Francis A. Dimondi, 55, Chairman Of Republican Party In Delaware

Posted: July 17, 1988

Francis A. DiMondi Sr., 55, of Dover, Del., chairman of Delaware's state Republican Committee, died of cancer Friday at his home.

Mr. DiMondi was president of Wyoming Concrete Industries Inc. of Wyoming, Del., a company he founded in 1962. He also owned a farm, where he raised buffalo.

Among state Republicans, Mr. DiMondi was known affectionately for his longstanding campaign to have the national Republican symbol changed from an elephant to a buffalo. At the state Republican convention May 14, his wish was granted when Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., chairman of the Republican National Committee, officially changed the symbol to a buffalo for the duration of the two-day convention.

Delaware Gov. Castle, whose 1984 election campaign was led by Mr. DiMondi, yesterday called him "not only a close friend, but also a trusted adviser."

"Frank was that rare breed who could, as a Republican State Committee chairman, be accepted as a friend and a human being by Democratic and Republican leaders alike," Castle said.

A resident of Dover since 1962, Mr. DiMondi was born in New Castle, Del., in 1932. He graduated from Archmere Academy in Claymont, Del., attended Georgetown University in Washington, and graduated from La Salle University. He enlisted in the Army and was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant. He attended Villanova University's law school and Temple University School of Law, receiving his law degree from Temple in 1959.

He then went to work for his father, who owned Delaware Block Co. in New Castle, Del., before moving to Dover to start his business, originally known as the Wyoming Block Co. In 1988, the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce named Mr. DiMondi Central Delaware's Small Businessman of the Year.

Mr. DiMondi served as Kent County Republican chairman from 1972 to 1974. In 1982, he led the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. William V. Roth Jr. From 1983 through 1985, he served as National Republican committeeman for Delaware. In 1985, he was elected chairman of the state Republican Committee, and in 1986, Fahrenkopf appointed Mr. DiMondi treasurer of the 1988 Republican National Convention Arrangements Committee.

At the time of his death, Mr. DiMondi was a commissioner on the Delaware River and Bay Authority. He had served on the boards of directors of the Lower Delaware Gridiron Club and the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, and he was on the Governor's Campaign Law Reform Committee.

Mr. DiMondi formerly had served on the board of the Dover YMCA, the Delaware Standardbred Development Board, the Capitol Day-Care Center, the Delaware State Fair and the Broadmeadow School in Middletown, Del.

He also belonged to the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks in Dover, the Loyal Order of Moose in Wyoming, the Sons of Italy in Dover, the Air Force Association in Dover and Italian-American United in Wilmington.

Mr. DiMondi is survived by his wife, Jane L. DiMondi; two daughters, Gayle M. of Warrenton, Va., and Diane F. of Camden, Del; two sons, Francis A. of Camden, Del., and William J. of Dover; a sister, Irma R. Burwell of New Castle, Del., and four grandchildren.

Friends may visit this evening at Mr. DiMondi's home on Kent Route 234 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, Fifth and Harmony Streets, New Castle, at 10 a.m. tomorrow. After the Mass, entombment will be in the family mausoleum at Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington.

Mr. DiMondi's family requests that donations in his name be made to the Delaware Hospice, 637 S. Governors Ave., Dover, Del. 19901.

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