Luke Anthony “L.A.” Barella, 93, passed away on May 3, 2018, peacefully at his home in Casper, Wyoming, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was born on May 1, 1925 in Billings, Montana to Joseph and Genevieve Barella.
Luke served in the United States Army during WWII with the 971st Engineers, as a Sgt. 1st Class. After his discharge he served in the Wyoming Army National Guard until he was called into active duty in 1950 when the 300th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was sent to Korea. He received numerous medals with the 300th. The soldiers of the 300th earned 12 Silver Stars, 63 Bronze Stars, 2 Presidential Unit Citations, a Meritorious Unit Citations and numerous other medals.
On December 29, 1946 he married Dona Mae Phillips in Casper, Wyoming. Through this union came two daughters, Cheryl “KiKi” and Joyce. Luke worked for the Casper School District as Director of Building and Grounds for 15 years. By profession, Luke was a Master Plumber and owner and operator of Casper Plumbing and Heating for 15 years. Luke enjoyed camping and fishing in the Big Born Mountains. If you met Luke, then you were sure to hear one of his many war stories.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Dona of Casper, Wyoming; daughters, Cheryl “KiKi” Rooney (George) of Casper and Joyce Bigge (Dr. Christopher Bigge) of Albuquerque, New Mexico; grandson Thad Rooney (Beth) of Fountain Inn, South Carolina; great-grandson, Brayden Cassidy of Cheyenne, Wyoming; great-granddaughter, Katelyn Rooney of Alamogordo, New Mexico; brother, Frank Barella of Casper; sister Barbara Hanrahan of Denver, Colorado and sister, Delores Key of Aubrey, Texas and many nephews and nieces and their families.
Luke was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Joseph, Louis, Jerry; sisters, Mary Singer, Gloria Phillips, and sadly too many nephews and nieces gone too soon.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 25, 2018 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church at 11:00 A.M. Interment will follow at the Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery at 12:30 P.M. with military honors accorded by the United States Army and the Natrona County United Veterans Council.
Memorial donations may be made in Luke’s name to the Wounded Warriors Project (Healing Waters), the Patriot Guard or to any Veterans organization.