HURLEY, Wis. - Patricia A. DiLuna, 90, Hurley, passed away peacefully at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium, Michigan, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.
Pat, or Patsy, as she was known to her friends, was born in Hurley on June 7, 1932, to Hjalmar and Ethel (Cameron) Pickera. She grew up in Cary Location and South Carey, enjoying a carefree, adventurous childhood. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Hurley, with the class of 1950.
Pat was predeceased by her brothers, Jerry and Robert; and sister, Alice Murphy, who was named after Pat's favorite grade schoolteacher, Alice Sturgul, who inspired in Pat a lifelong appreciation of the value of education.
Another significant inspiration to Pat was her brother, Robert. She often recounted how she and her siblings were working in their garden at their farm in South Carey when Superintendent of Hurley Schools, J.E. Murphy, came running into the field waiving her brother Bob's acceptance letter from Harvard. While visiting Bob in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when he was a student at Harvard, Pat met her future husband and lifelong partner, Anthony (Tony) DiLuna, her brother's best friend.
Both Pat and Tony became schoolteachers. Pat graduated from Hofstra University and received her master's degree in education from Columbia University Teachers College. Pat and her husband taught in the Roslyn, New York, Public School System on Long Island for many years.
In addition to her successful teaching career, Pat had many varied interests. She enjoyed painting, a talent inherited from her father, who taught her to draw as a young girl growing up in Cary. Pat and her husband traveled widely. They taught in England and Italy, visited relatives in Finland, and crossed the length of Russia on the TransSiberian railroad to Vladivostok, then on to Japan, then Hawaii and San Francisco, and finally by car to Hurley before returning to Long Island. Pat liked to say that she had come a long way from the dirt roads in Cary Location!
Pat also continued her keen interest in public education. She endowed the Anthony and Patricia DiLuna Scholarship Fund for graduates of the Hurley School System as an enduring legacy of her and her husband's dedication to public education.
Pat is survived by her nieces and nephews, Dina Craemer, Lisa Horn, Kris Ethington, Patrick Murphy, Lance Pickera, Larry Pickera and Dorcas Skeim; cousins, Doris Morello, Verna Nasi and Mary Siebert; along with "Maxie," her beloved cat.
Heartfelt thanks especially to her friend and neighbor, Mary Saari, for her care and compassion for Pat over the last years; to her niece, Dina Craemer, who was with Pat at her passing; and to her friend and advocate, Paul Sturgul.
A memorial service will be held in 2023 at First Presbyterian Church in Hurley. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the First Presbyterian Church or the Hurley Education Foundation. Inurnment will be at the Cameron family plot at Edgewood Cemetery in Gurney, at a later date.
The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral of Ironwood to honor Patricia's legacy of life. You can leave a condolence or a tribute at mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.