Julian DeLuna Obregon died Monday evening, Jan. 24 at SwedishAmerican Hospital. He will be remembered not only by every musician he performed with, but also the local community that had the fortune of hearing him play. Originally born in San Pedro, Coahuila, Mexico, in 1942, he was a musical child prodigy. DeLuna married Eloisa Castro Diaz de Lion in 1964, and eventually continued his musical and professional life in the U.S.
DeLuna was familiar with and an accomplished performer on many different instruments, but was most well known for his work on keyboard and vibraphone. He donated his musical time to many charitable organizations, including the Arthritis Foundation and The Northern Illinois Hospice Association, and played regularly at On The Waterfront and Fiesta Hispana. La Voz Latina honored him in 1993 with the Hispanic Heritage Award.
DeLuna also performed on a regular basis with Mike Williamson at Cliffbreakers, and developed a strong fan base long before his recent death. I had the fortune of seeing DeLuna perform at Sinnissippi Band Shell a few summers ago, and can honestly say our community has lost an important member of our thriving music scene.
DeLuna is remembered and survived by his wife Eloisa; children Laura Luisa (Jeff Neuzil) De Luna of Houston, Texas; Eva Eloisa DeLuna Castro of Austin, Texas; Martha Marcela DeLuna (Mark) Lyles of Houston; Joel Julian DeLuna of Rockford; Eloy Enrique DeLuna of Houston and Claudia Cecilia DeLuna Castro of New York City; granddaughter Olivia Juliana Lyles De Luna; brother Kurt Johnson; sister Rosa Maria; mother Evangelina; and numerous aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins and friends.