F. Jack Luzzi, 102, passed away peacefully on May 11, 2017, at his home, with his loving family by his side. A longtime resident of Lewes, Del., he was born on March 28, 1915, in Pittsburgh, Pa., to Angelo and Philomina Luzzi.
As an infant, his family moved to northern New Jersey, where he graduated from Nutley High School in 1934. After graduation, he realized that, because of the Great Depression, there were no local jobs available. He decided to take work abroad in the Civilian Conservation Corps that was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
That decision to work for the CCC, he would later claim, was one of the most rewarding events of his life. His assignments would take him to Tennessee, Washington and Delaware. Once in Lewes, he immediately fell in love and married Ruth Warrington. They remained happily married for 54 years.
With the outbreak of World War II, Luzzi was called to serve in 1942, becoming a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps. After basic training at Seymour Johnson Air Field in Goldsboro, N.C., he was deployed to a repair depot in Warrington, England, in support of the European Theatre of Operation. After serving 2.5 years overseas, he was honorably discharged, earning the rank of staff-sergeant, and returned back home to Lewes.
After his return home, he accepted a job with the federal civil service at Fort Miles, Lewes. When the base closed, he was transferred to Dover Air Force Base. Luzzi retired from the federal civil service in 1973. He then became a teller with Sussex Trust Bank in Lewes, retiring in 1980.
Luzzi was a member of the Lewes Lions Club for more than 50 years, holding the office of president in 1954 and 1964. He also was a two-time zone chairman and deputy district governor at the Lions Club district level. In May of 1971, he was chairman of the 22nd District Luncheon at the 49th Annual Convention in Cape May, N.J.
Luzzi played a leading role in establishing the Lewes Senior Center, serving as its first president. He served as a Eucharistic minister and lector at both St. Edmonds and St. Jude’s Catholic Church. He was president of the St. Edmonds Parish Council from 1974 to 1975. He was a member of the Lewes Historical Society and Cape Henlopen Elks Lodge #2540.
His hobbies included camping, fishing, crabbing and gardening. He loved to dance and watch the hummingbirds at the many feeders he placed around his yard. Most of all, Luzzi loved being with his family.
Luzzi was preceded in death by his loving wife Ruth (Warrington) Luzzi; his son, William; son-in-law, Louis A. Rickards; and brothers, William Luzzi, Orlando “Mickey” Luzzi, Leonard Luzzi and Frank Luzzi. He is survived by his daughter, Naomi L. Rickards; grandson, William J. “Hank” Rickards and his wife, Jeannie; granddaughter, Patricia L. Dickerson and her husband, Woody; great-grandson, Michael Rickards; great-granddaughter, Kaitlyn Arnett; a great-great-grandson due any day, Christopher J. Rickards; and his sister, Carmella Denton of Ottowa, Kan.
A viewing was scheduled for May 16, 2017, with services on May 17, 2017, at the Long Neck Chapel of Melson Funeral Services, Millsboro, Del. Interment was to be at the Millsboro Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing; 424 Savannah Rd.; Lewes, DE 19958. Condolences may be sent online at www.melsonfuneralservices.com.