Kathleen Lukens

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Kathleen Lukens
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CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Author
  • Advocate

Kathleen Lukens (1931-1998) was a mother, author, and advocate for developmentally disabled.[1][2] She was an author of several books including: Song of David[3] and Thursday's Child Has Far to Go.[4] This book was on the New York Times Best Seller list.[5] She has a chapter in Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul. Compassion's Lure, a compilation of her writings, was published after her death.[6] Kathleen Lukens died in 1998.[7]

Lukens was the first woman elected to the U.S. Catholic Bishop's Advisory Council in 1973[8] and was named "Woman of the Year" in New York State by Mario Cuomo in 1984. She served on the New York State Advisory Council on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. Governor Pataki named her to the state Provider Council in 1996.[9] She was a founder of the Child Advisory Council of the Rockland County Legislature. She helped create "Camp Venture", the first camp of it's kind[10] [11]in New York (state)for children with developmental disabilities[12], after struggling to find resources for one of her four sons.[13] She was instrumental in changing the treatment for those with developmental disabilities from an institutional concept to a group home concept.[14] She is the namesake of the Kathy Lukens Independent Living Center in Orangeburg, Orangeburg, NY. In 1978, she was selected as the first "Woman of Achievement" by Rockland Country AAUW branch.[15] In 2019 she was posthumously inducted into the Rockland Women Leaders Hall of Fame.[16] The Rockland Women Leaders Hall of Fame is a project of the Center for Safety and Change.


  1. Gottlieb, Martin (2002). The Foundling: The Story of the New York Foundling Hospital. Lantern Books. ISBN 978-1-930051-96-6.
  2. {{ |date=1994-07-11 |title=For Disabled, a Voyage Toward Independence |language=en-US |work=The New York Times |url=https://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/11/nyregion/for-disabled-a-voyage-toward-independence.html |access-date=2022-03-07 |}}
  3. Lukens, Kathleen (1989-01-01). Song of David: The Story of a Retarded Boy Who iInspired the cCreation of Venture and Services to a Thousand Others (Revised ed.). Venture Press.
  4. Lukens, Kathleen; Panter, Carol (1969). Thursday's Child Has Far to Go. Prentice-Hall.
  5. The New York Times Book Review. New York Times Company. April 1969.
  6. Lukens, Kathleen (2001). Compassion's Lure: A Collection of the Writings of Kathleen Lukens. Venture Press. ISBN 978-0-9704634-0-1.
  7. rocklandhistoryblog (March 2018). "Crossroads of Rockland History". Crossroads of Rockland History. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  8. "Congressional Record, Volume 144 Issue 146 (Wednesday, October 14, 1998)". www.govinfo.gov. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  9. {{ |last=Jr |first=Robert Mcg Thomas |date=1998-10-18 |title=Kathleen Lukens, a Mother First and Foremost, Dies at 67 |language=en-US |work=The New York Times |url=https://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/18/nyregion/kathleen-lukens-a-mother-first-and-foremost-dies-at-67.html |access-date=2022-03-06 |}}
  10. "Venture Together - for an extraordinary life". Venture Together. Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  11. Cotto, Ingrid. "Mother celebrates the two dolls that changed her life". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2022-03-06.
  12. Kathy Lukens: In Her Own Words, retrieved 2022-03-06
  13. South of the Mountains. Historical Society of Rockland County. 1994.
  14. Gottlieb, Martin (2002). The Foundling: The Story of the New York Foundling Hospital. Lantern Books. ISBN 978-1-930051-96-6.
  15. "AAUW Branch History | Rockland County (NY) Branch". Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  16. Rockland Women Leaders Hall of Fame: Kathleen Lukens (Accepted by Dan Lukens), retrieved 2022-03-06

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[]Category:1938 births]]