Old Luke (Bill) bit the dust on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin, he was 75. He was born on May 8, 1945 (V E Day therefore the first Baby Boomer). Luke had fought many successful battles with cancer over the last nine years, but in the end he lost the last battle, he lost the war and he lost his life. Luke fought a good fight. He was known as Bill until June of 1972 and Luke thereafter.
It's a boring story.
Luke leaves behind his wife and saint of 51 years, Mary Pat (Muehlenkamp) Williams. Also, his daughter-in-law Robin Barger, her husband Nolan and their children, Molly and Little Nolan. He leaves one aunt B.C. Williams (husband, James H.) and many cousins, nieces, nephews, a great set of in-laws and Ned, the cat. And America, the land of the free and home of Brave.
Preceding Luke in death was his son, Mark, that he loved to the moon. Parents Bob and Wilma (Watson) Williams, uncles James H Williams, William B Williams and wife, Betty, Ken Watson of Seattle and Norman Watson of Warsaw Indiana. Also, aunts Janet R. Ingle of Shelbyville, Martha Anne Bridges of Nashville,Indiana, Waneda (Smith) Watson of Seattle. They were all the best you could hope for.
Bill went to Shelbyville High School where he was a mediocre student but had a great time. He attended Franklin College and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Cincinnati in accounting. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (Indiana Alpha and Ohio Epsilon) and he enjoyed hell week. He was also a member of Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting fraternity. Luke attended the Bonduarnt Corvette School of High Speed Driving and owned Corvettes for the last 38 years of his life.
After the first year of college Bill worked his way through school with several part time jobs and then the Playboy Club in downtown Cincinnati. When he graduated he didn't owe a penny. After graduation he worked for Armco Steel in Middletown Ohio, a CPA firm and finally Williams Industries in Shelbyville where he started as a salesman and became the Best Salesman in America, if not the entire world. It was at Williams Industries he became known as Luke and eventually became President and Chairman of the Board.
Luke proclaimed to be The Luckiest Man on the Planet mainly because of his parents, wife, son, growing up and living in Shelbyville, USA and so many people that loved him, really loved him, unconditionally, especially his wonderful friends at Williams Industries. He was truly the Luckiest Man On The Planet.
Luke was a member Saint Joseph Catholic Church, becoming Catholic in 2019.
Luke owed a majority interest in Williams Industries, an equal member in Williams and Williams (a real estate holding L.L.C.), an equal partner in The Blue River Softball Park where he and his partner lost money by the truck loads and Luke was a Partner in the Indianapolis Racer Hockey Team ( World Hockey League) that had Wayne Gretkzy ( The Great One ) his rookie year. Really? Yes, really. Luke also was the developer of Riverwood sub division just east of Meiks addition in Shelbyville.
Luke played softball 26 years and pitched both slow and fast pitch. He was one of the best pitchers in the county in slow pitch but the worst pitcher in the solar system in fast pitch but he loved the game. He was also the citizen member of the Indiana State Police Bullseye Pistol Team and was awarded Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Indiana State Police. He also won "Top Gun" at Rolling Ridge. When Luke retired he received the " Up There With Jesus and Johnny Depp Award" by Beth Wettrick, a long time employee of Williams Industries.
Luke was a member of the Elks Country Club until it managed to self destruct. Big Brothers of America, Varmints, a member of the Founders Club for the Shelby County Republicans and was the most terrible coach ever at Babe Ruth Baseball but luckily had two assistant coaches that knew what they were doing. He was president of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce many years ago and recently received the Chamber's "Life Time Achievement Award”. A little known story was that Luke was a co-inventor of the internet along with Al Gore.
But most of all Luke enjoyed committing random acts of kindness.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville, with the rosary recited at 4:30 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, December 24, 2020 at Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 125 E. Broadway St. in Shelbyville, with Father Mike Keucher officiating and the Honorable Charles O'Connor will give the eulogy. Anyone that Luke helped along the way is encouraged to share their story on the day of the funeral.
Interment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Shelbyville.
A Celebration of Luke’s life will be held at a later date.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, CDC guidelines requiring a mask and social distancing will be observed.
Memorial contributions may be made to Dinner Before Bedtime, 157 E. Rampart Road, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.
Online condolences may be shared with Luke’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.