Emma Mary Lucchesi
July 5, 1921 – December 18, 2020
Emma Mary Lucchesi, 99, of Sacramento, California, passed away on December 18, 2020, at her home with her three children at her bedside. She was born on July 5, 1921, to Joseph and Elsie Stefani, in Sacramento, California, and attended local schools in the East Sacramento area. She married her lifetime sweetheart, Mario Robert Lucchesi, on November 16, 1941, at Sacred Heart Church, and were together for the next 67 years, until his death in 2008.
Family was everything to Emma. She was proud of her Italian American heritage. She was raised in a home with her older brother, and four older male cousins, whom her parents raised as their own after the death of their parents. She proudly called these young boys her brothers. Her family home was always open to aunts, uncles, cousins, and neighborhood friends. Her father was able to work during the Great Depression at Southern Pacific, and there was always food and comfort for those in need. These acts of generosity and love she learned as a child extended throughout her life.
Emma married Mario during World War II. Her husband and her five brothers were all enlisted in the different branches of the military, serving their country with honor and respect. Their lives were forever changed by the war, and Emma and Mario felt very proud of being part of the Greatest Generation that ever lived. Both Emma and Mario worked hard to build a life and a legacy for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Emma is the last of her family of the Great Generation.
Emma believed in the principles of family first and raised her children to be generous, loving, responsible, hardworking citizens. She was a woman of her time, choosing to stay home, educate and raise her children. She attended St. Mary's Catholic Church, where her children were baptized, received communion and confirmation. She and Mario ran the St. Mary's Picnic every year for ten years when it was hosted at Elk Grove Park. She would often say to us, “You can call me what you want, but if you can leave this house and stand on your own two feet, then I have done my job.” She stood fast to these principles to the end of her life. Even with her most cherished grandchildren, she would hold court upon any visit or ride in the car. Always a reading, history, math, or english lesson; always a lesson in life. Every grandchild knew there would be a lesson and a test to follow.
She was the matriarch of our family to her dying day with the power to assemble and the power to bring you to your knees with one look. She embodied the true spirit of her generation wherein hard work, selfless determination, personal responsibility of love of country and family were the hallmarks of her life.
She leaves behind her loving children, Maureen White (Denis), Paula Powell (Myron), Bill Lucchesi (Terry predeceased), five grandchildren, Matthew, Joshua, Shawn, Jamee and Luca and five great grandchildren, Catcher, Libby, Sam, Liam and Chloe, and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her loving husband, Mario, her parents, Joseph and Elsie Stefani, and her brothers, Robert Stefani, and Phillip, Albert, Henry and Tony Peretti, and many aunts, uncles and friends. She will forever live in our hearts and memories. She was one of a kind.
Her funeral will be private. A celebration of her life will be conducted at a later time. The family wishes to thank Sutter Hospice Care for their medical, emotional and spiritual help to our mom and our family, and to her caregivers, Esily and Cheryl, for their tireless love, devotion and care of our mother. Remembrances to be made to St. Therese, The Little Flower, Society of the Little Flower, whom Emma sought inspiration and love.