Luke Little Obituary

Luke  Little
Luke Little
Luke Little

July 2, 1935 - October 30, 2020
Born in Dallas Center, Iowa
Resided in Dallas Center, Iowa
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Luke F Little was born July 2, 1935 in Dallas Center, a small farming community in central Iowa. He attended his early education there, while also helping his brother Julius farm, and working with his uncle Galen at Fitz Electric. Following this, he transferred to Messiah Academy in Grantham, Pennsylvania on an athletic scholarship. Luke finished at Upland College Academy in California, graduating with advanced standing and honors in 1953. In 1955, he received his B.S. in physics from Upland.

Luke spent 7 years, 7 months, and 7 days in the United States Air Force (He enjoyed telling people that). He worked as a technician and map worker, and ultimately sent to Syracuse University at the Institute of Technology, where he received a proficiency certificate in Russian Language in 1956 and stationed in Berchtesgaden, Germany. After returning and joining work, Luke attended Columbia college courses in the 1960’s in spare time. He took courses a good portion of his early life, wherever he was. He believed continuous learning and work resulted in

Following his military service, Luke accepted a position in IBM as a computer development processor, working in hardware, programming, and subsystems for
IBM and other companies until the 1990’s.

On March 7th, 1980, he happily married Janice Lee Trahan, from Baytown, Texas. They have been a married team for 40 years, and have one son, Paul L Little. Following this, and his retirement from the computer industry, Luke returned to home, where he purchased some land and farmed for twenty years, as he strongly wanted to be back in Iowa.

Luke’s enjoyments and interests in life were many, and what he would really want mentioned here. He played music his entire life, starting with the baritone horn as a teenager, followed by all kinds of other horns, throughout the rest of his life. Luke bought, and played, horns well into his seventies. He spent years making pottery, and later in life, woodworking for any project he could come up with, either for himself or for others. Luke enjoyed hiking alone and with friends as a younger man, and was licensed and flew small engine aircraft. In later years, he would write his “Annual Christmas Stories” that he would give to friends and the members of the “Coffee Club”, which he loved. Occasionally, the Christmas story may not have made it before March, but there always was one, researched, thought-out, and respectful. He played horns as a member of the Iowa Military Veterans Band, and sang choir for the Dallas Center United Methodist Church.

Luke traveled extensively his entire life, for work and recreation, but happiest travels were in his later years, going around the state with his wife and their friends, finding something “cool to see” in many small towns.

Above all, Luke enjoyed talking and working with people. With anyone, about anything. He was always willing to discuss work, projects, life, and laugh, tell stories, and the occasional ancient joke, with everyone. That was the true happiness.

Luke was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Mabel Little, his brothers Warren and Julius Little, and his sisters Ada Little, Miriam Washman, and followed by sister Harriet Cornwell. He is survived by his wife Janice Lee Little, son Paul L. Little, brother Paul W. Little, nephew Norman and wife Donita Little, nephew Craig and wife Lynette Little, niece Karen and husband Bob Sass, niece Marilyn and husband Larry Culver, and all their respective children and families. He is also survived by his sister Harriet’s granddaughter Elizabeth Sanders of Des Moines and a son from his first marriage, Mark E. Little of Fontana, California.

Luke passed away Friday afternoon, October 30, 2020, at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines held by the comfort of his family. A Celebration of Life will be held from 4:30 - 6:30 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at Iles Brand Chapel in Dallas Center. Memorial contributions may be made to the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. Online condolences will be welcomed at I






Celebration of Life


Iowa Veterans Home
1301 Summit Street
Marshalltown, IA 50158