GERRY - Richard Paul Luce, 83, formerly of 162 Cemetery St., East Randolph, passed away, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, at Heritage Village Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center in Gerry, where he has resided for the past eight years.
He was born the first son of Hallah Ruth Huntington and Paul Clifford Luce on Oct. 10, 1930, at the home of her parents, Charles Monroe and Nellie Ryon Huntington, in the little house at the corner of Church and Cemetery streets in East Randolph.
He attended Randolph schools, and graduated from Randolph Central School, Class of 1948. He was also a graduate of Alfred University Extention, Jamestown Community College and Alfred University, majoring in chemistry.
Richard Paul Luce
He served as a corporal in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, 4th Medical Field Laboratory in Landstuhl, Germany, as a laboratory technician after graduating from lab tech school in San Antonio, Texas in 1953. He served in Germany until 1955.
He and Ann Dahl were married by the Rev. Gilbert F. VanBever at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamestown on July 9, 1955.
Upon his return from the service, he worked with his father and grandfather at R.B. Luce and Son Farm Machinery, Allis-Chalmers dealers, in East Randolph. He later worked at Clark Supply Company for 27 years, and for a time was manager of Castle Home Center in Jamestown. Most recently, he was vice president and general manager of Jamestown Pipe and Supply until his retirement in 1995.
During his time in the business world, he came to know a wide variety of people, and considered every one of them his friend.
As a boy, he acquired a love of nature as well as a knack for woodcarving as a result of spending time with his Grampa Charles M. Huntington. Luce was a past president of Jamestown Audubon Society. An active member, he was the Building Committee chairman for Audubon's $1.4 million addition to the Roger Tory Peterson Nature Interpretive Building at Burgeson Wildlife Sanctuary. A longtime member of Southern Tier Woodcarvers, he spent many happy hours carving birds and plaques; sometimes in his workshop, other times on the front deck and still other times on family vacations at VanBuren on Lake Erie. Always generous, he gave many of these to organizations as well as family and friends.
Luce was a member of Randolph American Legion Post 181, a former volunteer with the East Randolph Fire Department, and former longtime member and past president of the Randolph Lions Club.
He served his church, Randolph United Presbyterian, as deacon, elder and on many committees through the years. A dedicated former Boy Scout, he received several leadership awards for his work with Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts and Sea Explorer Scouts. These included the prestigious Silver Beaver Award. One of his favorite activities was leading Scouts on the Johnny Appleseed canoe trip on the Allegany River. Another favorite was winter camping with his cohorts and the Scout group. He loved to tell stories about these activities.
One of his fondest dreams was realized when his good friend and fellow woodcarver, Sal-Lee Holland, invited him to go on an air balloon ride over Chautauqua Lake and the countryside.
An avid flower gardener as well as an avid reader, Dick loved and appreciated art of all kinds: oil painting, sculpting, woodcarving, classical music and jazz. Many enjoyable hours were spent in creating and caring for the lovely perennial gardens surrounding the Luce home, and attending flower shows in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Toronto with Ann. Other Toronto trips always included the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum as well as the latest musical.
Dick and Ann loved to travel, especially in Italy where they enjoyed the history, food and warmth of the Italian people. Their last European trip together in 2005 included the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and England celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. They were accompanied by Roger and Bonnie Dahl.
In 2002, Dick began to show signs of Alzheimer's disease, and with the help of family and friends, he continued his life as best he could. In August 2006, he became a resident of Heritage Village Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Gerry. In all of the years since, he has received excellent care there by countless kind and loving caretakers.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a 20-year-old son, Daniel Richard Luce, in June 1980, and his only brother, James R. Luce of Wildwood, Florida, in November 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Dahl Luce; a son, Thomas Scott Luce (Cynthia Kearns) of Cincinnati, Ohio; a daughter, Julie Ann Greeley (Jeffery) of Randolph; and two granddaughters: Chloe Ann Greeley and Emma Daniel Luce, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Loving, kind and generous, Dick was a gentle, soft-spoken and patient son, husband and father, and a good friend to all.
The family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. Friday (Aug. 22, 2014) in the VanRensselaer & Son Funeral Home, 14 Church St., Randolph.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Randolph United Presbyterian Church, with a time of refreshment and fellowship to follow in the church basement. The Rev. Leslie Latham, pastor of the church, and Bonnie Dahl will co-officiate. Inurnment will be in the East Randolph Cemetery.
In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Randolph United Presbyterian Church, Jamestown Audubon Society, or Alzheimer's Association.
To leave a condolence, log on to www.vanrensselaerandsonfuneralhome.com.