Stephen E. Delia Sr.
March 26, 1923 / November 21, 2009
Stephen was the son of Mate and Hele Delia. He had three brothers and one sister. Stanley, John, Tony and Mary. Stephen is survived by his brother John, his sons Stephen Jr. and David, his sons by his marriage to Eva Doman, Fred Jr., Bela and Andrew, his grandchildren by Stephen Jr. Kimberly, Michelle and Matthew, by David Nathan, by Peter Doman (deceased) Christopher, by Fred Doman, Amy, Tracy and Tyler, by Bela Doman, Jeremy and Jack, by Andrew Doman Brian and Cory.
Stephen was delivered by a midwife in a farmhouse on Prospect Rd. about 1/4 mile from Saratoga Sunnyvale Rd. As young boys he and his three brothers all worked as paper boys for the Mercury News and also in the fruit orchards of Cupertino, Saratoga and Sunnyvale. All four joined branches of the armed forces and served honorably during WW II. Stephen served in the US Navy attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer and was in twelve of the fourteen campaigns in the Pacific Theater.
Around four years before he was due to be discharged, he met and married his first wife Helen. Helen bore three children, Stephen Jr., David and Katherine. They were subsequently divorced and Helen was awarded custody of David and Kathy and Stephen was awarded custody of Stephen Jr. (three years old at the time)
If you look up the word "work-a-holic" I'm sure the definition will include a picture of Stephen. He was always working at something, even during his off hours. The man seemed to labor tirelessly, from early morning to late at night and always pursued everything to completion. If he was not involved in working on something, he was reading to advance his knowledge.
Stephen's consistent endeavor to balance the hardships of full time employment, working to obtain a college degree and raising a son was an inspiration to all who witnessed it. He obtained a "First Class Operators Licence" from the City of San Jose and worked nights and swing shifts in the canneries as a high pressure boiler tender. During the day he attended San Jose State University and eventually obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Teaching Credential In History. However, after teaching one summer session at one of the local high schools he became disillusioned with teaching and decided to go back to operating power plants.
About the time Stephen Jr. was twelve years old, his son David came to live with them. Shortly afterward Stephen met and eventually married Eva Doman, a single mother with four boys. Peter, Fred Jr., Bela, and Andrew. As with everything else in this remarkable man's life, he met the challenges of providing for, and raising his newly expanded family and excelled in every aspect of it.
During his career, he worked at Stephen's Meats, Falstaff Brewery, Sun Garden and Del Monte Canneries in San Jose before landing a civil service position at the U.S. Air Force Satellite Test Center in Sunnyvale. He rapidly advanced to the supervisors position in the power plant there and operated it for thirteen years before retiring.
Remarkably while accomplishing all this, he somehow found the time to become involved in several worthwhile organizations. He was a member of the Fleet Reserve Association, The Elks, The Croation Fraternal Union, The Native Son's of the Golden West, A Free Mason and A Shriner.
About twenty years ago he moved to Chico California with his wife Eva, and purchased a small fifteen acre almond orchard. When he originally purchased the orchard, it was not in great shape and he thought he would have some agricultural write off's on his taxes. However, as with everything else he applied himself to, the orchard soon started turning a profit.
On March 17, 2009 Eva Delia passed into the care of our Lord. Stephen tried to keep up a cheerful front but all who knew him realized he suffered greatly from the loss. In August, he returned to Santa Clara Valley, the place of his birth, to live out his remaining days with his son Stephen Jr. in Sunnyvale. On November 21, 2009 the Lord called Stephen to his reward.
Stephen was a great father and a devout catholic. Stephen was admired by all who had the privilege to know him. His jovial mood and quick wit made him friends wherever he went. His family will be eternally grateful for the love he shared with them, and will forever keep their love for him in their hearts. Heaven has gained a beautiful soul, but this world has suffered the loss one of it's best humans.
12-14-09 at 10:30am
St. Josephes Catholic Church Cupertino
10110 De Anza Blvd. Cupertino, CA
Graveside service & Military Honors
12-15-09 at 11:00am
Glen Oaks Memorial Park
11115 Midway Chico,CA