The Obit For Tom DeLuca

Thomas DeLuca

Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal from October 4 to October 5, 2011

Thomas DeLuca, born Sept. 2, 1933, passed away peacefully at his home Oct. 1, 2011, surrounded by his family.

A 20-year resident of Las Vegas, Tom was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the eldest of seven children of Mike and Jean (Zammetti) DeLuca. In 1960, he married Julie Fitzgerald and they had five children.

He is survived by his wife, Julie; children, Patricia Killarney, Andrew DeLuca and Joseph DeLuca; grandchildren, Derrick, Andrew, Jillian, Shane, Katherine and Danny; and siblings, John DeLuca, Angel Caruolo, Teresa Fox and Donna DiGiacomo.

He was preceded in death by his son, Tommy; daughter, Dani; brother, Mike DeLuca; and sister, Stephanie Simonetti. Tom was a gifted athlete, starting his career at Long Beach High School and continuing on to NYU playing both baseball and basketball.

After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he returned to NYU to receive his teaching degree. He was drafted into the St. Louis Cardinals organization as a shortstop in 1957.

Tom left the Cardinals organization to return home to his first love - teaching. He began his teaching career in Bellmore, N.Y., before moving on to his long time position at his alma mater, Long Beach High School (N.Y.).

During his 20-year tenure he was varsity baseball, basketball and football head coach. Mr. "D" took his 1984 basketball team to the New York State finals. More important than the titles he won, were the number of lives he changed.

Upon retirement Tom and Julie moved to Las Vegas and opened Toys Of Yesteryear where he was known as "The Toy Man." Memorial Services were held privately.