The Obit For Bill Lukawecki

William Walter "Bill" Lukawecki

The Times-Picayune, 1/5/2009

William Walter "Bill" Lukawecki, of Hammond, a retired educator, died January 3, 2009 at the age of 84 at home surrounded by his family. He will be remembered by most as a long time principal of Hammond High School.

Born on February 15, 1924 in Norwood, Massachusetts, Bill came to Hammond in 1947 after serving in the Navy Seabees in World War ll, to attend Southeastern Louisiana College on the first baseball scholarship ever offered by SLC.

While still playing baseball for SLC, he began his association with the Hammond Berries Baseball team by pitching batting practice and traveling with the team during the summers. Upon graduation from SLC in 1950, he joined the Hammond Berries full time.

After his baseball career, he entered the education field becoming a coach, teacher and long time principal in various schools in the Tangipahoa Parish School System.

He began a long term association with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association by first officiating basketball and football games and later became the assignment secretary, a position that he held for many years. In 2000 he was inducted into the LHSAA Hall of Fame.

In his early years, he was very involved with community youth by coaching in the Babe Ruth Baseball League as well as running the Hammond Recreational Department.

In his many years of dealing with the youth of this community, he always stressed the importance of a good education. Bill himself received his Masters of Education in 1965 from SLC and his Masters Plus 30 in 1973.

He was preceded in death by his wife Rita Landry Lukawecki, his parents Kathryn and Nikolas Lukawecki, brothers Michael and Edward Lukawecki, sister Kristine Lukawecki Siemash.

He is survived by daughters Joyce (JoRe) O'Brian and husband Otis of Greensburg, LA; Kathryn (Kathy) Taylor and husband Eddie of Monroe, LA; son Michael (Mick) Lukawecki and wife Carm of Southington, CN; grandchildren Thad Wolfe and wife Kelly of Albany, LA; Ben Wolfe and wife Heidi of Hammond, LA; Erin O'Brian Blackwell and husband Chris of Hammond, LA and Tres' O'Brian and wife Allison of Hammond, LA; Davis Taylor and wife Tuwana of Springfield, LA; Beau Taylor and wife Susan of Monroe, LA; Nikolas Lukawecki of Southington, CN; and 11 great grandchildren; brother Stanley Lukawecki and wife Anne of Seneca, SC; and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express their most sincere appreciation to Dr. Michele Larroque, Dr. Edward St. Martin, Dr. William Gilbreath, North Oaks Hospice and the Bereavement Committee of Holy Ghost Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to North Oaks Hospice, P.O. Box 2668, Hammond, LA 70404 or Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation, 16013 Halbert Lane, Hammond, LA 70403.

Friends will be received Tuesday, January 6, 2009, at the Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home in Hammond from 6:00p.m. until 10:00 and on Wednesday from 8:00a.m. until 10:45a.m.

Services will be held at Holy Ghost Catholic Church, Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 11:00a.m. with Father Cayet Mangiaracina officiating.

Interment will follow in the Holly Gardens Cemetery Hammond, LA 70401.

An on-line Guestbook is available at http://www.harrymckneely.com.