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Family, Vicitmized By Bombing, Gets New Start

April 28, 1995

GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) _ Six children who faced eviction while their parents were missing in the bombed-out federal building started over Friday, thanks to the generosity of strangers.

But there was no celebration. The Luster children were making plans to bury their parents, Robert and Donna, whose bodies were identified Thursday, eight days after the explosion.

Landlord Marion Gandy’s assertion Sunday that he still planned to enforce the eviction order he had won before the bombing prompted a torrent of donations from around the country.

``Having raised five sons, it is so sad to know these children will not have parents as we did,″ an Arizona woman wrote to the Red Cross. ``Perhaps with money ... you can get them some type of permanent housing or something.″

They got the next best thing: six months’ rent on a small but solid two-story house with peeling blue-gray paint and a freshly mowed lawn, paid by the Church of Christ in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond.

``I fell in love with that house the minute I saw it,″ said Jennifer Luster, wife of Robbie Luster, 22, the couple’s oldest child.

Besides the $2,800 paid by the church for rent and a deposit, the Luster children have received money, clothes, and even grocery store vouchers from donors around the country.

On Friday, they packed their things into cardboard boxes and plastic bags, loaded up borrowed cars and moved out of the ramshackle house they had rented from Gandy.

Robbie and Jennifer Luster, who is pregnant, and their 1-year-old daughter moved into the new house. The three youngest Luster children, Elizabeth, 15, Roy, 12, and Carol, 6, will live with an aunt in Edmond; arrangements for Tina, 20, and Jackie, 18, were uncertain.

Ben Doyle, Donna Luster’s brother, and his wife Sheryn helped the children make funeral plans. The Lusters will be buried Monday.

The three youngest children ``are in real bad denial,″ Robbie Luster said.

``Carol kept saying, `When Mom and Dad get back from their weekend,‴ Jennifer Luster said. ``But she hasn’t said that in a while.″

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