DeLuca, Frank A.
Frank A. DeLuca, of Stratford, beloved husband of Grace Lundgren DeLuca, entered into eternal rest on Monday, August 5, 2013. Frank was born in Bridgeport to the late Ralph and Theresa (Costanzo) DeLuca. He was a graduated of Harding High School and had served for two years in the U.S. Marine Corps
He was a true humanitarian and a friend to all. Frank had a smile for everyone. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved Stratford and softball. His family was everything to him.
Frank headed Textron Lycoming's Employee and Community Services program from 1958 until his retirement in 1991. He was responsible for the company's recreation program, community relations, corporate contributions and employee services. In 1965, the National Industrial Recreation (NESRA) selected Frank as one of the first Certified Industrial Administrators in the nation.
Under Frank's supervision, Lycoming compiled one of the most outstanding blood donation records in the nation, which set State and National records for single day's bloodmobile visits on three occasions. President Lyndon B. Johnson cited Frank, the company and its employees for "distinguished service" to Connecticut's Blood Program, breaking records in December 1967 (845 pints), and April 1968 (863 pints in a 13 hour period). In 1971, President Richard M. Nixon recognized Frank's efforts with an award for Blood Services work in the Stratford Community. Frank also administered Lycoming's Employee Community Services Fund, a vehicle for charitable giving. An active participant in sports himself, Frank was a noted performer on the company's top basketball and softball teams. He was the Chairman of the first very successful Easter Seals Marathon, in which over 75 teams participated, raising over $25,000 for the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center.
In 1963, Frank was inducted into the Harding High School Football Hall of Fame. He received the Stratford Junior Chamber of Commerce "Outstanding Young Man of the Year Award" in 1964, and the "Raymond J. O'Connor Man of the Year" memorial community service award. In 1974, he received the Citizens Community Service Award from the Stratford Old Timers Association, and he was inducted into the National Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame.
Through Frank's efforts, Textron was recognized as NESRA's Employer of the Year in 1986, a prestigious award presented at NESRA's national convention aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, citing Lycoming for having the nation's most progressive Employee Services and Recreation Program.
In 1988, NESRA honored Frank with its Distinguished Service Award for outstanding leadership, and contributions to the development of recreation programs and employee services. Over the years, Lycoming received numerous NESRA excellence awards for its Blood Banks, Barnum Festival Parade Floats, Health Fairs, Family Picnics, Effective Citizens, Children's Christmas Party, Varsity Softball and Basketball, and intramural sports programs. Frank also received first Stratford Civic Award, which was created to honor volunteers who best exemplify the town's long history of volunteer activity and commitment. He also received the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance Good Guy Award in recognition of his more than 30 years of supporting sports in Fairfield County, the State and the Nation.
In 1997, the Town of Stratford renamed the former Textron Lycoming Field in Frank's honor, designation it "Frank DeLuca Hall of Fame Field". Frank has served on numerous Boards of Directors, including the Stratford Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Air and Space Center. He also served on the President's Council-Ahlbin Center for Rehabilitation Medicine, President of the Stratford Softball Tournaments, Inc., member of the Stratford Business Education Support Team, and the Planning Advisory Committee-Local Reuse Authority for the Stratford Army Engine Plant.
Frank is survived by his beloved wife, Grace Lundgren DeLuca; son, Gary DeLuca; daughter, Karen Zayas and her husband, Louie; his "pride and joy" granddaughter, Devin Zayas; sister, Regina Gatto and her husband, Andrew, of Bridgeport; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers, Ralph and Dominick; and his sister, Margaret DeLuca.
Friends are invited to attend the funeral on Friday, August 9, 2013 at 10:30 am DIRECTLY at St. James Church with a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment with military honors will follow at St. Michael Cemetery. Friends may call on Thursday from 4 to 9 pm at the Pistey Funeral Home, 2155 Main Street, Stratford.