She was born Jan. 7, 1936, in Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada, and attended Notre Dame High School in Welland, Ontario. She excelled in track and field and took great pride on being a catcher on her school team. She lost her father at a very early age and was partially raised by her loving Grandma Battista who taught her Italian.
She met the love of her life, Frank D. "Fritz" Luciani, while still a teenager and they were married in 1955. They spent their early married life in Welland, where Fritz was employed in the steel industry. In 1966, he was transferred to Montreal. After three cold winters in Quebec, she thought it would be a great idea for the whole family to move to a warmer climate, namely California, where they arrived in July 1972. They lived in Lafayette for 25 years, raising four sons, and finally settled in Danville, where they joined St. Isidore Catholic Church, the Italian Catholic Federation and the Dublin Senior Center.
She always volunteered her baking skills for the numerous fundraisers of the federation, where she met some of her dearest friends. At the Dublin Senior Center, she joined the Trekkers Club. She and Fritz also liked traveling to numerous sights in both Canada and the United States. In 1960, to help celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, they traveled to Castropignano, Italy, to discover their roots. Their last big trip was in June 2007 to Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta.
She suffered from cancer for the last five years of her life. She is survived by her husband Fritz; sons Patrick of Concord; Christopher (Linda) of Cleveland, Ohio; Kerry (Robin) of Spokane; and Jay of Diego Garcia; eight grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass to celebrate Josie's life will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 27, at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 440 La Gonda Way in Danville. A reception will be held immediately afterward across the street. Donations may be sent to the Regional Center for the East Bay, 2151 Salvio St., Suite #365, Concord 94520.
Shirley A. Watson
Shirley A. Watson, a former resident of Danville, died Aug. 16 in Placerville at the age of 82.
She was born in Weed and graduated from Alhambra High School in Martinez. In 1945 she married Marv Watson and moved to Danville where they lived for 29 years and raised their six children. They relocated to Sonoma for 29 years, where she worked at the Sonoma Valley Unified School District for 15 years, before retiring to Camino in 2003 to be closer to her family.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Marv Watson; sons Mike Watson of Auburn, Kirk Watson of Clayton, and Jeff Watson of San Ramon; daughters-in-law Karen Watson and Gail Watson; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters and brothers-in-law Colleen and Buck Wilson, and Sheila and Jerrell Gilreath, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bill and Sylvia Watson as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Services were held Aug. 25 at Wilson & Kratzer Chapel of San Ramon Valley in Danville. Memorial contributions can be made to the American Diabetes Association.
James Michael Newton
James Michael Newton, a resident of Diablo, died Aug. 23 at the age of 63.
He was born June 23, 1947. He touched the lives of many people in his 20 years as a search and rescue pilot with the Air National Guard.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn Newton; sisters Penny Newton-Tibbetts, Phyllis Newton-Carpenter, Patricia Newton and Paula Newton Molgaard; two grandchildren; and two stepchildren. He was the beloved son of Lorna Adams and Richard Newton and beloved stepson of Barnard Adams. A Memorial Mass was celebrated Aug. 28 at St. Isidore's Church in Danville. Donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 1900 Powell St. Emeryville 94608.
Basil R. Nunes
Basil R. Nunes, a former resident of Danville, died Aug. 23 at his home in Pine Grove at the age of 87.
He was born Feb. 28, 1921, to Brazil and Adriana (Vierra) Nunes in Tassajara Valley. He married his wife, Dorothy Carlson, in 1949 in Oakland and the newlyweds made their home in Danville for 35 years. He was a self-taught engineer and for 50 years was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers. He worked for Rhodes and Jamieson for 35 years setting up concrete plants and managing its operations, retiring in 1982. He also farmed tomatoes and ran a welding shop out of his barn where he made and repaired trailers and other ranching equipment. Ranchers would come from all over to have him make cattle brands. In the 1970s they built a retirement home in Pine Grove where they moved after his retirement. He enjoyed motorcycles, snowmobiling, hunting and salmon fishing.
He is survived by his great-niece, Judy Badger of Martinez; niece Shirley Stanley of Morada; nephew Larry Gonsalves of Turlock; and sister Irene Gonsalves of Turlock. He was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Dorothy Nunes, in 1994; brothers, Frank Nunes, John Nunes and Joseph Nunes; and sister, Mary Nunes. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for him Aug. 29 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Pleasant Hill. Interment is at Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette. Contributions may be made to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, 8800 Venice Blvd., Suite 207, Los Angeles, CA 90034.
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