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December 31, 2012

Frank 'Diz' LaMonica dies

Supported many local charities, including St. Mary's Church of Oneonta

Frank “Diz” LaMonica, who would have been 102 on Jan. 9, died Sunday night after being hospitalized for a broken hip and pneumonia.

LaMonica, born in 1911, was the son of Sicilian immigrants, and his father opened a wholesale banana business in Oneonta. LaMonica left high school at 17 to help his father with the Frank LaMonica Corp. A series of other businesses followed, including a recreation center and bowling alleys. LaMonica rebuilt his family’s businesses after the Great Depression took a toll.

In 1949, he founded LaMonica Beverages, which is now Northern Eagle Beverages.

On his 100th birthday, his wife, Jo-Ann, said: “He has always been one to love Oneonta," adding that  he has been generous to a lot of local charities, and has been particularly supportive of St. Mary’s Church and St. Mary’s School.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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