Vincent J. (Jim) DeLuca (93) of Falmouth, MA, passed away in the early morning hours of Thursday, August 30th. He was the husband of the late Frances J (Daly) DeLuca. Born in Cranston, RI, he was son of the late Benedetto and Modestina (Saccoccia) DeLuca.
To all who knew him, Jim was larger than life itself. There were no strangers in Jim’s life – just friends who were considered family and who knew Jim, in most recent years, as Papa.
Jim’s generosity knew no bounds, and he celebrated the accomplishments of all who were dear to him. Jim’s actions were selfless and always done with compassion – whether caring for his ailing wife, a family member, or one of his many friends.
A veteran of World War II, he served in the Navy as an Aviation Machinest Mate. Upon his honorable discharge, he attended a work/study program at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan, while employed at an Oldsmobile dealer in Providence, Rhode Island – Colonial Motor Sales.
In 1957, Jim went to work for the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors, as a service representative in the NYC area. After a succession of promotional moves within Oldsmobile Division, Jim moved to the service section of General Motors (GM) and was assigned the task of consolidating GM’s five Manhattan service and sales operations into one operation. This consolidation was a success, and after one year, Jim returned to Detroit with his family and joined the Executive ranks within GM.
While in Detroit, Jim designed and launched the General Motors’ Automotive Service Education Program (ASEP), which was a two-year associate degree program aimed to prepare new service technicians for work in GM dealerships. Similar to the training Jim himself received, this too was a work/study program, in which students split their time between the classroom and the sponsoring dealership. GM’s ASEP program was an industry first, with 13 initial students graduating Delta College in Michigan. This program was very successful, and in later years it was offered at 50 colleges and universities nationwide.
Jim subsequently moved back to Oldsmobile Division in Lansing, Michigan, as an Assistant General Service Manager in charge of the western half of the United States. He retired as Manager of Product Service Engineering, culminating 30 years of employment at GM.
Jim remained active throughout his life. In fact, Jim could do pretty much anything. He was a sports enthusiast and mastered all sports. As a skier, he was most proficient and taught his three children to ski, enjoying many holidays at Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire. In retirement, he was an avid golfer and also spent many days clamming with his grand-children, tracking the success of their catch, and always ending the day with ‘clams casino’ and delicious chowder. He rebuilt cars, built an addition on his house, and forever worked to complete his endless list of tasks to be done! He was a communicant of St Patrick’s Church in Falmouth.
Fond memories of Jim will most surely include him singing beautiful renditions of “O Solo Mio”, “Sunrise Sunset”, and “My Way”, always surrounded by friends and family. When Jim would sing, the room would fall silent and eyes would glisten. He brought joy to those around him.
He leaves his daughter, Mary Brady, of Glen Rock, NJ, sons William DeLuca of Barnstable, MA, and James DeLuca and daughter-in-law, Karrie (Gahrs), of Clarkston, MI, and Erin, Taylor, and Graylin Zielinska of Falmouth, MA, seven grand-children, and 31 nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Sara, Lena, Mary, Pasco, Anthony, Ray, Carl, and John DeLuca. He was the last in the first generation born in the US.
There will be a viewing from 4-7 pm, Wednesday, September 5th, at Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main St, Falmouth, MA. A funeral mass will be held at 10 am, Thursday, September 6th, at St Patrick’s Church, 511 Main St, Falmouth, MA. Burial will follow at the National Cemetery, Bourne, MA, at 11:30 am, September 6th.
Memorial donations may be made to a charity of ones’ choice.