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Dolores F. DiSalvo

December 13, 1929 February 11, 2020
Dolores F. DiSalvo
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Obituary for Dolores F. DiSalvo

Dolores Frances (Lauth) DiSalvo passed away on February 11th, 2020 at the age of 90 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She died peacefully with the morning sun on her face and family by her side.

Dolores was born on December 13th, 1929 in Skokie, Illinois and was the third child to Walter and Helen Lauth. She had a happy childhood, growing up in the first-floor apartment of the building her father built on Kildare Ave, the same building she and her future husband Lucien would raise three of their five children in the third-floor apartment.

As their youngest child, Walter and Helen showered her with love and attention. Her sister Georgina and brother Walter (Buddy) each claimed her as their favorite, taking her everywhere with them. Her first best friend was the family beagle named Fritzy, who faithfully waited to walk her home at the end of each school day. And growing up near the shores of Lake Michigan, Dolores discovered her love of the sun and the beach at a very young age.

Dolores was naturally social, fun and outgoing. Her upbeat personality and easy smile made her lots of friends at Niles High School. As a freshman, she was a perfect fit for the cheerleading squad. The girls on the squad called themselves “The Pearls” and the twelve of them became lifelong friends.

Dolores was determined to meet the “cute” guy on the basketball team, a sophomore named Lucien “Lu” DiSalvo. Of course, she succeeded and at the age of 15 they began to date steadily. Along with spending time with each other’s family, including Lu’s sisters Connie and Marie, their favorite past time was eating fresh shrimp on the shores of Lake Michigan and, of course, going to the beach.

After high school, Dolores went to Mundelein College in Chicago while Lucien served in the Korean War. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, she worked as a secretary at Popular Mechanics magazine in Chicago and attended cooking and gardening classes while Lu finished his college degree. They married on Dec 12th, 1953 at St. Lamberts Church and two years later welcomed their first child Lucia. Suzy followed within two years and Theresa, two years thereafter. With three beautiful daughters, thus began her great devotion to being a full-time Mother.

After 36 years of living in the building her father built, she and Lu moved to Birmingham, MI in 1964 when Lu was transferred for work. Their first home was on Summervale Lane and not even a year after relocating, they welcomed the arrival of twins, John and Joan. As was her nature, she quickly developed a social circle in the neighborhood including Jean Tripp, who she spoke to every day, and Anna Mart who, without complaint, lent a helping hand with the twins on a regular basis.

With a home of her own, Dolores went to work decorating it beautifully and cultivating a garden filled with her favorite flowers that bloomed from Spring to Fall. She also adopted a little Yorkshire terrier she named Jigger who was allowed free reign of Summervale, was spoiled with treats by all the neighbors and loved laying in the sun as much as Dolores. The family joined Woodside Swim Club where the kids spent many summers in the sun just as she did growing-up.

Dolores was always busy sewing, knitting and cooking. Having gone to cooking school, she was confident and skilled in the kitchen creating her own recipes and making meals every night for her family and whatever friends happened home with them. Everyone was welcome at her table. She created remarkable Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners and her Italian meals were legendary. Every birthday was celebrated with that person’s favorite meal, many presents and a homemade cake decorated with their name and ample amounts of buttercream frosting.

She sewed and knitted beautifully, creating dresses, sweaters and blankets for her family through the years, including keepsake Christmas Stocking’s for each child, their spouse and all her grandchildren. As her children grew older, she found time to go back to work as a make-up artist at Bardha Salon in Birmingham where her creative talents and friendly nature helped her build a successful business.

Later, she and Lu joined Orchard Lake Country Club where she and the kids (and their friends) soon became regular fixtures at the pool and lake each summer. She also took up golf, playing regularly with old and new friends and became surprisingly good later in life. She and Lu also began to travel more often including taking the children on a remarkable trip to Italy to celebrate her and Lu’s 50th anniversary. And after Lu retired, they spent half the year in Naples, Florida where they continued to enjoy golf, the sun and the company of their lifelong friends, Eddie and Mary Bernardi.

Dolores will always be remembered for her beautiful smile and sunny personality. She was a terrific friend to all who knew her and had a wonderful sense of humor. But mostly she will be remembered for the endless love and devotion she had for her family. She was an extraordinary wife, mother and grandmother who was loved dearly and will be deeply missed by all of us.

She leaves behind her devoted husband of 67 years, Lu, her children Lucia (Jim), Theresa (Stevan), Joan (Brian) John (Janinne) and son-in-law, Michael whose wife, and her daughter Suzy, predecease her. She leaves 6 grandchildren, Alexandra, Harrison, Thomas, Vincent, Cooper and Maxwell, and her nieces and nephews, Lee (Kathy), Bernadette (George), Paula (Paul) and Godson Kenny (Linda).

The family would like to thank the caring staff at Sunrise Assisted Living facility who attended to her as if she where their own and made sure her last few months were happy, comfortable and safe.

Friends may visit at Lynch and Sons Funeral Home at 1368 N Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Roads) Sunday, February 16th, 4-7pm with a family memorial at 6pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Regis Catholic Church, 3695 Lincoln Drive, Bloomfield Hills, Monday, February 17th at 10:30am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 10am.

The family has asked that all donations be made to the Pope Francis Center, 438 St. Antoine, Detroit, Michigan 48226.


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