Frank Peter De Luca (Peter), age 76, of Hailey, Idaho passed away on February 7, 2023.
Peter was larger than life. Upon his retirement, he made himself a business card which described him as an adventurer, raconteur, bon vivant, gourmand, hedonist, curmudgeon, and freebooter. Professional duties listed included swashes buckled, wars fought, masses inflamed, revolutions fomented, and expeditions led. To those that new him well, he was a little of all these things, and led many adventures that bordered on many of these duties.
He was born on April 7, 1946, in Binghamton, New York, the son of Frank and Harriet De Luca.
At age one, Peter moved with his family to Twin Falls, Idaho, where he spent his youth. After graduating high school, he attended the College of Idaho, where he received a degree in Political Science and made many lifelong friends. After graduation, he joined the United States Air Force and served as a Sargent with the 13th Air Force unit during the Vietnam War. He spent a year serving in the Philippines, a deployment which he said changed his life. He then returned home to serve in the Air Force Law Office in Las Vegas. While serving, he wrote a letter to J. Edgar Hoover, arguing that the actions of the FBI at the time had encroached upon the basic principles of freedom upon which our country was founded. He wrote that Hoover should be removed from office, and President Nixon should be impeached. He was very proud that his letter resulted in the creation of his own FBI file and being flagged for monitoring by his superiors in the Air Force. Standing up for those who could not stand up for themselves, was a principle he proudly displayed throughout his life.
At the conclusion of his service, he went on to receive a law degree from Willamette University. It was there that he formed friends who shared a passion for advocacy and the law, and would become his foundation in Salem, Oregon. After law school, he began his career as a labor lawyer, serving as an attorney for the Oregon Public Employees Union, Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and Administrator of the Labor Relations Division for the State of Oregon. In 1996, he left the practice of law to become the Administrator of Oregon OSHA, where he was very proud of the lives he protected and saved over his ten years in the role.
Peter was an outdoorsman, a fisherman, and a conservationist. In Oregon, he became actively involved in protecting the North Umpqua, which he considered to be one of America’s great steelhead rivers, ultimately becoming President of the North Umpqua Foundation. Upon retirement and moving back to Idaho, he joined Idaho Rivers United and Trout Unlimited, where he fought for salmon and steelhead restoration, and the removal of the lower Snake River dams, ultimately becoming President of the Board of Directors of Idaho Rivers United.
Peter was an adventurous spirit, and enjoyed fishing, skiing, scuba diving, rafting, hiking, and traveling the world. He was the life of the party, and never ran out of stories and jokes to tell. He will be missed by many.
Peter is survived by his wife Jean De Luca of Hailey; son Mario De Luca, daughter-in-law Danielle De Luca, and grandchildren Franklin and Hazel De Luca, of Portland, Oregon; and sister Margie Miracle, of Boise Idaho. Peter was predeceased by his parents and sister Marian De Luca.
For the man who was larger than life, we will celebrate his life twice. The first celebration will be held Saturday, March 25, 2023 from 3 - 5PM at the Sawtooth Club in Ketchum, Idaho.
The second celebration will be held Saturday, April 8, 2023 from 3 - 5PM at Magoo’s Tavern in Salem, Oregon.