ISHPEMING, MI. - Richard J. Lucas Sr., 96, of 1655 Glenwood Lane, Ishpeming, passed away August 14, 2014 at the DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette where he had been a resident since May 21.
Richard was born in Ishpeming on October 10, 1917 to the late Richard and Helen (LaFond) Lucas. During his early childhood he lived in the Barnes-Hecker location where he attended a one-room school house. Later, he lived in Kingsford for several years before returning to Ishpeming. Richard served in the Civilian Conservation Corps at Camp Sidnaw during the Great Depression.
In March of 1941, Richard was drafted into a peace-time Army for a one year enlistment. All of that changed with the outbreak of WWII. In November 1942, he landed in North Africa with the 6th Armored Infantry and in December was taken as Prisoner of War in Tunisia. He spent the next 28 and a half months in POW camps in Italy, Austria, and Germany. While being held in an Italian camp, the prisoners built a human pyramid, went over the fence, and threw open the gates. Richard was one of the men that escaped that day, taking a wounded soldier with him. They were recaptured several days later. Richard was an honorable man, a brave soldier, and truly an American hero.
Richard J. Lucas
After returning home from the war, Richard was hired by the CCI mining company. He retired in 1975 from the Republic mine after a 30-year career.
He was united in marriage with Catherine Sarvello on October 29, 1949 at St. John the Evangelist church in Ishpeming. She preceded him in death in 2005.
Richard was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ishpeming. He was a charter and lifetime member of Ishpeming VFW Post 4573, and a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans.
He is survived by his sons, Richard Lucas Jr. and Thomas (Robyn) Lucas of Ishpeming; his granddaughters, Kristen Lucas of Louisville, KY and Kerry Lucas of Ishpeming; and his great granddaughter Kendra Anderson of Ishpeming. Also surviving are his brother-in-law Frank Sarvello of Ishpeming, sisters-in-law June Sarvello of Ishpeming and Rose MacDonald of Midland, and five beloved cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife Catherine; a brother, Edward; and three grandchildren, Stephen Lucas, David Lucas, and Pamela Young.
The family will greet relatives and friends from 10 11am on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at the St. Joseph Catholic Church, a memorial Mass will follow at 11:00am with the Rev. Fr. Dan Moll to officiate. Military honors will be accorded by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #380 at the conclusion of the Mass. A luncheon will follow in the church hall. Interment will take place at the Ishpeming Cemetery.
Memorial considerations may be directed to St. Joseph Catholic Church or any veterans' organization in Richard's memory.
Richard's obituary may also be viewed at bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.