Robert D. Lukens of West Chester

Robert D. Lukens, Ph.D., 42, of West Chester, passed away on Sunday, August 2, at home, surrounded by his loving family.

Rob Lukens

Robert D. Lukens

He was the husband of Rebecca Gadsby Lukens, with whom he shared 13 years of marriage.

Born in Wynnewood, he was the son of Nancy Cardwell Lukens Heckman and the late William F. Lukens.

Rob was the president of the Chester County Historical Society.  Before taking on CCHS's presidency, Rob was the Exhibits and Education Director at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington D.C.  Prior to his experiences in Washington, Rob led Historic Yellow Springs in Chester Springs, Chester County as executive director for four years.  He previously served as chief curator and later Head of Collections at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia.

Dr. Lukens was a former member of the West Chester Historical and Architectural Review Board, former vice-chair of the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, and Commonwealth Speaker with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council in 2008 and 2009.

He held a certificate in nonprofit management from the Non-Profit Center at LaSalle University, a bachelor’s degree and PhD from Temple University and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. He was a graduate of Delaware County Christian School.

Rob attended Calvary Chapel of Delaware County and was a member of the Rotary Club of West Chester.

In addition to his wife and mother, Rob is survived by his children, Abbie and Finn; brother, Wil; nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral service at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 6 at Calvary Chapel, 500 Brandywine Drive, Chadds Ford,  19317. A reception at the Chester County Historical Society will follow the funeral service.

The family will receive guests from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at the church. Interment is private.

Memorial contributions may be made to Chester County Historical Society, 225 N. High St., West Chester, 19380; or to the educational funds which have been established for Abbie and Finn through DNB Investments & Insurance.  For information on making contributions to the educational funds, please contact DNB Investments & Insurance at 484-359-3583.

Arrangements are being handled by the Founds Funeral Home, Inc., West Chester, 610-696-0134. Online condolences may be made by visiting

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