8/30/1906 Henry Champ Luke Sr. born and raised in Kemper County, Miss; the county ranked 3085 out of 3109 U. S. counties in per capita Income in 1969, the 1st year data available. [24 from the bottom] Champ’s father died when he was 8 on 10/24/1914 leaving him to care for his mother and younger sister.
6/19/1912 Clarence Hunter born and raised in or near Bell County, Kentucky; the county ranked 2961 in per capita Income in 1969. [217 from bottom]
12/20/1934 Henry Champ Luke Sr. & Mary Francis Moore married. Champ was 8 years older than Francis who was 20. [see p. 5 of Luke History]
1/4/1937 Champ insisted his wife and child would be cared for by a doctor. Dr. Earl Laird then said the birth must take place in a hospital because it was to be a breach birth. If not for these steps mother and child-Henry Champ Luke Jr. could have died. [See p. 9 of Luke History]
10/1/1938 Clarence Richard Hunter married Anna Lorraine Pickel
1/25/1942 Barbara Ann Hunter born in Pineville, Kentucky to Clarence & Lorraine Hunter
1945 Champ Luke wanted to get his 2 sons H.C. [as Henry was known until starting college] and Joe [born in May 19, 1943] into a better school system. They sold the farm near Sam Neville in the fall 1945. The Lord intervened through the preacher to find them a new home on what is now Burns Road North-East of Union, Mississippi and close to Rock Branch Baptist Church. Champ & Francis Luke are buried in the Rock Branch cemetery.
1925-1948 Jim Luke a distant cousin of Champ Luke was an employer, lender, advisor and friend to Champ Luke until his untimely death in 1948. Having an older mentor helped turn Champ into a farming entrepreneur.
November 1950 Henry at age 13 first articulated his vision to somehow get off the farm without any idea how to accomplish that feat.
Summer 1954: Times were very hard in 1954 and after looking unsuccessfully for a job, “Scrap” Luke one of Jim Luke’s sons intervened to get Henry a road maintenance job with the Mississippi Highway Department. At summer end Henry hitch-hiked to Decatur, Miss to East Central Community College with $75 saved. That was not enough to enroll, but the Lord intervened and the Financial VP arranged for the school to loan me about $40 and gave me a job cleaning the chemistry lab to make repayment. This was in addition to my job working in the college cafeteria.
1956- The Lord also intervened in 1956 when the President of Mississippi State gave Henry a job in the cafeteria. The last year a Foundation loaned Henry the money to finish at MSU in 1959. The elderly woman running the foundation agreed to loan more than they had ever loaned before–$800 for a years school. All divinely arranged by God.
1959 Henry graduated from Mississippi State University with a BS in Civil Engineering and moved back home for 2 years to work for Mississippi Highway Department. Installed an indoor bathroom in Luke home for 1st time.
1952-1960 years with God placing Barbara in Knoxville, Broadway Baptist Church and UT.
1952- The Hunter’s sold Muncy Printing in Harlan, KY and then almost bought a printing company in Orlando. Mrs. Hunter, pregnant with Steve, on intuition from God rode the train alone to Orlando and found out the owners had lied about their company-purchase canceled.
1952- Instead, the Hunter’s moved from Harlan, Kentucky to Knoxville, Tenn.
1960- Barbara decided on University of Tennessee instead of Virginia Intermont in Bristol where they would give her a scholarship in music. At UT she majored in chemistry. However in the 1st year she switched to music education.
1962- Henry moved to Knoxville on January 1 with all he owned in the 1958 Chevrolet Impala. In February he began attending Broadway Baptist Church and met Barbara Hunter on the first Sunday. By April we had decided to get married. Married December 21,1962 at Broadway Baptist. These were divine moves by God for both of us to Knoxville and our marriage.
12/1963 Barbara graduated from UT in Music Education. Her 3 brothers all graduated with Bachelor’s or Masters from UT and Henry’s brother graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi. All 6 children in the Luke & Hunter family were university graduates after their parents were born in counties close to the bottom in income.
In the fall of 1964 Henry was 67th in seniority out of 67 engineers in the TVA Structural Engineering Department. This meant he was the next person to lose his job in a staff reduction and in the meantime he received the worst job assignments. He was assigned to check the pipe hangers for the Bull Run Power Plant phase under construction. He developed innovative ways to record his work. Two things resulted: 1] it was not a full time job so he worked on UT homework with a full course load to graduate at semester end and 2] he caught a critical error that brought the attention of his bosses boss. In November he introduced me to Jim Cunningham and told him RS&H ought to hire me.
The last week in February 1965 Henry completed the requirements for MS in Civil Engineering at the University of Tennessee. We moved to Jacksonville, FL and on March 1, 1965 he began work at RS&H Architects, Engineers and Planners in Jacksonville, FL.
To be continued.