William Roy “Bill” or “Willie” Luchessa died peacefully at his home in Ripon, CA. on March 6, 2020 at the age 93.
Bill is survived by his wife, Lillian Luchessa, nephew Fred Luchessa (Modesto), niece Kathy (Brian) Spanel (Modesto), step-children, Coleen (James) Sparkman (Modesto), Janet Judd (Tim Smith),and Susan (Dennis) Maria, great niece Gretchen Spanel and nephew Greg Spanel, seven step- grandchildren and four step-great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Emma Luchessa, his brother and sister in law, Alvin and Natividad Luchessa, his nieces Susan and Anita, and step-granddaughter Kendall Sparkman.
Bill was born on August 21, 1926 in Modesto, CA. to Louis and Emma Luchessa. He graduated from Modesto High School in 1944. He served proudly in the Army from 1945-46. Upon his return from Japan, he joined the family farming business, and continued farming for all of his life. Luchessa Ranches started out as a grade B Dairy, changing over to almonds, grapes and peaches in 1951. Bill remained a bachelor for 68 years, at which point he married Lillian Judd. They were married for 24 years.
Bill was a member of the Stanislaus County Swiss Club and Blue Diamond Growers Association. He will be missed by his many friends who he always greeted with a “Hey, what’s goin’ on?”. His favorite pastime was a rousing game of Pedro.
His family remembers him as a kind and curious man, who loved to hear the latest news of their lives. Bill enjoyed talking to people and sharing his love of all things farming. He also enjoyed visiting with family and friends at various Swiss get-togethers at Yori’s Grove and Gonzalez.
A viewing on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at Franklin and Downs funeral home will be from 5-8 p.m. with a rosary at 6 p.m. The funeral is scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima, Modesto with a reception to follow. He will be laid to rest privately at Saint Stanislaus Cemetery. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bill’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Saint Stanislaus County Swiss Club, P.O. Box 1522, Modesto 95353 or Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto 95356. The family would like to thank the caregivers of Right At Home and Community Hospice for their support and care of Bill and his family in his final days.