Sheree Lustgarten presented the plaque to Delphia’s mother, Virginia Usadel, at the Federated Methodist-Presbyterian Church hall.
The award is given by the West Side Democratic Club in memory of Eusebio “Sam” Cuellar, a Patterson councilman, school board trustee and community leader, to recognize a local person for commitment to public service on the West Side.
The first award was given to retired Col. John V. Azevedo in September 2011 for his years of public and community service.
Delphia, who died July 2 in Turlock, was a longtime community leader, activist, and historian who served in many public service organizations over the years.
Delphia had served as chairman of the local planning commission, was a past member of the Patterson City Council and had served on the General Plan Advisory Committee, helping shape the city’s future direction.
He was also a longtime member of the Patterson Township Historical Society and acted as its chairman and museum curator through the years. He worked on “The Gateway,” a publication of the society, and preserved thousands of historical documents, photographs and other items for the historians. Delphia was instrumental in the renovation of the Center Building Museum on Plaza Circle.
Delphia’s community involvement includes being one of the founders of the Apricot Fiesta in the early 1970s. Along with newspaper publisher Ron Swift, Delphia helped create the fiesta’s logo.
He served as general chairman of both the Patterson Diamond Jubilee Celebration in 1984 and the town’s Centennial Labor Day Celebration in 2009.
Delphia was a photographer and contributor to the Patterson Irrigator for many years. He also wrote columns for the Modesto Bee from 1999 to 2001 focusing on West Side issues.
He was a member of West Side Patterson Affiliates for Community Involvement and Environment and the West Side Democratic Club.
Delphia was also recognized the day of his memorial service with a plantation of trees bought by the West Side Democratic Club through the Patterson Garden Club. The Penny Pines memorial plantation, administered by the U.S. Forest Service, is in the Stanislaus National Forest. A plantation certificate will be sent to the garden club at a later date and presented to Usadel.