In Memory of Luke Anthony Raiano Sr

October 4, 1921 - May 1, 2018

Resided in New Hartford, NY


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Luke Anthony Raiano Sr, husband, father, and United States Marine, passed away peacefully Tuesday, May 1, 2018, after a full life of 96 years.

The seventh of ten children, he was born October 4, 1921, on the family farm in Frankfort, NY, to the late Alfonso and Josephine (DiRuzzo) Raiano. At the age of eight, he moved with his family to Utica, becoming a proud member of it’s Italian-American community.

Service to country called him beyond Central New York and he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January, 1940. He served in New England until the outbreak of World War II when he was designated for sea duty and assigned to USS Montpelier then in Philadelphia. After a brief illness, he was redesignated Infantry joining the 4th and 2nd Marine Divisions in the Marshall Islands and Okinawa campaigns, and after the cessation of hostilities, the occupation of Japan at Nagasaki. He wore his eagle, globe and anchor proudly throughout his life.

He married Beatrice Steinberger in 1942 with whom he had three daughters before she died in 1966. In 1968, he married Helen Zambon. Luke drove truck for Red Star Express for 25 years, and was a member of the Teamsters union who he has proudly “beaten” for over 40 years. He was the owner and operator of the Pan E Vino Restaurant in Washington Mills, NY for 20 years and continued working as the caterer for the New Hartford American Legion for well over two decades, where his Friday fish-frys were renowned. He retired at the youthful age of 90.

Luke was a founding parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in New Hartford, and was a member of its men’s club. He was a member of the Color Guard for both the Sherrill American Legion Post 230 and the New Hartford American Legion Post 1376, where he had served as a Vice Commander. The epitome of a fit Marine, Luke was an avid runner until the age of 86, when a leg injury forced him to quit. He then became an avid mountain biker until just a few years ago. He loved poker every Tuesday, coffee on Saturday, and the occasional vodka martini (up, three olives).

He is survived by his wonderfully large family: his wife, Helen of New Hartford; children, Laura Buczek of Utica, Linda Carmen of Las Vegas, NV, Joseph DiRuzzo of Dallas, TX, John DiRuzzo and his wife, Suzanne of Verona, NY, Mary DiRuzzo of Cincinnati, OH, Theresa DiRuzzo-Hernandez of Dallas, TX, Luke Raiano Jr and his wife, Kari of Milford, NH, and son-in-law, Mickey Nackley of Utica. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Lauren Mattia, Lynn Buczek, Michael, Christine and David Nackley, Joseph, Jonathan and Jeremiah DiRuzzo, Natalie DiRuzzo-Watson, Noelle DiRuzzo, Leyla and Darius Shokoohe, Elise Hernandez-Borders, Emilyn, Mary Catherine, Annie and Arianna Hernandez, Katherine and Caroline Raiano, and Zachary and Logan Surace, and great grandchildren: Athena and Angelina Thomason, Willow Simmons-Nackley, Lyndsey and Mia Mattia, Peter Borders and Francesca DiRuzzo, and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his 9 brothers and sisters, His daughter Elizabeth Nackley, and his grandson Thomas Nackley.

Calling hours will be on Thursday, May 10, from 4:00 to 7:00pm at Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral and Cremation Services, 13 Oxford Rd, New Hartford. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, May 11, at 10:00am at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 150 Clinton Rd, New Hartford. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery with Military Honors.