Obituary of John Anthony DeLuca
John Anthony DeLuca, 67, of Grass Valley passed away Monday, April 16, 2018. John was born on September 7, 1950 in San Rafael. He moved with his family to Grass Valley in 1957, where he attended local schools and graduated from Nevada Union High School in 1968. While in school, John developed a love for sports and music. John excelled at baseball as a pitcher, and at golf, where he was Captain of the golf team at NU.
After high school, John attended Sierra College where he met his future wife, Virginia (Ginger) Novak. They married on September 16, 1972 and were married for 45 years until John’s passing. Over the years, John worked in various engineering fields; working for the County of Nevada, Cal-Trans, and most recently Lincoln and Longs Civil Engineering.
John was a highly respected and accomplished musician. He played in many prominent local bands in the Nevada County area from 1962 until he finally retired playing publicly in 2011. He was a notable lead guitarist and singer in several Rock n’ Roll bands, starting at the age of 12 playing in a band with his older brother, Art, called “The Stingrays.” After that, John, Art DeLuca, Len Ray and Ronnie Ray, went onto form “The Wild Oats.” Along with another local band, “Absalom,” they became the two most prominent bands in Nevada County during the late sixties. John went on to play in “The Band at Tips,” featuring John, and brother Art DeLuca, Jim Tucker and Mark Covert, and then “3D” featuring John, Art and Paul Derhoe. Then, most notably, in the 70s and 80s, “Steamer,” which featured John, Art, Deon Lein, Stan and Mark Cummins, Roger Roath and Richard Mack. In the early 90s, John played in “The Office Band” with Elmy Tahir, Art Middlecamp, Rex Spencer and Rex Spencer Jr. Later in the 90s through 2011, John went on to play with Keith Christopherson, a.k.a. “Stix,” and Elmy Tahir, under various names, including “Streamer” and “The Kind.”
John was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur DeLuca and Lillian “Ann” Fore, step-father Walt Fore, brothers Nathan Freeman and Dennis Erwin, and sister Gloria Freeman Del. He is survived by his wife Virginia DeLuca, sons Johnny, Joseph and Danny DeLuca, brother Art DeLuca, sister Nancy DeLuca and many nieces and nephews.
There will be no formal funeral, as John was not a fan of funerals. There is an informal “Celebration of Life” on Saturday, May 26 at Cooper’s in Nevada City. Two of the rock bands that his son Johnny plays in, will be performing a concert starting at 9 pm. John would have wanted his friends and family to keep the good times in their hearts and get out and hear live local rock n’ roll instead of a traditional somber funeral. He will be forever loved and missed! John will be remembered for passionately rooting on the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. As well as his amazing talents as a musician that influenced and inspired
many who watched and listened to him play. He very much loved his family, his many good friends (too numerous to name) and his dogs he had over the years. We will always hear his voice cracking jokes and carry him with us in our hearts wherever we go. We love and miss you John! Words could never fully express the lasting impact you have had on so many lives, Thank You!
Arrangements are under direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary.
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