Obituary of Ronald Lukesh (1948 – 2021) – Palmer, NE
The funeral will be on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the All Faiths Funeral Home. Daniel Naranjo will officiate. The live stream of the service will be available on Ron’s obituary at www.giallfaiths.com. Interment will be in the Grand Island Cemetery.
Family will greet friends one hour before service time. Memorials are offered to the GRACE Foundation.
Ron was born February 18, 1948 on Grand Island to Emanuel “Gabe” and Virginia Mae “Maisie” (Hatfield) Lukesh and was the first son, but the second of five children. He attended school on Grand Island (except for fourth grade in Dallas, Oregon), and graduated from Grand Island Senior High in 1966. He married his high school girlfriend, Jean A. Ochsner, in 1968. at the First Presbyterian Church on Grand Island.
Like his father, Ron was a natural artist and colored outside the lines from the time he was old enough to hold a pencil, pencil, brush or camera. By the age of 13, he was a published artist, creating newspaper ads and working for Marsay Printers on Grand Island.
In his teens and early twenties, he worked at Art Craft Signs, where he was mentored by one of the owners, Marlon “Spike” Gauthier, and became a Shop Foreman. He went on to work for the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Factory, doing industrial engineering projects and creating illustrations, newsletters, reports and a safety-focused comic that regularly visited government offices in Washington, DC
Ron was also a businessman. He started two screen printing companies – Pictures and Graphics – in Hastings, with a partner in the 1970s and 1980s. Ron created the illustrations and marketing and helped print t-shirts, banners and specialty items for Olympia Brewery in Washington State and other businesses across the country.
After leaving these companies, Ron and a friend and partner from Grand Island, Tom Dolton, started the advertising and marketing agency Action Concepts, which later became ADS or Associated Design Services in the warehouse “The Dock”. along the Second Street railroad tracks. During their stay, they were also partners of Sax’s Pizza of Nebraska. At Action Concepts and ADS, Ron has done illustrations, commercials and commercials for area radio and TV stations and numerous companies including GP Express.
In his spare time, he created fine art paintings, took flying lessons and loved to ride a bicycle. When his former music teacher and good friend, Jack Learned, retired and became the director of the new Stuhr Museum, Jack asked Ron to design, furnish and paint many of the museum’s display cases and others. buildings and signs, as well as doing a lot of early advertising and marketing. Jack and Stuhr Museum both held a special place in Ron’s heart.
After leaving Action Concepts, ADS, and Sax’s Pizza Corporation, Ron restarted his advertising and marketing business from his Grand Island home and continued to receive numerous awards. He was also for years a member and president of Third City Sertoma, creating several things for them and working several of their nights in Vegas to raise money for special education school projects – his presidency of Third City and his Gold Coat awards were the highlights of his life. .
Another highlight was the solo on an airplane – he loved flying so much, but decided not to get his license after 9/11. He has taken many great photos of the plane and the weather for business and pleasure. One of his advertising projects then took him back to Hastings where he designed and helped a friend run Espresso America at a mall along Burlington Avenue. This led him to participate in the design of the MPH Racecourse and the surrounding living quarters in Hastings, a project that continued until the early 2000s.
During his lifetime, Ron designed and created hundreds if not thousands of logos, signs, artwork, buildings and more for various projects in central Nebraska and beyond. He also printed letters on police cars and other law enforcement vehicles, designed the armband for the Grand Island Police Department, and printed other community fleet vehicles across the state.
When his wife, Jean, a teacher and media specialist, retired after 30 years with Grand Island and Hall County Public Schools, Ron also decided to retire (a bit). They, their dog, and John’s horses all moved to an 80-acre farm in rural Howard County There Ron continued to do artwork for others, and also helped John write, illustrate , publish and market several Nebraska history books that have received 15 National Book Awards. .
He also did more photography and painting, until ill health forced him to stop making art and end his GISH class lunches of 1966, at the Western Writers of America of his wife and many other popular activities, such as traveling with John to research Nebraska history or to donate history books or programs. Ron loved Nebraska and was a kind of cowboy at heart. He especially liked Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in the movie “Tombstone” and would often quote his favorite line from that movie, saying, “I am (or“ I will be ”) your Huckleberry.” (Ron will always be our favorite Huckleberry. !)
Ron is survived by Jean, his wife of 53 years; his son Lance, who was Ron’s 21st birthday present; sisters, Barbara (Russ) Johnson and Shauna (Dan) Rock; brother, Doug (Lael) Lukesh; brother-in-law / sister-in-law, Bob (Pat) Ochsner; many nieces and nephews and their families; Aunt Lorraine Lukesh; and cousins, Craig Lukesh, Linda Lindsay and Sharron Huynh of Oregon, Marvin, Carolyn, Lannie and Bonnie Lukesh, Steve Bixenmann, Mark Bixenmann and Robin Roefling and their families; and current furbabies for dogs, horses and cats.
Ron was predeceased by his parents; grandparents, “Polka Joe” and Albina Lukesh and Ira and Margaret Hatfield; older sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Gene Watson; uncles and aunts, Clare Hatfield, Doris and Joe Bixenmann, Richard “Butch” and Lucille Lukesh, Bernard Lukesh, Lillian and Don Miller, Wilma Loescher; cousins, Mike Loescher and Tom Miller; Stepmom and Stepfather, Agnes and Harvey Ochsner, along with other special family, friends and pets.
Posted by The Grand Island Independent on Aug 28, 2021.