I’m re-publishing a post about my dad who died on November 4, 1990 in Anacortes, Washington at the age of 92. He was born March 25, 1898 in Reggio Calabria, Italy, the son of Niccola and Fillippa Luvera. In 1910 he emigrated to Coleman, Alberta where he and his father worked in coal mines until the family moved to Anacortes in 1918. In 1922 he and his father opened Luvera’s Fruit Store at 7th & Commerical in Anacortes –
(Photo: Niccola, Paul Jr. & Paul Sr 1950)
a neighbood store that featured home delivery and allowed purchases on credt. My grandfather arranged the fruit displays and worked at the store into his 80’s.
Dad and mother married in 1926. Mary T. Babaorvich was the daughter of Peter and Marija Babarovich, the youngest of eight children. Her family emigrated from what was then Austria-Hungry. Together they operated the grocery store until they retired in 1957. They were married 64 years and had three children. My sisters Phyllis and Anita, both have continued to contribute to the community. We were taught the importance of education and all three of us have advanced college degrees.
Dad started a second career as a wood carver. Among his many wood creations, his totem poles are displayed in such places as Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Yokohama, Japan and Stockholm, Sweden. His book "How to Carve Totem Poles," which is in it’s eleventh printing, resulted in his work being featured in syndicated columns, national television and many other media. (The book is still available by E-mailing this website) Mother contributed to the book and was responsible for designing and painting many of the poles. Dad was very active in community service. While serving in the state senate he was responsible for securing the construction of a highway into Anacortes. As a result, the state legislature directed that the highway be named the Paul Luvera Sr. Highway.
[His achievements included his organization of the first parent-teacher association in Anacortes, spearheading the community swimming pool there, and a lifetime of active membership in Rotary International. He joined the Fidalgo Masonic Lodge No. 77. He was very proud of becoming a United States Citizen and flew the American flag at his house daily. He believed this was the greatest country in the world and taught us children that we owed a duty of contributing back to this wonderful country. He was a truly amazing story of the American dream who arrived with nothing, had only a grade school education and achieved so much for his family and his community. See Anacortes American article about him.