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DR. RAYLEEN DE LUCA Obituary pic


Date of Passing: Mar 22, 2022

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C. Psych., C.M., O.M.

Rayleen De Luca passed away on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, after a courageous battle with Cancer. I hate cancer... She is preceded in death by her mother Elsie, father Leno and brother Leonard.
Rayleen De Luca was born in Shawinigan, Quebec in 1942 but spent all but a year in Winnipeg, for which she loved and cared deeply. Her greatest love was for her family, first and foremost Vincent, her devoted husband of 58 years. Their love, friendship and relationship are truly a role model for all married couples! Secondly, was her love of and for her children, Troy (Susan) and Trevor, her grandchildren, Cassidy, Tyler and Cole AND great-grandchildren, Hazel (Tyler), Violet (Cassidy) and Willow (Cole). When asked about what she believed/hoped her legacy would be, without hesitation she said her family.
Anyone who knew Rayleen knew she was all about the children, whether hers or not! She devoted her entire adult life to the care of children starting with her own family and then professionally through academia resulting in her achieving a doctorate in the field of Psychology focusing on children and their mental health well-being. Her passion for helping children led her to become the most respected and sought-after child psychologist in Manitoba and beyond! Furthermore, committed to the Scientist Practitioner model of clinical psychology she became recognized as one of Canada's foremost researchers for her pioneering work in the area of child sexual abuse. Rayleen was invited to make presentations nationally and internationally, including at the Universidade Catolica, Andres Bellow, Caracas Venezuela, the Universidade Catolica Dom Bosco, Campo Grande, Brasil and Universidade Aberta Do Brasil, Barretos, Sao Paolo, Brasil. Her publications have been translated into many languages and her research in the area of child abuse and family violence has been coined "groundbreaking".
As a professor at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Psychology, Rayleen was the first woman to hold the position of Director of Clinical Training. Her colleagues and peers of the Manitoba Psychological Society recognized her distinguished contribution to the profession of psychology when they awarded her the prestigious Clifford Robson Award.
Rayleen was active in countless community organizations with a focus on solutions to violence and abuse. Nominated as a Canadian representative to the United Nations - Status of Women Committee, she was not afraid to speak out for injustices and enabled others by virtue of her involvement with them. Rayleen was a tireless advocate and inspiration for/to women.
Rayleen's extensive volunteerism has enhanced the lives of Manitobans in countless ways. For example, she served as President of the Folk Arts council, which oversees Folklorama, the largest and longest running multi-cultural festival in the world. Additionally, she served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of St. Paul's College and was appointed by the Canadian Conference of Bishops and served on a national ad hoc committee on the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable People. Enriching the lives of others, Rayleen freely gave her time to share her area of expertise and served as an inspiration.
Rayleen received many awards for her academic, professional leadership and commitment. The following is a subset of those awards:
Manitoba Trailblazer Recipient (2021)
Sons of Italy Garibaldi Lodge (2018), Canadian Italian Business Professionals Association, Professional of the Year
Government of Canada (2017) Order of Canada
Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba (2016) The Helping Hands of Health Award
Nellie McClung Award Recipient (2016) The Nellie McClung Award
Government of Canada (2013) The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
University of Manitoba (2013) Faculty Special Achievement Award
Province of Manitoba (2011) The Order of Manitoba
University of Manitoba (2012, 2010, 2005-2008) Arts Celebrating Arts Award
Manitoba Psychological Society (2010) The Clifford Robson Award
University of Manitoba (2008) Outreach Award
YMCA-YWCA (2008) Woman of Distinction Award in Health
Sons of Italy (2007) Lupa di Roma Lodge Donna Dell'Anno Award
University of Winnipeg Alumni Association (2006) Distinguished Alumni Award
Honouree of Alpha House (1996)
City of Winnipeg Appreciation Award (1995)
Eccellenza Award (1989)
Shira Uri Women's University, Tokyo, Japan (1992) Certificate of Honours
Doctoral Fellowship (1981-1985)
Special M.A. Scholarship (1979-1980)
University of Winnipeg Gold Medal (1979)
Dr. C.J. Robson Scholarship in Psychology University of Winnipeg (1978)
Board of Regents, General Proficiency Scholarship, University of Winnipeg (1976-1978)
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude specifically to the Real Care in-home staff along with the nursing staff at St. Boniface Hospital (ward 7A).
Funeral will take place Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church with condolences starting at 10:00 a.m.

E.J. Coutu & Co. Funeral Directors

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 26, 2022

Condolences & Memories (47 entries)

  • Rayleen. You are forever in my heart. You were my strength, support and guidance as I felt and relived the trauma from my childhood. This allowed me to grow and function fully. These words do not fully express the gift of having you in my life and by extension my family’s life. Thank you for being there. - Posted by: Lillian (Therapist ) on: Oct 25, 2023

  • Dear, Dr De Luca, when I was a child you were my therapist here in Osbourne village or close by it. I remember loving to come to your office as a small child because of all of the toys you always had and that awesome gameboy you would let me play Mario on. I remember drawing things for you, of me and my sisters and my mom, and the father I wanted but never had as a boy growing up. I don't know what kind of abuse brought me in your life, and I'm deeply saddened that you're gone from this world. I have 2 kids of my own now and am currently looking for therapy for them, you always cross my mind when I think of therapy. You must have really left a place in my heart for yourself with all the kindness you offered me as one of your troubled children. I know you won't get this but sending it to your name or possibly your family gives me that much more happiness that I can share the wonderful person you always were. - Posted by: Peter Henry Goosehead (A Child She Helped With Therapy.) on: Sep 05, 2023

  • Words can't express how much this beautiful wonderful woman helped me through my childhood!!! Rayleen was the only person I could truthfully open up to. - Posted by: Joshua jones (Made me a better person ) on: Feb 08, 2023

  • To have someone like her to be that close, that caring and so understandable was so amazing. Will miss you so much but not just for what you helped me with but the fact I got to know you. Wrestling forever! Love, Andrea and Shouren - Posted by: Andrea Bose (Best woman I ever meet) on: May 07, 2022

  • My deepest condolences, Vince and family, on the passing of Rayleen. I had the enormous privilege of learning from Rayleen during my years as her doctoral student. Her commitment to helping children who had been harmed and their families was inspiring; she played an important role in shaping my professional career. She was always so encouraging and supportive. When I began my graduate studies in Winnipeg, it was my first time away from home. I remember Rayleen greeting me at the airport when I arrived - what a warm and welcoming gesture! But that was Rayleen. I will always remember her kindness, generosity, enormous talent, and wonderful sense of humour. She will forever hold a special place in my heart. - Posted by: Elisa Romano (Former doctoral student) on: Mar 31, 2022

  • We are so sorry to hear of Rayleen’s passing. She was truly a talented and lovely person. Our hearts go out to Vince and family. - Posted by: Judy & Robert Goodall (Friend) on: Mar 31, 2022

  • My Condolences to the De Luca Family. My deepest sympathies. - Posted by: Carmine Fiorillo (Relative/Friend/Patient) on: Mar 31, 2022

  • Dr. De Luca was one of my favourite professors in grad school, and honestly the most genuine person I have ever encountered. From the first time I spoke to her she exuded the most loving, non judgemental presence and I imagine this is why she was so beloved. I felt safe in her company, despite having barely knew her. I have worked with some of her former clients, many of whom talk about how she saved their lives. This city lost not only an incredible psychologist, but an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, professor, mentor, and advocate. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be on her family, and my heart aches for you. Anyone who knew Rayleen was richer for it. She will be missed and her legacy never forgotten. - Posted by: Amanda Veness (Former student) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • Vince and family, Bruce and I share your sorrow at the loss of Rayleen, a very special woman. I have fond memories of her supervision in my first venture into working with children, and her influence remained with me throughout my career. We will always remember her kindness, warmth, humour, friendship, and support. Please accept our heartfelt condolences. - Posted by: Teresa Sztaba (former student, friend, colleague) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • Rayleen will always be in our hearts. Our deepest condolences to the family. Heaven has truly gained an angel. - Posted by: Lia and Lou Gervino (Friends of the family) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • I had the privilege and opportunity of knowing Rayleen through her involvement in the Catholic Women's League of Canada. She was a valued member and held a number of positions in the League. One presentation that stayed with me was how she gave tribute to her Mom in her being part of the League. You are missed by your sisters in the League 💕. Pat Ward - Posted by: Pat Ward (Catholic Women's League ) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • Vince and family: I was honoured to know Rayleen and work with her when she was Folklorama board president. Through my work (which often involved speech writing), I was able to share Rayleen's special voice and connection with others. (I was also her stand-in doing microphone checks since we were the same height!) I know family was everything to her, and I will always consider her my 'Folklorama Mom'. In addition to her incredible professional and volunteer accomplishments, I feel very fortunate to know another side of her, that introverted side that Troy spoke of so eloquently in his amazing eulogy. She was so incredibly special and had a way of being in the moment, and genuinely listening before responding. Rayleen made everyone feel...significant. She will always be in inspiration and I will forever carry a special place in my heart for Rayleen. Sending squishy hugs and sincere condolences. - Posted by: Deborah Bowers (friend) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • I have so many memories that have come to mind of our years as children going to "Beverly Dunsmores School of Dance". Rayleen was very talented, not only at dancing but also had a wonderful voice. She did many solo song and dance numbers at our recitals. And growing up at Grand Beach every summer, my sister and I at "Banchory Lodge" and her and Lenny at "Gallway Bay" just down the hill. With Dan's passing a few years ago I know your pain. It's not easy. I am still trying to adjust. My thoughts are with you and our wonderful memories. - Posted by: Linda Thacker (Childhood Friend) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • Sorry to hear about Rayleen she was a great mentor! She was a beautiful person inside and out! I will never forget the fun we all had at Grand Mari Elsie’s cottage! So many memories there with family! My condolences to you Vince and the boys and their families! Mr prayers are with you during this hurting time in your life! 💕🙏💕 Nancy Dusablon Kosie - Posted by: Kosie Nancy (Friend of the Family ) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • Our deepest sympathy, we don't have the perfect words to make your sadness go away, but we hope that you find comfort in know how much we wish we did. Mrs DeLuca or Grandma D was so special and our family has so many cherished memories of time spent with your family at the cabin and in your home. We will keep your family in our prayers. Elaine, Dave, Cam, Kyra and Madi - Posted by: O'Keeffe family (Friend) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • My sincerest and heartfelt condolences to Vincent and family. A great lady. - Posted by: Todd Hamin (Acquaintance) on: Mar 30, 2022

  • With our deepest condolences we send you this message. You will truly be missed in the Folklorama family. Thank you for all your support and kindness through the years knowing you. May God bless you and your family. - Posted by: Julian Giubega (Friend) on: Mar 29, 2022

  • Dear Vince and the DeLuca family, I am very saddened to hear of Rayleen's passing. She was deeply respected and loved by many, especially the children whom she cared for so much. What a loss for your family, Vince, I remember how devoted you were to Rayleen and how your love for each other shone through always. You will miss her so. May you and your family have peace and comfort in remembering all the special memories you have of her. She will live in your heart forever, With sincere condolences, Terumi - Posted by: Terumi Kuwada (friend) on: Mar 29, 2022

  • Rayleen and I were in the same Gordon Bell commercial class. In recent years, our graduating class reconnected for lunches. Unfortunately, Covid brought a halt to our lunches and our connection kind of fractured. I am so grateful to have known this positive minded woman. My sincere sympathy to her family. - Posted by: Aileen Tycholis (Friend) on: Mar 29, 2022

  • My sincere condolences and prayers go out to the family. - Posted by: James Symicek (Friend) on: Mar 29, 2022

  • Our deepest sympathy to Vince and Family Our prayers and thoughts are with you. - Posted by: Jan & Greg Bizruchak (friends) on: Mar 28, 2022

  • Rayleen was so thoughtful. It was the small acts of kindness that meant so much that I will remember her for. She was on my dissertation advisory committee and I so appreciated her encouragement and support. She made each person she interacted with feel important. She was a very special person to so many and will be missed greatly. - Posted by: Jocelyn Proulx (Former Student) on: Mar 28, 2022

  • Dear Vince and Family, Thinking of all during this very difficult time. May the memories you have of Rayleen help you in the days coming. Chris, Carrie, Lindsay and Rylee - Posted by: Carrie Dennis (Other) on: Mar 28, 2022

  • I am so saddened to hear this. I first met Rayleen when I was a student in one of her undergraduate classes. I was a mature student with a small child at home and her academic journey and accomplishments were an inspiration to me. Later she became a colleague. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. - Posted by: Lori Doan (former student and colleague) on: Mar 28, 2022

  • Sincere condolences to Vince and family. She was a very special lady. She was the life of the party in her room when we went to Conventions. Making sure we had snacks etc. Always had a big friendly careing Smile. Rayleen was a very spiritual person, a great mentor to all of us, we will miss her. Rest in peace. - Posted by: angela Zalevich (Friend and CWL member) on: Mar 28, 2022

  • Our Friday night dinners will never be the same without Rayleen. She gave the term "sense of humour" and new meaning in that there always seemed to be a lot of sense in her humour. What a great loss for all of us. Rest in Peace, Rayleen. - Posted by: Carol & Claude Hébert (Friends) on: Mar 28, 2022

  • We are so very sorry to hear of Rayleen’s passing. Rayleen, Vince, Troy, Trevor and aunty Elsie have always been an important part of our life. Our deepest condolences to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. - Posted by: Robert and Shaune Altarui (Family friend) on: Mar 27, 2022

  • My deepest condolences to you Vince and family. Love and prayers. - Posted by: Doreen Howe (Sister in the Catholic Women League ) on: Mar 27, 2022

  • My deepest condolences to you Vince and family. Love and prayers. - Posted by: Doreen Howe (Sister in the Catholic Women League ) on: Mar 27, 2022

  • Rayleen was such a great person willing to help anyone. Never heard one person who didn’t admire her. She was so much in love with her husband Vince! What a true loss for many. Thank you Rayleen for all you did for so many! You will be missed. - Posted by: Jocelyn Greenwood (Work) on: Mar 27, 2022

  • My sincere condolences to Vince, family and friends. Dr. De Luca was an amazing woman. She was beautiful, kind and compassionate. She was an angel to me. I believe that I am a better person because of her. She will be truly missed.❤️ - Posted by: Georgina Fontaine (Friend ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • I first met Rayleen when she helped my kids after my divorce. Her motto was a simple one, the children, always the children first. It didn’t take me long to fall in love with this short yet mighty woman. Her laughter was infectious, her love for the children ran deep and her warmth was genuine. The world was a better place because of her. RIP my friend. Sending warm hugs to her family and loved ones. - Posted by: Leila Hampton (Friend ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • I met Rayleen at a Folklorama function years and years ago. She was in my thoughts today and later in the day I learned she passed away. She will be deeply missed and very fondly remembered. She was a very kind and thoughtful soul, such a wonderful person. My deepest condolences to her family. - Posted by: Jugnu Lodha (Friend ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • Troy and Susan…our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your Mom…she was a wonderful person who will be dearly missed. Andrew & Marnie xoxo - Posted by: Andrew Smith (Family) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • Our heartfelt condolences to you Vince and family in your loss of wife, mother, and grandmother. We treasure the times we shared conversations, along with good food and drink. We remember the council she gave for family matters. May God be your strength. Love from both of us. - Posted by: Marilyn and Larry Buhler (Friends and neighbors ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • Offering my condolences and sincere sympathy to you Vince and family. I remember when I met Rayleen how lovely she was and very welcoming. I have heard many stories from Donna about her and her many accomplishments. - Posted by: Elma Pyl (Friend of Donna Marshall) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • I was her client in Wpg for two plus years and had the most respect for her and her help in my sessions with. Condolences to her family and friends. - Posted by: Caroline Cheekie (Client) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • I have very fond memories of Rayleen during the time we both spent around the board table of the Catholic Women's League of Canada. She was an exceptional person and lit up the room when she entered! I recall, fondly, the hospitality shown by Rayleen and Vince in their home when we attended meetings in Winnipeg. My sincere sympathy to her family. May she rest in peace! - Posted by: Velma Harasen (friend/HLM Catholic Women's League of Canada) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • Will be missed. A good friend - Posted by: Tom scep (Friend ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • I wish to send heartfelt Sympathy and Condolences to the family 👪. She will be missed by the Folklorama family. - Posted by: Mohamed Alli (Acquaintance ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • Chris and Marino offer our condolences to Vince and the Deluca family. God bless. - Posted by: marino vitelli (friend) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • Sincere condolences to Vince and family. She was a lovely lady. - Posted by: Michael Vendramelli (friend) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • So sorry to hear. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. - Posted by: Zamparutti Angelo (Familia friend ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • When I first met Dr. De Luca she instantly became my role model who always put the needs of children and family first. She was never afraid to speak her mind on these matters during several of her many lectures I enjoyed attending. A rare and genuine person. She will be missed in the world of child psychology. Sincere condolences. - Posted by: Rossana De Luca (acquaintance ) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • I am shocked and saddened to read of Rayleen’s passing. For the past 35 plus years she worked with many of my clients and their children providing immeasurable support to them as they navigated through the coercive and difficult separation and divorce processes. She was always a bright light to speak with and a voice of reason, respected by lawyers and judges alike. Rayleen will be missed. To Rayleen’s family, please accept my sincere condolences. - Posted by: Norm Yusim (Colleague) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • My sincerest condolences to Vincent and family. I was a classmate in Grades 1-6, and have always remembered her as the 'actress' in the room with her bubbly personality, and I always felt she was 'teachers pet' more than once, which she deserved. We reconnected through Facebook this past year, but alas, not in person. She was a much accomplished woman, who, sadly will be missed. - Posted by: Ed Klemm (Classmate) on: Mar 26, 2022

  • My deepest condolences to the family. Beautiful person inside and out. - Posted by: Valerie Alderson (Friend ) on: Mar 26, 2022

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