when it is embraced by an atmosphere and attitude of those who truly practice it and their example speaks volumes to all who want to attend with our fellowship.  Denny and Lee Ann were willing servants of that attitude and it was self-evident in all that they did.  I know that he would never take personal credit for what he and Lee Ann did, only point to Christ as the example he and all of us should strive to attain.  That was so Denny as well and we will love him always for it.  The simple definition of legacy is something passed or handed down from predecessors.  There was and is that simplicity to Denny and Lee Ann, but it was grounded in a firm and lasting belief in who they served (GOD) and what kind of person they wanted to be as that witness.  This is what always separates a good legacy from a bad one and Denny will always be counted in the former column.  Thanks be to GOD and to His son Jesus Christ who's purpose and plan will "ensure" we see Denny again, and oh what a reunion that will be for us all!

Sincerely, with all our love and affection
Marcus & Carole Brown
Garden Grove, Calif.


April 01, 2013
Denny Luker was my Pastor and my friend. He helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life. He always encouraged us brethren to never give up and quit. It will so good to see Denny again in the Kingdom! LeeAnn, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Dean Porter,
Seattle, Washington


March 29, 2013
Denny was the embodiment of humanity infused with God's Spirit! We miss him but know we will see him again. May that day come soon! Love, 
John & Veronica Petrisor
Eatonville, Washington


March 27, 2013
We are sending our prayers and love to the Luker family at this difficult time. Mr. Luker was used by God to serve the church at a difficult time, he had to make some very hard decisions, and we believe he did it by always obeying and putting God first.
With much love,
Carlos & Aurora Lecea,
Hammond, Indiana

March 25, 2013
I forgot to add I particularly appreciate and loved the sermon Denny gave at the French FOT about his upbringing which touched my heart deeply. I have learnt so much from him in his selfless example of putting oneself out there and allow God is work through us.
Deanne from Adelaide, South Australia

March 23, 2013
From my memories of Mr. Luker at NW Summer camp, as my Seattle pastor and close family friend, he embodied "faith through love." His determination to follow God's love was on a bedrock of love for God and man. Many of us felt that love; that was his legacy in my life and one I aim to emulate.
Sincerely,
Christina.
Christina Pate (Davis)
Seattle, Washington

March 21, 2013
Mr. and Mrs. Luker showed all of us brethren the importance of humility, love and service. Robert & Mary Curry (Canon City, CO)

Carole and I always felt that both Denny and LeeAnn witnessed every day through their personal lives and their example. They came to our congregation in Garden Grove, CA at a time when we all needed a new revitalized perspective on Christianity. They were a godsend, a blessing to us all and for me a personal example of the type of man, I would hope to be. There family became our family, their pains our pains and they love shared with any and all who came in contact with them! The Church family, our congregation, and each of us individually were better for being around them and part of their ministry. Truly loved and he will be missed, but not forgotten...Marcus & Carole, Cypress California

March 21, 2013
Our love and prayers are with you. Mr. Luker was truly a wonderful and loving child of God.
Melvin/Sadie Parks,
Ramseur, North Carolina

March 21, 2013
David and I offer our condolences to the family during this time of grieving. Even though we so look forward to seeing Denny again in a far better time, our hearts are heavy for awhile. We will miss his kind comments and keen wit. Dear LeeAnn, you are in our thoughts and prayers. The example that you both set will not be forgotten. Thank you for your steadfast devotion to God and His people around the earth.
David + Colleen Hofer

Vancouver, Washington

 

March 20, 2013
Randy and I would like to offer our condolences to the Luker family at this difficult time. We had the honor of meeting Denny and LeaAnn many years ago when they were in Phoenix and again several years ago at a conference in Cincinnati. He was truly a kind, humble, honorable representative of our great God, the Father and Son, Jesus Christ . I'm sure they are well pleased with him. He will be sorely missed by all of us.
Randy and Kathy Love, Yuma, Arizona

 

March 20, 2013
I met this Godly couple in Va. at our services and worked with them at camp. WOW is all I can say, and how blessed I was to meet them for a few hours in my life. LeaAnn and Denny lived their marriage as serving Christians. LeaAnn I am so sorry for your loss. Grace DeVenny,(Virginia)
Grace DeVenny,

Staunton, Virginia

 

March 20, 2013
Thank you Denny and Lee Ann for all you have done and the example you have set of sincere love and concern for the brethren! You made a difference! My wife and I are thankful for having known you both!
Bart Bornhorst,
Dayton, Ohio

 

March 20, 2013

A wonderful person and couple. Denny had the heart of a minister . I missed our friendship as we drifted apart over the years. Love to you Leann and support. I will never forget you finding the ice cream Denny was eating out of carton late at night during stressful times....in the cupboard!
Dennis Diehl,
Greenville, South Carolina
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March 16, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Luker family. I really enjoyed listening to Mr.Luker's while attending church in Seattle. He always made it a point to come up to me and say hello to me on many different occasions. The Karl Henderson Family
KARL HENDERSON,
KIRKLAND, Washington
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March 15, 2013
Tony and I first got to know LeaAnn and Denny when we travelled to the USA from Australia in 2000. Since that time we have had several wonderful times with them as their guests in their warm and inviting Seattle home, and when they visited us in Australia. What a wonderful couple they made. Denny was so loving,a true gentleman and devout example of active christianity. As Pastor his messages were inspiring, challenging, thought provoking, motivating and others comforting and encouraging. Denny and LeaAnn trully connected with people, seeking to understand, not judgemental and using their wealth of lifetime experience and wisdom to help others. We were looking forward to catching up again in a few weeks and have been counting the days. This is such a shock. Denny will be trully missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to LeaAnn and hDenny's family, and to all those who loved him. Till we meet again...
Ruth Edge,
Melbourne

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