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August 10, 1923 – April 27, 2021
Mrs. Iris Mary Lucchese, age 97 years, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, with family by her side.
Iris was born on August 10, 1923 in Truro, Cornwall, England. Iris overcame every challenge that arose in her life, from childhood illness, to the Depression in England, to witnessing the Battle of Britain and surviving the bombing of London during World War II.
Iris emigrated from England to Canada after the War. Her experience as a telephone operator in London made her a natural fit as a dispatcher for Lacey’s Taxi. She met the love of her life, Lino Lucchese, and they were married for 40 years. In 1958 they purchased Lacey’s Taxi which they operated for 36 years. Iris and Lino loved to travel and visited many places around the world, including many trips to Italy and England.
Iris was ahead of her time. She ran a business in an era when women were expected to be mothers and housewives, or if they worked, at best, a clerk or secretary. Iris was loved by everyone. Her family and friends thought the world of her. Her employees, including special friend Gwen Zayots, loved and respected her, all of whom she respected and cared for in return. Iris was a member of St. Thomas Anglican Church for many years where she made several special friendships, including Margaret Napierala. Later in life after Lino’s passing, she moved to Glengowan Condominiums where she made many more friends and enjoyed all of the social activities.
Iris loved to swim and throughout her life did so whenever she could. As a child she swam in Cornwall, England. Later in life she loved to swim in Caorle, Italy during her visits with Lino and later with her son Mark and daughter-in-law Dana. Even at 90 years old, Iris still drove and would go to the Airlane to swim and enjoy the sauna.
Iris was a 2 time Cancer survivor and overcame many health challenges throughout her life – always persevering, always bouncing back.
Iris and Lino were surrounded by friends who they considered to be family. Rob Kovac; Achille, Lucy and Mark Baruzzi; and Nick, Alma, Lidio and Elena Soldera were all a special part of Iris and Lino’s life, sharing many happy moments and occasions together throughout the years.
She was an extraordinary woman who will be missed more than words can express.
Iris is survived by her daughter Sharon; son Mark (Dana Dragicevic); many relatives in Canada, England, Italy and Argentina; plus her grand-pup Sophie who she adored.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband Lino; her parents Percy and Gwendolyn Dower; brother Don Dower and his wife Christine; plus many other relatives in England, Italy and Argentina.
Thank you to the staff of Hogarth Riverview Manor, 7S Violet. A special thank you to Deb Palmquist for the care and love she gave to Iris, and to all that went the extra mile to care for her.
As per her request, Iris has been cremated. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, a Celebration of Iris’ life will take place at a later date. Should friends so desire, donations may be made in her memory to the Thunder Bay and District Humane Society or the Northern Cancer Fund (payable to TBRHSF).
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Westfort Chapel, 420 West Gore Street at James.