We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Benson Family Funeral Home
On Tuesday, May 17th, Pastor Richard (Dick) Lucco, 70, of Chicago, Illinois, passed peacefully surrounded by family. Pastor Lucco was born Richard Brent Lucco on May 18th, 1951, to Harriet & Giorgio Lucco in Webster Groves, Missouri. Richard and older brother George – Dick and Ned as they were known to friends – grew up inquisitive and active, Dick becoming a stand-out student and athlete. Dick excelled in both football and tennis at Webster Groves High School. He graduated in 1969 and went on to play both sports at Monmouth College before graduating from University of Missouri St. Louis in 1973.
Pastor Lucco’s deep faith and desire to be of service led him to North Park Theological Seminary in 1974, where he would begin training for his true calling and lifelong vocation. It was at North Park where good fortune brought him together with the love of his life and wife of 47 years, Valerie Sanchez Lucco of Bridgeview, Illinois. Dick and Val were married on November 29th, 1975. Dick and Val’s first son, Zachary, was born in 1977, while Dick completed his pastoral internship in Princeton, Illinois. In 1979, Dick graduated seminary at North Park and was ordained a minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church. In 1981, while serving as senior pastor at Kiwanee Covenant Church in Kiwanee, Illinois, Andrew, the couple’s second son was born. The following year, in 1982 the young Lucco family moved to Elgin, Illinois, where they would stay for the next 10 years. Dick served faithfully as senior pastor at Elgin Covenant Church until 1991, when he joined the I Have a Dream Foundation and served as program coordinator. Son Jeffrey was born in Elgin in 1988.
In 1992 Dick returned to ministry, accepting a call to become Senior Pastor at Trinity Covenant in Salem, Oregon. There the family became complete when, son Christopher, born 1989, joined the family permanently. The Lucco family spent the next 10 years growing up together in Oregon. Dick remembered this time fondly, forever marveling at the natural beauty of the pacific northwest, especially the Oregon Coast.
In 2002 the family moved back to the Midwest, settling in Canton, Michigan where Dick began his time as Superintendent of the Great Lakes Conference of the Covenant Church. He continued in this role until 2012 when he returned to Chicago to serve the Covenant at its headquarters. Dick took on a number of roles for the denomination, before retiring as Executive Minister of Ministry Development in 2018. Even then, his call to ministry never waned, and he served with particular joy as associate pastor at Northwest Covenant Church in Mount Prospect, Ill., until 2021.
Dick was smart and serious – someone who offered wise council and steady guidance. But he was also funny and warm, a man that loved to joke and took joy in many things. Most of all, he took joy in his children and grandchildren. He coached and cheered for all of them with pride. Letting his life become transformed by their passions. He grew up a football and baseball fan but came to share his sons’ passions for soccer and skateboarding, and later his grandchildren’s love of lacrosse. Beyond his family, his greatest love was the St. Louis Cardinals. Dick never shied from sharing this passion, and particularly relished doing so in the Cubs country where he spent so much of his life. He loved lots of sports – Arsenal FC, the Oregon Ducks, a lamentable fondness for the Detroit Lions, but always the Cardinals most of all. He loved to read – a unique mix of theology, social justice, and pulpy detective novels filled his shelves. He was a gifted writer, writing passionately about his faith and dreaming someday of penning a detective novel of his own – starring none other than detective Rick Zucco, of course.
Though Pastor Lucco’s battle with cancer, which began in 2014, took its toll on Dick physically, he never wavered spiritually. His faith was steadfast, and he took great solace and joy in the scriptures that had shaped his life until his final days. Through it all he and the family remained connected in love and humor. That sense of humor may be one of the things Dick is best remembered for. He was a minister and a mentor, a leader, and an advocate. And while he approached his calling with a fierce commitment to fairness and justice, he approached life with a laugh and a smile. His family, wife Valerie, sons Zach (Tracy) Lucco, Drew Lucco, Jeff Lucco, Chris Sanchez (Chelsea Hotmann), grandchildren Emerson and Grayson, and friends around the country will remember that smile fondly and forever.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00am on Saturday June 11, 2022, at North Park Covenant Church, 5250 N. Christiana, Chicago, IL, 60625. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to North Park Theological Seminary, Salem (OR) Leadership Foundation, or North Park Covenant Church Pre-school.