Friends and educators remembered former Columbia County school board member Douglas M. Luke, who passed away Tuesday, as a skillful leader not only locally but statewide.
“His service on the board was exemplary,” former Superintendent Don Thornhill said Friday, “and I valued his opinions on matters and issues pertaining to the school system. He was a fine Christian man and devoted to the Columbia County school system.”
“His leadership was not limited to our local board, but was statewide because of his active participation with the Georgia School Boards Association,” Thornhill said.
The funeral for Luke, 88, who represented the Evans area in the 1970s and 1980s, was to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Platt’s Funeral Home on Belair Road. A World War II veteran, he was owner and operator of Luke’s Garbage Disposal.
“Douglas Luke was a well-respected member of the school board during what could have been a very difficult era as Columbia County was making a transition to a racially integrated school system,” said Barry Paschal, former publisher of the Columbia County News-Times. “That process went smoothly because of leaders like him, who helped lay the foundation for what since then has become an excellent school system. He was also an exceptionally gracious gentleman whom I was honored to know both as a student and later as an adult member of the community.”
Luke had a statewide reputation, serving as president of the Georgia School Boards Association and also a member of the Federal Relations Network advising congressmen on education legislation.
“He was a valuable member of our community and school board,” said Dr. Sandra Carraway, Columbia County school superintendent. “Our thoughts are with his family as we all recall his impact.”