Harlem lost one of its most respected residents and ardent supporters last week.
Marion Wilkerson Luckey Sr., co-owner of the Tracy-Luckey Co. Inc. in Harlem, died March 8 of lung cancer.
Luckey's former business partner and lifelong friend, Francis Tracy, remembered a time when, as boys, they roamed the then-rural area on horseback looking for goats.
"We'd chase goats all over the countryside," Tracy recalled.
Before he retired about 30 years ago, Luckey, along with Tracy, ran the Tracy-Luckey Co., which is one of Harlem's largest employers.
Tracy's family founded the pecan processing company in the 1930s.
"We were both in the Army in (World War II)," Tracy said. "It was after we got back that Marion became an active partner."
Luckey, 87, was diagnosed with lung cancer for the second time a little more than a month ago, said his daughter, Dr. Marjorie Luckey.
Dr. Luckey said she and her family gave her father his last wish a week before he died - a final weeklong trip to the beach.
"My sister has a beach home in Panama City Beach, so he traveled back there to spend a week at the beach with his family," she said. "He always loved the beach."
Dr. Luckey said her father traveled often after his retirement. He visited China, Japan, Hawaii, Egypt, Israel and Europe.
His travels even influenced his wardrobe, she said.
"You should have seen some of his jackets. They'd knock your eyeballs out," Dr. Luckey said. "He got these jackets made in China and they were bright green silk print. He was such a handsome man, he looked fine in them. I don't think anybody else could have carried them off."
Dr. Luckey also called her father an avid golfer and a great dancer who always managed to find the humor in life, no matter how grim the circumstances.
"A week before he died, even when he was feeling really bad, I'd walk into the room and he would just look at me and give me this big smile," said the New York-based endocrinologist.
"He would just say, 'Oh, hi, Margie. You're here. Do you need any money? Do you need a little change?'"
Luckey is survived by his wife, Marjorie Mann Luckey, and several children and grandchildren.
He was cremated, and his ashes were interred on Sunday at the Harlem Memorial Cemetery.
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