Luchini celebrates 100th birthday

Mar 10, 2023 314

What do you do when you turn 100? You throw a party, of course! That’s exactly what Lea Luchini did on Feb. 18 when family and friends gathered in celebration at Papa Joe’s in Orland Park. A Facebook campaign by her eldest grandson yielded more than 200 birthday cards, which Luchini presented to Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau at a village board meeting on Feb. 20.

Lea was born on Feb. 15, 1923, to Emil and Adele Tonelli in Gragnola, a mountain hamlet in Northern Tuscany. When she was 2, she moved to the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago with her mother to join her father, who was already working in the area. In 1943, she met WWII Navy Seaman August “Gus” Luchini in Roseland, marrying him nine months later at St. Willibrord Catholic Church.

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