Mr. James Luther Israel, known to family and friends as Luke, 85, of Swan Lake, passed away Sunday afternoon, March 6, 2022 at the Barbourville ARH Hospital. He was the son of the late Robert E. and Ida Randle Israel born on September 2, 1936 in Knox County.
Luke was a long-time bus driver and mechanic with the Knox County Public School System and a member of the River Baptist Church. During his career, he drove many children on his bus to school, sporting events and field trips. He transported the KC girl’s basketball and KC track teams for many years and loved all the kids and coaches. He was also a well known farmer who raised tobacco and cattle. Luke was from the “old school” where his word was his bond and would always help someone in need. In earlier years, he was a truck driver and foreman with the Barbourville Street Department. Later in life, he was a beloved funeral assistant with the Knox Funeral Home and considered them family.
On June 5, 1957, he united in marriage with Irene Sanders and to this union five children were born.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles Israel and Thomas Eugene Israel and wife, Evelyn, and two beloved granddaughters, Makayla Nicole Warren and Ashley Nicole Mills.
Survivors include his loving wife of over 64 years, Irene Israel of Swan Lake; five beloved children, Larry Israel and fiancé, Ruby, Sandra Bingham and David Israel all of Swan Lake, Sharon Mills and husband, David, of Swan Pond and Janice Warren and husband, Rodney, of Swan Lake; two sisters-in-law, Ramona Israel of Louisville and Ethel Creech of Bull Run; a brother-in-law, Clarence Sanders of Swan Lake; a dear granddaughter, Caitlyn Warren; six grandsons, Larry Israel Jr., James Robert Bingham, Adam Mills and fiancé, Kayla, Josh Mills and wife, Elesa, Joseph Mills and Allie, and Rodney Warren II; 12 great grandchildren; among other loved ones and dear friends.
His funeral service will be conducted in the chapel of the Knox Funeral Home Sunday, March 20 at 2 P.M. He will be laid to rest in the Sanders – Israel Cemetery.
Casket bearers will be his dearly loved grandsons and Johnny Cox and Wayne Miracle. Honorary bearers will be the staff of Access Family Health, Barbourville ARH Hospital and Knox Professional Pharmacy.
Friends may call at the funeral home Saturday between 6 and 8 P.M. and Sunday prior to the funeral service.
Expressions of sympathy may go to the River Baptist Church, 212 Swan Lake Road, Barbourville, KY 40906 in loving memory of James “Luke” Israel.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Knox Funeral Home.