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West Maui community loses Jim Luckey

By Staff | Jul 30, 2015


EUGENE, OREGON – James Clair Luckey of Eugene, Oregon passed away on July 12, 2015 with his family by his side.

He was born on July 4, 1927 in Eugene to his parents, Tad and Alma Luckey. Jim’s grandfather, Tad Luckey Sr., was one of the original owners of Luckey’s Club Cigar Store. “Luckeys,” in operation since 1911, is one of the oldest businesses in downtown Eugene and one of the oldest bars in Oregon.

Jim attended Eugene High School and the University of Oregon. He met his lovely wife, Ann Phetteplace, in Eugene after serving in the Navy, and they were married on Aug. 8, 1948. They had three boys, all born at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Jim was an avid fly fisherman, excellent boatman and one of original McKenzie River guides that was often seen with family and friends in his beloved drift boat on the McKenzie River.

Jim worked in the lumber business in Eugene before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1960 with his family. After 12 years in the lumber business, Jim and Ann decided to make a move to Hawaii and settled in the small town of Lahaina in 1972.

Jim Luckey (left) worked with the late U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga in a project to rebuild the U.S. Seamen’s Hospital.

After job searching for almost a year, he found his dream job as director of Lahaina Restoration Foundation in 1973. He was instrumental in restoring many of the small town’s famous cultural and historic sites, and the impact can be seen throughout the town today.

His friends and family all called him “Kimo” (James in Hawaiian), and he was fondly remembered by many as “the mayor of Lahaina,” always seen wearing his kukui nut lei.

He was a wonderful extemporaneous speaker and would give talks to the community with tall tales of Lahaina during the missionary and whaling eras.

Jim and Ann moved back to Eugene in 2000.

Jim is survived by his wife, Ann (“Annie”); three sons, David and Tad of Lahaina, and Thomas of Seattle; five grandsons, Stephen and Andrew of Seattle, Tyler of Portland, and Ryan and Tad “T.C.” IV of Lahaina. And for the first time in over 100 years, a great-granddaughter arrived: Lola Jean of Lahaina.

During his tenure at Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Jim Luckey worked to restore Hale Pa’i (pictured), the U.S. Seamen’s Hospital, Hale Pa’ahao (Old Lahaina Prison), Wo Hing Temple, Hale Aloha and other important historic sites.

Jim was a pillar of strength in his family and work, and he will be greatly missed by all the people he met.

A memorial service will be held on Maui at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations will be greatly appreciated to Sacred Heart Hospice, 677 E. 12th Avenue, Suite N-110, Eugene, Oregon 97401.

With the help of a wonderful Sacred Heart Hospice team, Dave, Tad and Cindy (Tad’s wife) were able to spend a truly memorable month as caregivers for “Kimo” before his passing at Sheldon Oaks in Eugene.