It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family of Luke D. Lucas announce his passing from this life and ascension into heaven on Sunday, June 2, 2013, at the age of 64, with his loving wife, daughters, and sister, Catherine, by his side. A mass of Christian burial will be held in Luke’s honor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Thursday, June 6, 2013, at 3 p.m. He will be laid to eternal rest in Holy Family Cemetery where he will be honored with full military rites.  Father Richard Green will officiate.

Visitation will begin Wednesday at 5 p.m. and conclude at 9 p.m. with a recitation of the rosary of 7 p.m., at Pellerin Funeral Home in New Iberia. Visitation will resume on Thursday at 10 a.m. and until 2:30 p.m.

Mr. Lucas is survived by his wife of 28 years, Belinda Charpentier; his daughters Katie Broussard and her husband, Randall, Alison Charpentier, and her husband, Kris, and Sarah Meche, and her husband, Thadd; his five grandchildren Grace, Hannah and Carson Broussard, Avery Charpentier and Peyton Meche; his mother, Juliette Lucas; his brother and sister-in-law Mark and SueZahn Lucas; his sisters and brothers-in-law, Beverly and Jim Morgan and Catherine and Kent Himel. He was preceded in death by his father, Edward D. Lucas, his materal grandparents, Luke and Olga “Bib” Viator and Dermont and Thelma Lucas.

Pallbearers will be Randall Broussard, Kris Charpentier, Thadd Meche, Mark Lucas, Kent Himel, Luke LaBauve, Hayden LaBauve and Harry Charpentier. Honorary Pallbearers are Jim Morgan, Sgt. Joshua Lucas, Eric Lucas, Quincy Crochet, Bud Lee, Wayne Landry, Dwight LaBauve, Mark Duck, Howard Bouton, Randy Gonsoulin, SSgt. Brad Jones, and the 1990 – 1996 NISH Girls Softball Teams.

Luke Dermont Lucas was born in New Iberia to Juliette Viator Lucas and the late Edward D. Lucas on May 31, 1949. He honorably served his country in the United States Army from 1969 to 1970 during the Vietnam Conflict until being severely injured on May 5, 1970. After being treated in military hospitals for over two years, he returned home. He was honorably discharged and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Parachute Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the state of Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal.

Mr. Lucas took the advice a Methodist Minister gave him during his hospital stay which was, “You have two choices here — you can choose to die, or you can choose to live, but if you choose to live—then LIVE” — and LIVE HE DID!

Mr. Lucas returned to the University of Southwestern in Lafayette and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1976. He then worked for Cajun Archery and the Social Security Administration for several years before becoming self-employed as a flooring installer.

In 1984 he married his wife of 28 years, Belinda, raising and spoiling their three beautiful daughters of whom he was extremely proud. He felt he was being guided to do more in his professional life, so he returned to college and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education and began his teaching career. He thrived at this, and he loved working with young people, but he knew he could help them more because he communicated so well with them and they trusted him. Once again he returned to college and this time earned a Masters Degree in Counseling. In 1999 he became a Guidance Counselor at New Iberia Senior High where he formed close and lasting relationships with his students. While working, he continued his education once again, becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, opening a private counseling practice in October 2001, and at the same time earned recognition as a National Certified School Counselor.

During Mr. Lucas’ teaching career, he taught at Belle Place Middle School, New Iberia Senior High, was a Guidance Counselor at New Iberia Senior High and Career Campus. He truly enjoyed working with all his students; this was not a job to him but a passion. While at NISH, he also was the Coach for the Girls Softball Team – a source of many great memories for all!  Besides coaching at NISH, he also coached softball at Evangeline Little League and the ASA League, having coached several girls in all three areas. Throughout his coaching career he developed friendships with the girls and their parents that lasted up to this day. Mr. Lucas had a real passion for the programs established for “his” young people at Career Campus and a true belief that success would be a part of their lives if they believed in themselves. Everyone at Career Campus helped to make that happen.

Working with families at Iberia Parish Drug Court was Mr. Lucas’ other passion, his ministry, having worked there since 1999. He felt it was a privilege to work with his clients there and felt he received as much as he gave.

In October 2001, he opened his private counseling practice and continued practicing until January 31, 2013. It is here that he again felt his life’s work was so profoundly rewarding. He knew he could give to others and help others in a way that he had been guided to do.

As we move forward remember these inspiring words from Mr. Lucas, “Do not be sad – but live as I have lived – LIVE!!”

The family would like to extend their thanks to Dr. David Rinaldi and Staff, Dr. Karen Roden and Staff, Dr. Carl Ditch and Staff, Dr. James Walker and Staff, Dr. Joan Wojak and Staff, the Staff of Our Lady of Lourdes Neurology and Oncology Units, and the Staff of Hospice of Acadiana, and family and friends who have supported them throughout their journey. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Mr. Lucas’ favorite charities, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Wounded Warrior Project. 

To view online obituary, video tribute, and sign guestbook go to www.pellerinfuneralhome.com.

Pellerin Funeral Home, 502 Jefferson Terrace Blvd, New Iberia, LA 70560, (337) 365-3331, is in charge of the arrangements.

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