Delci Family

Manuel and Margaret Delci holding grandson Jose Eduardo Delci, 1967

As a Chandler native and business owner of Delci’s Barber Shop, Roy Delci has experienced the recent population boom and economic prosperity of this city in recent years.  Roy was born on July 3, 1939 to Robert McLellan Delci and Eva (Andrade Mendivil) Delci of Florence, Arizona.  Robert Delci and Eva raised six children named Robert Sr., Roy, Annie, Nadine, Carmen, and Eva.

Roy’s father, Robert McLellan-Delci, was one of nine children born to Scottish parents, Thomas and Lydia McLellan.  His paternal grandparents came to America from Scotland after the Civil War for an opportunity to homestead land in Arizona. Roy’s grandfather was a sharecropper and he farmed wheat and barley on land near the Gila River in Pinal County. From 1910 to 1912, the Roosevelt Dam and Salt River Projects were underway to establish a water reservoir system for the southeast region of Maricopa County and the developing area of Chandler.  It was also during this time that Chandler became a city and Dr. A.J. Chandler began his Chandler Improvement Company for irrigating larger tracts of farmland and selling properties to investors.

Roy’s father worked forty years as the greenskeeper for the San Marcos Resort golf course, and he was a farm hand for Wilford Phelps, a local rancher who harvested alfalfa and cotton crops.  The alfalfa was used as a rotation crop to build up minerals in the soil after the cotton plants were mature and harvested.

Jose Villalobos and Petra Galviz-Villalobos, c. 1918

As a boy, Roy attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and Chandler High School.  He played baseball for one of Father Joseph Patterson’s teams in Chandler.  His cousin, Eduardo “Ed” Delci and many relatives from the area were a close-knit family. They knew their neighbors well and spent a lot of time with St. Mary’s Church organizations started by Father Patterson.  Roy’s cousin, Ed, remembers stories of Father Patterson coming to Chandler in 1915, and dedicating his life to support the Hispanic families and area youth when social services were not available.  In one particular story, Father Patterson had purchased lots in the downtown district near Colorado Street and Chandler Boulevard and resold them to Hispanic widows of World War II soldiers who were unable to purchase property. 

When Roy was eighteen years old he did not serve in the military because of a heart murmur.  Instead, he moved to San Diego, California for a job and lived there for five years until he met his wife, Hilda Ramos.  When they arrived in Chandler, Roy opened his first barbershop business on Buffalo Street in downtown Chandler; its current location is at 762 N. Arizona Avenue.  Roy is a well-respected barber in the Chandler community with a large clientele who depend on him.  His cousin, Ed Delci, is a community leader and was the first Associate Director for Minority Student Recruitment for Arizona State University (ASU).  He was a Senior Outreach Counselor/Academic Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and received the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award.  Ed also continues to serve on committees of the Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Institute and the ASU Hispanic Convocation. 

Biographical Research Submitted by Mary Polanco Gerlach & Diane L. Brown

Biography Submitted by Diane L. Brown