GULF STREAM — William Paul Luke, M.D. , 89, passed away peacefully on April 25 at home in Gulf Stream, succumbing to Lou Gehrig’s disease, which he had fought for 15 years. Not a record, but he tried.
He was eased on his way by his loving caregivers and friends of many years, Alicia Prado and Amanda Liptak, and son David.
He is survived by his three children, David, Hunter and Laurie; daughter-in-law LuAnne Luke and son-in-law David McCaskey; along with Hunter’s sons, Griffin and Dawson, and Laurie’s daughters, Sarah and Morgan. They all will miss him, as will nieces Judy and Debbie and nephew Richard; and his four stepchildren, Sandy, Hans, Donna and Andrew, whom he considered as his own.
He was a proud grandfather of seven step-grandkids and loved all mentioned equally and well. He was predeceased by wives Joey and Joan, father William, mother Lenora and his sister Yvonne.
Dr. Luke led a great life with a gentle enthusiasm for all that he endeavored, and his huge heart was apparent to all so fortunate to be called friend or co-worker. He was sure to bring a smile to all whenever or wherever he encountered them. Though he achieved much and was honored by many, his greatest joy was the happiness and success of others. He led a life of love, thoughtfulness, generosity and compassion and the world is a shade less bright without him. He was so lucky to have had two phenomenal women as his wives and with them he shared his many milestones, both personal and professional.
Upon graduation from the Boston University school of medicine, he set forth on his professional adventures. He joined the staff of Cape Cod Hospital, where he held positions of chief of surgery, chief of staff and a position on the board of directors. As a member of the board of regents at Boston University he was instrumental in the establishment of the residency program at Cape Cod Hospital.
This all occurred while he was busy as a partner in Cape Cod Surgical Associates, which he had formed with his great friend John McVey and soon included Sepo Rapo, Rich Lewis and John Scarpato. They all later established the Cape Cod Vascular Laboratory.
Toward the end of his career on the Cape and beyond, Dr. Luke spent time for many years with Sepo Rapo in the jungles of Nicaragua assisting in the treatment of the native population in a MASH-type hospital, which the staff could reach only by small plane.
To stay busy later he joined the staff at the Toronto General Hospital at the invitation of good friend Dr. Griff Pearson as a visiting professor of surgery. He would do this for many years even after retiring to Florida with Joan.
Dr. Luke had many interests and hobbies in which he fully immersed himself. Among them was sailing. He and friends started the Cape Cod Cruising Club and he participated in many of the famous Figawi races on Cape Cod.
Flying also ranked high (he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis while getting his instrument rating). Croquet was a passion he shared with Joan and they donated funds to build the croquet lawn at the St. Andrews Club. He was particularly proud to be elected to the Croquet Hall of Fame in 2010 as one of 103 members.
Never one to sit idle, he spent his final years teaching himself to build museum-quality ship models, some of which took up to a half year to complete.
He was very active in the ALS community and lobbied Congress for funding when he was still able to travel to Washington and personally conducted voluminous research on his own to understand the disease.
A memorial service was held May 2 at Lorne and Sons Funeral Home, 745 NE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach. Dr. Luke will be interred on Cape Cod surrounded by his family at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, make donations in his name to the ALS Association Florida Chapter, 3242 Parkside Center Circle, Tampa, FL 33619.
— Obituary submitted by the family