It is with great sadness and much love that the family of Pia DeLuca, 82, announces her peaceful passing on July 9, 2022. She is survived by her daughter Marina Pia DeLuca of Stamford, her cherished nieces and nephews, Lisa, Tina, Suzanna, Joseph, Jessica, Angela and Michael and all their children. A long list of friends will mourn Pia, especially Beverleigh Shaylor, Teresa Fusco, Rocco Rosatti, Rosa Colacurcio, and Theodosio Mallozzi.
Pia was born in Scauri, a picturesque seaside village in Minturno, Italy on January 24, 1940 to the late Augusto and Lucia Rizzi D’Urso. Pia immigrated to America in 1958 on the ocean liner Cristoforo Colombo. She reunited with her family in Stamford on Spruce Street in the city’s West Side. She soon graduated from Beauty School and became a hairdresser at the Vogue Beauty Salon on Summer Street. Pia continued to work as a hairdresser throughout her life, only recently stopping at age 81. Most of her clients were with her for over 50 years getting their hair done weekly. She often commented on how lucky she was to have them in her life – discussing all the topics of the day, politics, gossip, sadness and joy. She was the best listener in town and gave sage advice.
Later in life, Pia worked as a union factory worker on the third shift at Clairol/Procter & Gamble on Cove Road. She would do her hair clients in the morning, take a nap in the afternoon, watch General Hospital, leave for the shift and be home after midnight. This tireless devotion to a job well done is reflected not only in her vast catalog of textile art, but in the culinary wonders she cooked, her love of gardening, orchids and flowers.
Pia’s lifelong love of textile art started when she took classes in lacemaking with the nuns in Italy. It evolved into embroidery, sewing, crewel work, dressmaking, seamstress, and pattern making. Her work reflecting a specialized eye in fabric selection, color symmetry and attention to detail. In the last 30 years, her skills took flight in the world of quilting. All of her combined expertise and gifts have made her a superb quilter of high repute. Her work has been hung in local museums, it graces many people’s homes and is on permanent display on the 2nd floor of the Tully Health Center. After the burial, her work will be on view outdoors for a traditional “quilt hang” at the family home for all to admire at a Celebration of Life gathering.
Pia would quickly tell you that her greatest gift was her daughter and her daughter would retort that her greatest gift was her mother. In the 1970s Pia became an early patient of a fertility specialist at Yale New Haven – driving too weekly for treatments for seven years only to find a malignancy on her pituitary gland. After lifesaving brain surgery, Pia and her husband were celebrating at a member meeting of the New York Orchid Club where they were talking to a fellow orchid lover about her situation. This man happened to be an attaché to the Ambassador to Colombia and told Pia and her husband about an organization in Bogota, who placed children with loving homes. Within months of this meeting, a two-month-old Marina was placed in the arms of her devoted parents and there she would stay a devoted daughter and caretakers of both her parents until their last days.
Pia would also tell you to not be sad that she has passed, but to be happy that she lived. She loved driving especially her red Mustang, she spoke three languages and understood many Italian dialects, she traveled to many places, she is a joyously devoted Catholic and attended mass every week all her life, she spoke the truth and never lied, she took every day and released good in to it making it better for everyone. She hopes you will do the same.
Besides her parents, Pia is predeceased by her loving husband Alfred C. DeLuca as well as her siblings, Tony, Giacomo “Jack” and Anna D’Urso and nephew Robert D’Urso.
Family and friends may call at the Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Myrtle Avenue, Stamford on Friday, July 22, 2022 from 3:00 to 7:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at 10:00am at Our Lady Star of the Sea R.C. Church, 1200 Shippan Avenue, Stamford. Interment will follow at St. John R.C. Cemetery, Darien.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Pia’s name to the Goodwives Quilters of Darien. Pia, an over 30 year member, and the ladies of the best quilting group in Connecticut have created thousands of quilts for the needy and with your help will quilt thousands more.
To leave online condolences, please visit www.cognetta.com.