Methuen — Luther E. McIlwain, 91, formerly of Methuen, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 8, 2013. Luther was born on September 23, 1921 to the late, Simon and Katherine (Stewart) McIlwain in Blaine, S.C.
Luther graduated from Methuen High School in 1939 and attended Allen University in Columbia, S.C. before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1943. He was a Second Lieutenant in the all Black 477th B-25 Bomber Group and was honorably discharged in 1947. As a Tuskegee Airman, Luther was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal by President George Bush on March 29, 2007.
Luther was a New York City Police Officer from 1946-1968 before retiring from the force and returning to Methuen. He then went on to hold several key administrative positions in the City of Methuen including the Office of Equal Opportunity. Luther was commissioned by Governors King, Dukakis and Weld to serve on various boards relating to Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employment.
Luther is survived by his wife, Irene “Mickey” (Graham) McIlwain of Methuen; his loving sister, Glendora McIlwain Putnam of West Roxbury; cousin, Eugene Smith of Andover and close friend, Christopher G. Nihan of Andover.
Luther has touched the lives of many and will be missed by all that had the pleasure of knowing him.
ARRANGEMENTS: Friends and relatives are invited to call on Wednesday, February 13, from 4-7 p.m. at the Charles F. Dewhirst Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen. A funeral service will immediately follow at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation, Post Office Box 83395, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
To leave an online condolence, please visit us at www.dewhirstfuneral.com or www.facebook.com/dewhirstfuneralhome