Former State Sen. Louis DeLuca (Christine Stuart file photo) Credit: CTNewsJunkie file photo

Former Woodbury state Sen. Louis DeLuca died Friday at the age of 89 after a lengthy illness and this past weekend his colleagues recalled his devotion to his faith, family, town and state. 

“He was respected on both sides of the aisle for his understated strength, thoughtfulness, and candor,” Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly said. “He was a gentleman who believed deeply in public service. We are grateful to his beloved wife, Alice, who he joins in God’s eternal embrace, and all of Lou’s family for sharing him with us for so many years. Our prayers are with them during this difficult time.”

Republican Party Chairman Ben Proto said he was tremendously devoted to his family. 

“His love and commitment to his hometown of Woodbury and Connecticut made him an exceptional leader,” Proto said. “Lou was never one to be lacking for words and was quick to compliment when he saw an exceptional idea or proposal and fought like a tiger to slow or stop what he believed was bad policy.”

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said his “dedication to his constituents and Connecticut was rivaled only by the love for his family, friends and colleagues he worked alongside in the General Assembly.”

It’s perhaps the love of his family that ended his political career. 

DeLuca resigned in 2007 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor threat charge. The resignation came before a six-member committee decided his fate.

DeLuca admitted to requesting James Galante, whom he suspected of having ties to organized crime, to “visit” his granddaughter’s boyfriend, whom she later married. DeLuca’s reason for this request was his belief that his granddaughter was being abused. Law enforcement agents were able to prevent the “visit” from occurring, and subsequently, Galante faced indictment on numerous racketeering charges. After the indictment, Mr. DeLuca pledged to an undercover F.B.I. agent that he would do “anything within my power that I can do” to assist Galante.

DeLuca never served any time, but ended up resigning his senate seat as a result. 

Visitation will be held 4 to 8 p.m., August 4, at Munson Lovetere Funeral Home, 2 School Street, Woodbury. The funeral mass will take place 11 a.m., August 5 at St. Teresa of Avila Church, 146 Main Street South, Woodbury. Burial will be held at Old North Cemetery, Woodbury.