William “Bill” Orville Lucas Jr., born in 1931, left this earth on December 11, 2020 after a brief illness.
He is survived by his daughters, Nancy Ruth Lucas-Collins, Lena Arice Lucas-Strimer and Ruby Michelle Ganoe; sisters, Betty Wiles Lucas Ikard and Mary Priestly Deverell; brother, Henry Winston Bayless; grandchildren (children of Nancy Ruth Lucas-Collins and John Benjamin Collins Jr.) Shaun Lucas Collins and Kristen Michelle Collins; and son-in-law, Daniel Ernest Strimer.
Bill Lucas is predeceased by his beloved wife, Dorothy Ruth Lucas; brother, Franklin Porter Bayless; sister, Evelyn Evans Lucas; father, William Orville Lucas; mother Lena Rivers Wiles (Lucas) Bayless; and stepfather Henry Porter Bayless Jr.
An Air Force Veteran, young Bill Lucas was keen at figuring out how to build things and how things worked. He started working for Nashville Bridge Company sorting bolts and scraping rust off steel beams, but within a few short years was promoted to a Superintendent overseeing the construction of numerous bridges, dams, and buildings still standing today throughout the Eastern United States — including the iconic Municipal Auditorium and Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium. He later continued that work as co-owner of a successful construction business. After selling his business, Bill and his wife Dorothy owned Southeastern Quilting Company until retirement.
A generous man, Bill Lucas taught his children and many others how to relish life. He shared his love of bass fishing and knew the area lakes like the back of his hand. Many an accomplished pool player owes their game to Bill’s tutelage.
An artist in spirit, Bill Lucas was skilled with a pencil, a natural born entertainer, a fine singer who often preformed locally, a comedic wit, a spellbinding storyteller, and a deft spinner of hilarious original tall tales.
Bill Lucas was an exceptional Nashville city-league athlete, playing into his fifties, always playing as center in basketball and always batting fourth in baseball.
Bill Lucas was a member of Mt. Juliet Masonic Lodge #642 and received his Entered Apprentice 3/19/81, Fellowcraft 7/16/81, Master Mason 4/21/83, and Worshipful Master 1/01/95. He was instrumental in building the popular barbecue pit and much-needed handicap ramp at the Lodge.
A positive role model for many, William Orville Lucas Jr. believed all endeavors pursued were worthy of ones best effort, and truly left everything — and every person — better than he found them.
The family is eternally grateful for Bill Lucas’ cherished friends Travis Journell and Jim Austin for everything they did with and for him.
Graveside services will be conducted 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at Oak Hill Cemetery in Huntingdon, TN.
Bond Memorial Chapel, 615-773-2663, www.bondmemorial.com.