Frank Edward Luksa, 98, passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Altamont on Monday, January 6, 2020. Loving husband of Theresa P. Luksa for 68 years, they met at a friend’s wedding and their first dance turned into a lifetime of love. They are twirling again in heaven.
Frank was born in Edwardsville, PA on October 10, 1921 to the late Ellis Island immigrants, Adolf and Josephine Kordowski Luksa, both of Poland.
As part of the Greatest Generation, Frank served aboard the naval destroyer, the U.S.S. Herndon (DD-638) as a Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class in World War II. The “Lucky” Herndon was the lead ship for all the Allied forces in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day on June 6, 1944. Frank had a “birds-eye” view of the entire invasion from the upper deck while successfully bombarding targets ahead of the first assault waves. The Herndon continued to serve tirelessly in the Atlantic and Pacific and escorted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the historic Yalta Conference.
Frank and Theresa married in 1950 and raised their family in Delanson, NY. Frank, fondly known as Gigi, loved his family, the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping, raising chickens and helping every person he could. He was a “fixer” of anything broken. He and Theresa enjoyed many reunions with his Herndon shipmates and spending time with local military heroes.
Frank always wore his World War II hat and told his military history with amazing clarity. Smiling, he handed out hundreds of cards with his handsome 1942 photo on the front and the words “Lead ship at Omaha Beach. Deployed in the Atlantic and Pacific” on the back. He was honored by people everywhere for his sacrifice.
Frank is survived by his loving daughters, Patricia (Gerard) Marciano of Altamont, Teofila (Richard) Daley of Princetown and Laura Duda; his grandchildren Anthony (Nicole) Marciano, Stephen Marciano and Elizabeth Duda; his great-grandchildren Paisley and Fallon Marciano and many dear relatives and friends around the world.
Funeral services will be held in July at the Saratoga National Cemetery.
In his memory, donations may be made to Community Hospice, 445 New Karner Rd. Albany, NY 12205.
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