Lukin Taylor Gilliland
Lukin Taylor Gilliland was born on March 1, 1927, to Taylor and Mary Gilliland in San Antonio, Texas. He passed away peacefully in the company of his family on Sunday, July 20, 2014.
He attended Alamo Heights Schools when they were all housed in what is now Cambridge Elementary, and was a member of the famed High Steppers fraternity. He spent several years at the University of Texas at Austin, where he joined the DKE fraternity, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While serving our country, he contracted polio, one of many challenges he faced and overcame in his lifetime. He went on to graduate from the UT School of Law, and spent 60 glorious years engaged in its practice. It was also at his beloved university that he met his wife, Ruth Harsh. His admiration for this great university rubbed off on his sons, who all graduated from UT and have assumed his role as spectator at football games.
Lukin was the ultimate husband, father, surrogate father and uncle, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, employer, friend, and mentor to countless people. His multitude of business dealings were widely respected for being fair, as he valued his reputation above all else. He was involved in a wide range of successful business endeavors, including restaurants, ranching, horse racing, oil and gas, real estate, and car dealerships. Success followed him into politics, as he was elected as Alamo Heights city councilman and mayor, where he served with distinction.
His greatest love was his racehorses, both thoroughbred and quarter horses. They raced across this country and around the world, including in the All-American Futurity, Kentucky Derby, Breeder’s Cup Classic, and Grand Criterian. He was associated with the best trainers and famous jockeys, and with horses like Top Divi, Si Puede, and Skywalker. His quips were as quick as his horses and sharp as tacks. He was good company, and was enjoyed immensely by all who knew him.
Lukin was preceded in death by his loving wife, Ruth Harsh Gilliland; brother Lee Gilliland; granddaughter Hannah Marie Gilliland; niece Sharon Deering; nephew David Newby Harsh; his parents; and his parents-in-law, Helen Westervelt and David Newby Harsh.
He is survived by his sons, Lukin Taylor Gilliland Jr. of San Antonio, Kip Gilliland and wife Lisa of Floresville, and John Gilliland and wife Frederique of New York; grandchildren Kara Lee Armstrong, Haley Beth Barr, Brittain Gilliland, and Alessandra Gilliland; great-grandchildren Lukin Cash Gilliland and Rayden and Hannah Armstrong; daughter-in-law Mary Beth; faithful friend Jose Pereyra; his faithful dog, Chula; nieces and nephews Perry Deering, Shannon Nisbet, Pat Gilliland, Kelly and Gregg Lyssy, Rusty and Joe Armstrong, Sarah and Olen Walley, Nancy and David Pittman, Barry and Jim Bennett, Westy and Janice Harsh, and Pam Harsh; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation was held on Wednesday, July 23, from 5-7 p.m. in Porter Loring in San Antonio.
A funeral service was held on Thursday at 2 p.m. in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, officiated by the Rev. David G. Read.
Interment was held in the Sunset Memorial Park in San Antonio.
Serving as pallbearers were his sons, Lukin, Kip, and John; grandson Brittain; nephew Westy Harsh; nephew-in-law Gregg Lyssy; great-nephews Timmy and Dale Nisbet; great-grandson-in-law Lee Armstrong; and trusty friend Jose Pereyra. Serving as honorary pallbearers were longtime friends John Adger, Joe Armstrong, Lon Carpenter, Jimmy Cavender, Tom Drought, Tom Frost, Peter Gill, Joe Guest, Sam Maclin, Elkin McGaughy, Albert McNeel, Ben Morris, Tom Powell, Stanley Schoenbaum, Dr. Robert Spalten, Joe Straus, David Straus, Tom Tatham, and Thad Ziegler.
Memorial donations may be made to The Hannah Marie Gilliland Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor University, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, or the Cibolo Nature Center.