Aug. 17, 1931 – Dec. 1, 2017
Step through the doors of the Cavalier Motor Lodge & Restaurant and there was proprietor Loretta DeLuca.
She worked the front desk. She answered phones. She greeted customers. She did the bookkeeping. She was hostess at the restaurant.
"She loved the motel and restaurant business," said Roxanne Zimmerman, one of her daughters, "and she did all the jobs."
Mrs. DeLuca, who operated the motel on Niagara Falls Boulevard for 35 years with her husband, Nicholas, died Friday in her Williamsville home after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease.
She was 86.
The former Loretta Devlin was born in the City of Tonawanda, where she graduated from Tonawanda High School.
She married Nicholas DeLuca on June 16, 1949.
The couple went into the motel business in 1955, when they purchased the 23-unit motel on the Town of Tonawanda side of Niagara Falls Boulevard. They expanded in 1962, when they bought the motel across the street and grew to 102 units. They added a restaurant four years later.
Mrs. DeLuca liked to golf. She loved bingo and pinochle and trips to Las Vegas, but was usually too busy with the business, which also had a large banquet hall for weddings and parties.
"Plus," Zimmerman said, "she raised five children."
The couple sold the motel in 1990 and moved to Florida, before returning to the Buffalo area in 2011 for health reasons.
Mrs. DeLuca was a member of the Grove Street Christian Church in the City of Tonawanda.
Besides her husband and daughter, Mrs. DeLuca is survived by two other daughters, Deborah Priano and Norma Politowski; two sons, William and Nicholas II; 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Amigone Funeral Home, 5200 Sheridan Drive, at the corner of Hopkins Road.
A private burial will be held at White Chapel Memorial Park, Amherst.