In 1929 the family moved to Flagstaff, Ariz., where he attended elementary school and Flagstaff High School, generating many lifelong friends and graduating in 1943. He then attended Park University, Parkville Mo., where he met the love of his life Darlene Zimmerman, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1947.
David and Darlene were married Jan. 14, 1950, and enjoyed 68 years together. Following graduation from Park University, he was employed by Cerophil Laboratories in Kansas City, Mo. He was then accepted into, and attended, the microbiology master’s program at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. David later transferred to the University of Colorado-Denver medical school where he taught laboratory classes and graduated with a masters and ultimately a PhD in microbiology in 1964.
Following graduation, the Lueker family moved to Fort Collins, where he accepted a position as a tenured microbiology professor at Colorado State University. He successfully touched CSU students’ lives for 21 years until retiring in 1985. Throughout his teaching career, David received file folders full of thank you letters from students expressing appreciation for how he had positively impacted their lives. David also conducted significant research and published or presented many papers on immunology, microbiology and the treatment of cancer – ultimately developing a successful RF device to treat cancer eye in cows.
Following retirement, David enjoyed creating and demonstrating hands on science experiments for elementary and middle school children in the Poudre School district, in the pursuit of “making science fun.” His volunteer efforts were beloved by both the children and teachers, who nominated David for the state of Colorado school district Volunteer of the Year. He won the award, and was honored by the state of Colorado as the school district Volunteer of the Year for the Third Congressional District.
David was a charismatic and kind presence in the world, frequently empathizing with friends and neighbors over life’s trials and tribulations. He loved supporting Darlene, his children, and extended family, and knowing where they were and that they were all safe. Taking Princess and Martha (the family black labs) for walks was a recurring joy, as was “just a little piece” of cookie or ice cream. David could immediately connect with people and enjoyed conversations with anyone about any subject – thereby positively impacting hundreds of people’s lives. He just enjoyed helping people, from cleaning kitchen dishes for Darlene, to building a canoe with Mark, to frequent telephone conversations with Andrea, to caring for a friend’s medical issues. He also eagerly researched and provided disease treatment expertise to friends and acquaintances, repeatedly providing comfort visits in the hospital or at home.
David is deeply missed by his family, and was beloved by all his neighbors, who have gone out of their way to keep the lawn mowed, snow shoveled, and otherwise support him and Darlene as they aged in their home.
David is survived by his wife of 68 years, Darlene Z. Lueker; his son Mark Lueker, daughter-in-law Malu Lueker, grandson Alexander Lueker, all of Fort Collins; daughter Andrea Lueker and son-in-law Richard Hubbard of Los Osos, California; and granddaughter Catalina Hubbard of Morro Bay, California.
David’s burial service was held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Ft. Collins, followed by a memorial service, reception and light luncheon at noon at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 2000 Stover Street Ft. Collins. In lieu of memorial flowers, and to honor his heart for the less fortunate, please consider a donation in Dr. Lueker’s name to the Fort Collins Rescue Mission.