“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”
Eloise Royal Luke, lovingly called MiMi by her Grand and Great-Grandchildren, went home to be with her Saviour on Sunday, January 18, 2009. She was eighty-six years young. Mrs. Luke was born on November 28, 1922 to James Alfred and Ella Whitley Royal of the Frank Community in Irwin County, Georgia. The youngest of eleven children, eight of which lived to adulthood, Mrs. Luke is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Erston, James, and Charles “Buck” Royal and her sisters, Mary Harden, Myrtice Gaines, Vasthi Myers, and Ruth Peterson.
Eloise grew up during the depression; nevertheless, her life was enriched and influenced by the love of gospel music in the Royal home. Her Grandfather, “Uncle Billy” Royal founded the Royal Singing Convention in Mystic, GA, and Eloise supported the convention and was instrumental in creating the monument and tribute to The Royal Singing Convention which can be seen in Mystic, Georgia today.
Eloise attended Ocilla High School where she played basketball and met her husband, O. L. Luke, Jr. They graduated together in 1939 and were married on August 22, 1942. Eloise and O.L. became what is known as today as “members of The Greatest Generation”. WWII separated them as O.L. joined the Air Force and went overseas to fight. And, Eloise stayed home taking on the role as “the wind beneath his wings”.
Following the war, Eloise and O.L. built a home, started several businesses, and began a family. To their union Karen, Janis, and Royal were born. This couple knew that the success of their endeavors depended upon God’s blessings and hard work. Eloise was a superb bookkeeper and would not let the books be “a penny off”.
Eloise was a member of Frank Primitive Baptist Church and was one of the churches most active members. She was a Bible Study teacher, choir member, and a member of the Ladies Circle in which she held many offices. A faithful servant, her home was a “home away from home” for visiting ministers. The room above the barn garage fondly became known as “the preachers’ room”. Frank Church was blessed when Eloise’s cousin, Mazie Whitley Garren, gave an acre of land to Frank Church in honor of Eloise Royal Luke.
The richest blessings of Eloise’s life came in the form of Grandchildren, Scott Roberts and Christy of Swainsboro, GA, Kerri Jackson Pelz and Mike of Hendersonville, NC, Luke Roberts and Jaime of Ocilla, GA, Jonathan Jackson of Hendersonville, NC, Rhett Roberts of Ocilla, GA, Leigh Luke, Philip Luke and Benja, Jared Luke, and Lindy Luke, all of Ocilla, GA., and Great-Grandchildren, Riley and Lainey Roberts of Swainsboro, GA, Jackson, Kaia, and Auden Pelz of Hendersonville, NC, Alison, Eli, and Emily Kade Roberts of Ocilla, GA, and Heidi Luke of Irwin County, GA.
Her Grandchildren have the honor of serving as their “MiMi’s” pallbearers. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, O. L. Luke, Jr., children, Karen Luke Jackson of Hendersonville, NC, Janis Luke Roberts and Oscar of Ocilla, GA, Royal Luke and Tammy of Orange Lake, FL, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, in-loves, Dana and Bruce Willis of Ocilla, GA, and an extended family of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A celebration of thanksgiving for the life of Eloise Royal Luke will be held on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at Frank Primitive Baptist Church in Ocilla, GA at 2:00 P.M. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Deacons of Frank Church, Herman Sumner, Robert Fain, Warren Mixon, Alan Martin, Alan Moore, and Walter Sumner. Serving also as Honorary Pallbearers are Seaborn Royal, Joe Royal, Gerald Gaines, Tim Royal, J. M. Broome, Kermit Elliott, Hugh Roberts, Bruce Willis, Kaylon Whitley, Wayne Hilliard, and Marvin Dix.
Elders Edward McIntyre and Elliotte S. Tucker will officiate. Andi McWhorter will serve as pianist.
She will be laid to rest until the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, at Frank Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Irwin County, GA.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to: The American Diabetes Association, Savannah Chapter, Executive Court, 5105 Paulson, Suite C-236, Savannah, GA 31405 or to the Frank Church Cemetery Fund, % Mr. Warren Mixon, P. O. Box 145, Ocilla, GA 31774 or to the Whitley Cemetery Fund, % Linda Gail Lewis, 704 McLeod Road, Fitzgerald, GA 31750 or to the Frank Primitive Baptist Church Memorial Fund, % Mr. Walter Sumner, P. O. Box 112, Ocilla, GA 31774.