Born at home August 20, 1935, died peacefully Saturday February 19, 2022 surrounded by family after a 13 year struggle with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). Luke was a 1953 graduate of Springdale High School and a 1959 graduate of the Penn State University with a Bachelor of Architecture. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Eugenia (Jeannie) Zahorchak Desmone and his children, Charles Luke Desmone II (Lynn), Frances Aline Desmone, and Alexis Desmone Stimmel, and grandchildren Charles Luke Desmone III, Joseph Wolcott Desmone, Ashley Stimmel and William Stimmel, his sisters Rosella Lascek (Robert), Adele Grundler (Frank), Mary Catherine Desmone, brothers John (Deborah), James (Karen) and dozens of nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles Frances Desmone, Dora Romito Desmone, and a younger brother, Ernest. Luke, with his Uncle John, were co-founders of the architecture firm now known as Desmone and managed by his son, Chip. He was a prolific architect beginning with his first residential project on Spring House Lane in Fox Chapel for Harry and Nancy Edelman. Nearly 4000 projects later Luke has designs in the permanent collection of the Heinz Architectural Center. “Love every line you draw” was a favorite saying.
Among his favorite projects and clients were the Forbes Trail Technical School, the David Johnson Chapel at Thiel College and St. John’s St. Paul’s Church, and more recently a private residence for longtime friends Duff and Sibby McCrady. His long-standing relationships with other friends who were also his clients included the Dozzi and Kuhn families at Jendoco Construction, Ed Turner during his time with Gulf Oil Corporate Real Estate, and the Greensburg Diocese and Dr. Ian Rawson and his work with Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti.
Luke was the recipient of many awards for his drawings, watercolors, architectural designs and preservation work. He was instrumental, along with Nancy Noszka, in the revitalization of Lawrenceville. He was also the recipient of the Master Builders Association Jim Kline Award for Contractor- Architect Collaboration. He sat on the Boards of Directors of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects where he served as President, the Louise Child Care Center, The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, The Rachel Carson Homestead, and Penn State McKeesport and the Allegheny County Plumbing Board. As a member of the AIA National Resources Committee he was instrumental in the creation of the Indiana Dunes National Seashore. He served as a medic in the Army Reserves.
He instilled in his children a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a love of sailing and the sea which he often and artfully expressed in watercolor and in vacations to the shore with his family. He was also an avid and lifelong golfer with his wife and friends, formerly a member of Edgewood Country Club and Longue View Club.
His designs were client focused and he had a passion for the joy of the process of design. He was a lover of modern art and architecture, travel, fine food and fine wine. A perpetually happy and optimistic man, he persevered through every challenge presented to him. He will be missed by his family, friends, co-workers and clients along with the city he helped to improve. A celebration of his life will be announced in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society or the Charles Luke Desmone Scholarship Fund in the Department of Architecture at Penn State. Arrangements by John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. (freyvogelfuneralhome.com)
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