Vicky Altamura Dezell, 90, passed away on March 15, 2020.
Vicky was born on December 19, 1929 in Calabria, Italy. She came to America as a young girl, and was raised in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. It was there she met Frank Altamura. They were married in 1948 after Frank’s deployment in the Army during WWII, and together they had four sons. Their life’s journey would bring them to Napa in 1965. Her family was everything to her. Vicky was a stay at home mom, raising her sons and taking pride in their accomplishments. She was a devout Catholic and was an active parishioner at St. Thomas Aquinas church. She was a long time member of the Napa chapter, Sons of Italy and she was also involved with the Napa Faculty Wives Club, taught Italian cooking and chaperoned many senior day trips through Napa Valley College’s Community Education Program. The accomplishment that she was most proud of was her volunteer work at the Kaiser clinic in Napa where she logged thousands of hours assisting her fellow Kaiser members. Vicky loved dancing, reading, bowling, playing bocce and listening to Italian opera. When her sons were grown, Vicky worked many years for Tom Gracia at Family Drug. She and Frank traveled the world; their trip to Japan being especially memorable.
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Sadly, after 48 years of marriage, Frank passed away in 1996. But her journey started anew when she connected with David Dezell. Vicky and Dave had many good times together, living, laughing and just enjoying retirement. In her later years, Vicky became a devoted Golden State Warriors fan and she and Dave spent many a night rooting for them whenever they were on TV. They were happily married for 22 years, taking care of one another right up until the Good Lord called Vicky to be at His side.
Vicky is survived by her husband David Dezell, her sons Carl (Linda), Giovanni, Peter (Catherine), and Paul (Kristina). Her brother Frank Riga (Ann), and her adoring grandchildren Gina, Carl Matthew, Nicholas, Gabriel, Stefano, Cameron, Annalisa, Peter David, Cristiana, Maria, Paul Gary, and Sofia. Her brother-in-law, George Altamura and his wife Jackie, many nieces and nephews and a large extended family. She was predeceased by her parents, John and Margherita (Cannito) Riga, husband Frank Altamura and brother, Peter Riga.
Mom, you were our shining star, our guiding light, the matriarch of our family and we will miss you beyond measure.
A celebration of Vicky’s life is planned for later in the year. Any memorial contributions can be made to the Napa Valley College Foundation or a charity of the donor’s choice.
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