A. Lukens, 94, World War II vet

Posted: June 26, 2012

Amy Austin Lukens, 94, formerly of Lafayette Hill, a World War II veteran and volunteer, died Saturday, June 9, at Cathedral Village, a retirement community in Roxborough.

Mrs. Lukens graduated from Germantown Friends School and was pleased that two of her granddaughters were fourth-generation students there.

In 1939, she earned a bachelor's degree in art history from Smith College. She then worked at Princeton University in the president's office and remembered seeing visiting professor Albert Einstein strolling the campus, her daughter Margo said.

During World War II, Mrs. Lukens served in the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve and was stationed in Memphis and Seattle.

After her discharge, she began dating John Lukens, an Army World War II veteran. The two, who married in 1950, had known each other since childhood.

While he pursued a career as an architect with the National Park Service, she raised two daughters and a succession of dachshunds in Oreland and Lafayette Hill.

Mrs. Lukens and her husband hosted contestants in the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition in Philadelphia. After her husband died in 1994, she opened their home to interns from Morris Arboretum, and in 2007, she visited three former interns in the Czech Republic.

For years, Mrs. Lukens recorded books and newspapers for the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind in Philadelphia. As an active member of the Colonial Dames of America, she was involved in fund-raising for Lemon Hill, a historic Fairmount Park Mansion maintained by the Colonial Dames.

Late in life, she learned to play the piano and was a subscriber to the Philadelphia Orchestra. An accomplished watercolorist, she taught her grandchildren to paint at what the family called "Granny Camp" in Avalon. She continued to paint after moving to Cathedral Village in 2008, and its summer art show will be dedicated to her.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Lukens is survived by another daughter, Betsy, and four grandchildren.

A service of remembrance and committal will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, June 25, at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin in the Fields, 8000 St. Martin's Lane, Chestnut Hill, where Mrs. Lukens served on the Altar Guild and Women's Auxiliary.

Donations may be made to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Home Care and Hospice Service, 3535 Market St., Suite 750, Philadelphia 19104.

Contact Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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