Luciano Depicolzuane (“Lou”) was born October 12, 1940 in the little coastal town of Fiume, Italy, which later was incorporated into the new Yugoslavia. After the Allied bombing of Italy in WWII, his family spent 5 years in a refugee camp, as many Italians did upon rejecting and fleeing the new communist governance of former Italian land. His family was given the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. After settling in Boston in December, 1956, Lou got a job at Arnold Fisher as a florist. This was a short distance from where his wife, Virginia, was growing up. Then, he trained to be a machinist, work at which he excelled and performed all of his life.
Lou and Virginia “Ginny” Hetorilla married on July 27, 1963 in Boston. On a visit to the World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962, he was greatly impressed with the Pacific Northwest. In 1965, he was hired by Boeing, so they moved to Renton, Washington with their son Edward and Lou started work in the aerospace industry. Their daughter, Nancy, was born the following year.
He worked as a machinist at Boeing for 11 years. During that time, he had the honor of making parts for some of the world’s most memorable vehicles, such as the 707, 727, 737 and 747 airliners and the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle. To this day, the Rover sits on the moon with his initials scribed on the parts that he cut. Later, he managed the machine shop at Modern Mfg. in Renton, a supplier to Boeing.
Lou revealed his talent as an outstanding soccer player, often leading his men’s team. After Ed joined a boys' soccer team, he proved to be a passionate coach for boys' soccer, and Ed’s team, “The Stallions”. Ginny and Nancy followed suit and they became a soccer family of many blissful – and muddy – years.
Along with his passion for soccer and watching football, he enjoyed weekend nights of dancing with his wife and activities with friends, which included service in the community with the Renton Jaycees. Living in the Northwest expanded his delight in hiking, fishing, hunting, boating and camping and through those experiences imbued that love into his children.
After the family’s trip to O’ahu, he convinced Virginia and Nancy that a move to Honolulu was a good idea. In 1984, they sold much of what they had, sold their home in Renton and eventually became kama’aina (locals). He worked for the Roscoe Moss company doing the important work of maintaining the municipal water wells.
Life in Hawai’i was filled with adventures and experiences. While that included work, attendance at Sacred Heart Parish, and playing bocce ball with friends, he also increased his keen interest for the outdoors. He traveled extensively for work and pleasure to 6 of the Hawaiian Islands. Some of his favorite places, such as Kahana Bay on O’ahu, held personal, historical and cultural significance. Once again, he shared with others that knowledge, respect for the lands and sea, and more. His daughter, Nancy, continues to benefit from his wisdom and love of Hawai’i as she helps island groups to perpetuate those lessons.
In July, 1997, Lou and Virginia returned to Washington and retired to Cle Elum where they built a log home, enjoyed life in the woods and the small-town pace.
Lou was an active member of the Sons of Italy, Cle Elum, where he taught Italian to its members. He helped design and establish the monument to Italian immigrants that stands in the Roslyn cemetery and translated its memorial dedication into Italian. He volunteered at the Telephone Museum in Cle Elum for years where he captivated the visitors with stories and explained the exhibits. In addition, he volunteered at Putnam Centennial Center in Cle Elum.
He was an active parishioner at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Cle Elum where, for a time, he helped teach CCD children’s classes. Also, he assisted with the repair team there and at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Roslyn.
After a long decline in health, Lou passed quietly in his sleep in the early morning hour of December 23, 2022. He is survived by his wife, Virginia; son, Edward; daughter, Nancy; sisters, Mirella (Rosario) Cirmia, Ornella (Salvatore) Vittoria, Nancy Vitagliano; also, several nephews, nieces and their children. He is preceded in death by his parents, Guiseppe and Antonia Depicolzuane, and his sister and brother-in-law, Melania and Silvano Pacchielat.
The Vigil Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2023 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cle Elum. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 14 also at St. John’s. Viewing for family and friends will be Friday, January 13 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Johnston & Williams Funeral Home in Cle Elum.
Memorials may be sent to the Central Washington Catholic Foundation, 5301 Tieton Drive, Ste F, Yakima, WA 98908.
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Cle Elum has been entrusted with caring for Lou and his family. Online condolences may be left at www.johnston-williams.com