His sons define Joe DeLucca’s life

Speaking at the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick banquet a few years ago, Paul Begala, former advisor to President Clinton, said the president had a favorite saying, and he told it to the gathering with a darned good Bill Clinton accent.
“If you see a turtle on a fence post,” Begala began, imitating Clinton’s Arkansas drawl, “one thing you know for sure is he didn’t get there by himself.”
It was Clinton’s way of giving credit to others, Begala said.
That concept kept going through my mind Sunday night and again Monday morning as I observed the stature and listened to the heartfelt words of two impressive young men, brothers Joseph and AJ DeLucca.
“These two guys didn’t get there by themselves,” I thought as I sat among hundreds of mourners at Immaculate Conception Church of Corpus Christi Parish in West Pittston. They got there because of their dad, the man they were eulogizing.
Joseph DeLucca Sr. died on Jan. 2 after, according to his obituary in the Citizens’ Voice, “a short, but valiant bout with cancer.”
I did not know Joe well, but well enough to feel a great sense of loss and sadness at the news. Like my wife and I, Joe and his wife Ann, the former Ann Mullarkey, twin sister of a very good friend of mine, were at the point in life where it becomes cheaper, if not just more fun, to dine out rather than cook at home. As such, we’d frequently run into them at various restaurants around Greater Pittston.
I’ve often said you can divide all the men you know into two categories: the ones you always see with their wives and the ones you never see with their wives. While it is unfair to read too much into those in the latter category, you can’t help but draw a conclusion regarding the former that these two people must be best friends. Joe and Ann DeLucca were best friends.
Joe Jr. said so in his eulogy, stating simply, “If you saw one, you saw the other. They were always together.”
I know Joe DeLucca Jr. quite well. We’ve run together on the track at Pittston Area, shared books (mostly ones of inspiration), and talked often about philosophy and spirituality. Occasionally Joe would invite me to be a guest speaker at a graduate school class he was teaching at King’s College.
I introduced my son, a teenager at the time, to Joe at an Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church festival one summer. Joe was there with his lovely wife and two sons. I believe his third had not yet been born. Later that evening, my son told me, “Mr. DeLucca is the kind of man I want to be when I grow up.” That’s how impressed my son was. And after only one brief encounter.
I do not know AJ as well. In fact, he usually had to re-introduce himself to me every time we met. That he graciously did so says much about him. His beautifully written and delivered comments on his dad Monday said everything else.
As I exited the church a woman took my hand and said, “You can tell what kind of man Joe was just by observing his sons.”
As the saying goes, she took the words out of my mouth.
Note: you can read the obituary of Joseph DeLucca Sr. at citizens voice.com

Ed Ackerman