Luke Menke died peacefully at home surrounded by his family and beloved dogs on Jan. 18, 2023 due to complications from a chronic autoimmune disorder. He is survived by his mother, Kathleen Menke, children, Skyler and Murphy Menke, his wife, Erin Drysdale Menke, his brother, Jake Menke, sister-in-law, Rachel Menke, niece, Kaleesi Menke, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Luke was born in Leadville to the late Patrick Menke and Kathleen Menke. His family moved from Leadville to Carbondale shortly after, where he grew up. He attended Roaring Fork High School and graduated in the class of 1988. He was equally talented in academics and athletics. Luke played football, baseball and wrestled in high school. He enjoyed playing collegiate men’s club rugby in college and was an avid golfer for most of his life.
His love of sports and science led him into a career in Physical Therapy. He attended Colorado State University on a full academic scholarship graduating with a degree in Exercise & Sport Science in 1992. He then attended the University of Miami where he obtained a master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 1994. He returned to the Denver area in 2001. He founded a successful physical therapy clinic, Panther Physical Therapy, in Littleton in 2006.
He was highly esteemed by his patients and colleagues alike. Luke’s all time favorite job, however, was being a father to his two children. He was dedicated to teaching Skyler and Murphy the same values that his father passed on to him. Pat Menke was a compassionate and incredible human being with a fantastic moral compass and an ornery sense of humor. Anyone who knew Luke could attest that he truly embodied these traits as well. Luke met the love of his life, Erin, in 2019. They shared a short but incredible four years together filled with love and adventure.
His ashes will be scattered by his family on Mt. Sopris on his birthday. Friends and family are invited to gather together for an Irish/Hawaiian remembrance celebration — think Hawaiian shirts and shenanigans — on July 22 at 2pm at the Menke’s home, 68 S. Cedar Street, Carbondale. Bring a lawn chair, a potluck dish and a story about Luke to share.