Former Magalia, California resident, Dr. Raymond James Lukens, 89, died September 18, 2019, in Roseville, California.
Graveside services will be held at the Magalia Cemetery, 6764 Magalia Cemetery Road, at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 26th. Reception to follow at Paradise Lutheran Church, 780 Luther Drive, Paradise, California.
Ray was born February 25, 1930, in Beverly, New Jersey, to William and Lillian (Chant) Lukens. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Ruth (Lukens) Heal and Lillian (Lukens) Sharp. He is survived by Nancy, his wife of 64 years, his five children, ten grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. He is survived by his brother Robert, wife Beverly, their five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews and their families.
Ray was a world renowned Plant Pathologist and avid home gardener. He and his family enjoyed fresh vegetables every year before being displaced on November 8, 2018, by the Paradise Camp Fire.
After being introduced to model trains by his brother-in-law William (Bill) Heal, he became a Railroad and Train enthusiast. He enjoyed developing and maintaining his detailed HO model trains, tracks, and scenery with his children and, later with his grand-children and great-grand-children. Ray also directed some of his vacation destinations to historic railroad trails and displays.
Ray earned his Master Degree in Botany from Rutgers University, and his PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Maryland. He worked for many years as a Scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) in New Haven, CT. He then accepted a position with Ortho Division of Chevron in California.
Ray and Nancy enjoyed travelling. They travelled to Holland in 1972 with their children for an 8-month sabbatical where Ray delivered lectures and classes as well as laboratory experiments at the University of Utrecht in Utrecht, Nederland. In retirement, Ray and Nancy travelled throughout the United States in their motor home, passing through all 49 continental states and Canada.
Ray enjoyed reading many types of literature. His favorite author was Mark Twain. He listened to many music styles, including some of his favorite “Old-timey” songs which he would sing to the embarrassment of his children. He will be greatly missed by his wife, family, and friends.