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.