YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Irma DeLuca, 94, finished her life’s work on Sunday, August 6, 2023, at 7:20 a.m., with her family by her side.
She was born February 17, 1929, in Heidelberg Germany, to Martin and Karolina Fein Webber.
Irma and her siblings endured all the hardships of World War II. At the age of ten, her father was killed in a motorcycle accident, leaving her mother to raise eight children in a one-bedroom apartment. As Hitler invaded Poland, Irma was placed under Hitler Youth. Forced labor required her to go into people’s homes, where she learned domestic labor. She endured countless bombing raids, leaving them to retreat to the basement bomb shelter. The rationing of food left no choice but to go out and dig in the potato fields to provide food for the family.
In 1950, Frank DeLuca, an American-Italian GI, was stationed in Heidelberg. When he saw Irma, it was love at first sight. They were married in Germany and it was there both of their children were born. After being stationed in Europe, Germany and the U.S., Irma received her citizenship in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1954.
After spending many years in Germany, Irma made her choice to call America home. They purchased their home in 1964, where she has remained ever since.
Irma was an excellent cook and prepared many German and Italian dishes.
Irma and Frank shared a love of music and dancing. They enjoyed wonderful friendships at the Saxon Club. Irma was in the kitchen catering and Frank was having a beer and playing his saxophone. Those lifetime friendships still hold true today.
In 1980, Irma and Frank opened Irma’s Restaurant. Those were the happiest days of her life. She came to this country unable to speak, read or write the language but achieved the American dream.
Irma’s life was about hard work; it is what kept her alive. After Frank’s passing in 1996, she remained in her home. She always kept busy cleaning houses, caring for her granddaughter, cutting her grass and shoveling the snow up until this past year. Her mind wanted to continue working, but her body was tired.
Irma is survived by her son, Frank and his wife, Paula DeLuca; daughter, Teresa and Billy Irwin; her beloved granddaughter, Franky Irwin, who helped care for her in her final months and a grandson, Joe Irwin. She also leaves her sisters, Irene, who traveled from California to help care for her, Trudy in Texas and Hannalore and a brother, Willie in Germany. She leaves many nieces and nephews, with whom she loved spending the Fourth of July; a great-nephew, Eugene Potesta, with whom she shared a special bond; Theresa Fusco, whom she considered a daughter; a dear friend, Brigitte and the Frontino family.
Preceding her in death was her husband, Frank; her DeLuca family, Mary and Eugene Potesta, Stella and Dominic Bernard, Yolanda and Anthony Cocca, Connie and Richard Pachell, Fred and Betty DeLuca, Louis DeLuca and Tony DeLuca; her two sisters, Hilda and Rose and a brother, Fred of Germany.
Together, everyone made her life complete.
Let us not say goodbye, but — “Aufweidersehen.”
Family and friends may call 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Friday, August 11, 2023, at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Boardman-Canfield Chapel, 3701 Starr Centre Drive, Canfield, followed by a memorial service at 6:00 p.m.
Condolences can be sent at www.higgins-reardon.com.
A television tribute will air Friday, August 11 at the following approximate times: 6:47 a.m. on WYTV, 9:43 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.