Michael P. Lucas
September 24, 1920 – January 5, 2021
Highland Falls, NY
Michael P. Lucas passed away January 5, 2021 at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, NY. He was 100 years old. Son of the late Marie Kost and Matthew Lucas, he was born on September 24, 1920 in Aliquippa, PA. He was a Sgt. Maj. in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and a veteran of WWII. He was also a member of the Masons (Hudson River Lodge 307) for over fifty years.
Michael enlisted in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1939 and was assigned to Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. In 1941, he was assigned to the West Point Army Hospital at West Point, NY to help establish the pharmacy there. He was extremely proud of this accomplishment and loved to tell stories of his time in this position. During his early years at West Point as a medic, he and his army buddies would often spend their leave time at various locations in Newburgh, such as the Ritz Theatre on Broadway, where he saw such greats as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Dorsey, and a “beautiful young girl from Beacon, NY” -the love of his life, Shirley Thorn - whom he married in 1944.
Michael felt very fortunate and honored to be assigned to West Point for most of the 31 years of his Army career. With the exception of a “special assignment” tour in Germany in 1952 and a tour in Korea in 1961, he was stationed at West Point. His final assignment was as Sgt. Maj. Of the U.S. Army Hospital there. He retired from the Army in 1970, receiving the Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, a WWII Victory Medal, and several other decorations. He loved being in the Army and considered it an honor and a privilege to have served.
Upon retirement from the Army, Michael and Shirley wanted to stay close to West Point so they moved to Highland Falls. Michael immediately became employed by Civil Service to work in the USMA Hospital again, working in a clinic, and assisting with Cadet physicals, until he fully retired.
Michael was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His happiest moments were those when he was surrounded by his family. He loved the summers he spent jumping the waves with the children in Long Beach Island, NJ; spending hours in the kitchen cooking delicious meals for everyone; working in his yard and painting “the picket fence”; and teaching us the “Army way” of cleaning and the art of making a bed that you could “spin a dime on.” But most of all, Michael loved the life he and Shirley shared in their own home in Highland Falls. They were able to celebrate her 97th birthday, their 75th wedding anniversary and his 99th birthday there, shortly before her death last year.
Michael will be remembered lovingly by his family for his wisdom and advice, his impeccable work ethic, his chuckle, his humming, his dancing ability, his gratitude for his long life, his strong will, and his Thanksgiving turkey, barbecue spareribs, and Shirley Temples for the kids.
Above all, he will always be remembered for his love and devotion to his family.
Michael is survived by his daughters: Ann Cooper of New Windsor, NY and Susan Poness and her husband, Michael of Germantown, MD. He is also survived by his four beloved grandchildren: Tracy and husband Michael Corry, Jennifer and husband Eric Miller, Lauren and husband David Liu, and grandson Matthew Poness. He was blessed with five great-grandchildren; Lucy, Brady, Jackson, James, and Emerson; as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Due to COVID-19, a private graveside funeral service with military honors will be held at West Point at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Michael’s name to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley at 195 Hudson Street, Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, 12528.