Saturday, November 13, 2010
Luther Paul Canup 1920 - 2010
Luther Paul “Luke” Canup, age 90, died on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, at The Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks in Salisbury. Luke was the youngest of five children born to Ida Bell Julian and David Lee Canup. Except for his years of military service, he was a lifelong resident of Rowan County. Luke graduated from Granite Quarry High School in 1938. He attended North Carolina State College for three years prior to enlisting in the military to serve in World War II. He completed Army Air Corp basic and advanced flight training in Texas and began active duty as a fighter pilot in 1942. He flew a P-47 Thunderbolt in forty-one missions over Germany before his aircraft was shot down on July 8, 1944. He parachuted to safety moments before his plane exploded. Luke was a prisoner of war encamped for eight months at Stalag Luft III. His POW unit was in Moosburg on April 29, 1945, when the 14th Armored Division of Gen. Patton's 3rd Army overtook the camp, an event leading to the end of World War II. He returned to the USA on May 28, his 25th birthday. Among the medals he received are a Presidential Unit Citation, the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and the EAME Theatre Ribbon with three bronze stars. After an honorable discharge, Luke returned to Salisbury where he worked with the postal service until his retirement in 1980. He was a charter member of the American Legion Post 41 and held nearly every office in the Post including commander. His love and respect for his country were demonstrated daily as he raised and lowered an American flag from his front porch. In 1942, Luke married his high school sweetheart, Hazel Lingle Canup, with whom he celebrated 67 years of marriage prior to her death in Nov. 2009. Together they had three sons. He was an active member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church where he served many years as a choir member, councilman, member of the Men's Brotherhood and chairman of the cemetery committee. During the Memorial Day weekend last May, Luke enjoyed the company of 85 friends and family members as he celebrated his 90th birthday. A reporter captured his love for family and country in pictures and an article which appeared in the May 30 edition of The Salisbury Post. Among those joining him in the celebration were his older siblings, Harley Canup (and wife Mae), Ruth Bernhardt, and Carl Canup, all of Salisbury. Luke is survived by sons, Johnny and wife, Brenda of Kinston, Dale and wife, Jan of Fayetteville and Danny and wife, Elaine of Salisbury; five grandchildren, Laura Canup Hughes and husband, Steve of Charlotte, Lesley Canup Corbin and husband, Brian of Fort Polk, La., Travis Canup and wife, Laura of Pinehurst, Christa Canup and Renee Canup of Salisbury. He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Kate, Isaac, Tristan, Robbie, Alex, Mason and Olivia. In addition to his siblings, Luke is survived by his brothersin- law, Howard Bernhardt of Granite Quarry, Hoover Lingle of The Lutheran Home in Salisbury and Claude Hampton of Salisbury; sister-in-law, Kate Lingle of Granite Quarry; and many nephews and nieces with whom he enjoyed annual family reunions and celebrations. He was predeceased by his brother, Arnold Canup in 1996 and his sister, Ruth Canup Bernhardt who died two days ago. Visitation: The family will receive friends on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. at Powles Funeral Home in Rockwell. Service: The funeral service will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Salisbury with Rev. William Ketchie officiating. Military rites will be conducted by the Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in Luke's memory be made to St. Paul's Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund, 205 St. Paul's Church Road, Salisbury, NC 28146. The family wishes to thank the healthcare professionals at The Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks and Rowan Regional Medical Center who delivered excellent medical care with compassion and commitment. A very special thank you is extended to Mary Dunaway, who provided daily care with skill, love and a wonderful sense of humor. Powles Funeral Home in Rockwell is assisting the Canup Family.