Created on Tuesday, 04 October 2011 09:27
Long-time Lansdale Mayor Mike DiNunzio has died at the age of 93. He stepped down about three years ago after serving for nearly 30 years. His successor, Mayor Andy Szekely, says he took his role as salesman and good will ambassador seriously.
“Being there for all of the events, representing the borough with dignity, with class, he certainly was a treasured mayor, and I think that the borough will remember him fondly.”
Former Fire Chief Jay Daveler says he remembers a conversation they had before DiNunzio ran for his first term.
“Years ago I was approached to run for mayor, and I thanked the party that approached me, but I told them that Mike DiNunzio was the man for the job. After Mike was approached and asked to run for mayor, he called me and asked me to go to lunch, and he wanted to talk to me about this new job. He was unsure, believe it or not, about whether he should do it or he could do it. He kind of asked me what he had to do and I still remember the conversation. I told him he would have to go to the council meetings every month and kiss babies. The mayor came right back to me and said, ‘Can I kiss their mothers too?’”
When he won his first term as mayor in 1981 he defeated incumbent Jack Scheetz, who says he also remembers DiNunzio’s sense of humor.
“I was at this restaurant one time and I walked in and I said, ‘How are you doing, Mayor Mike?’ He said to me later, ‘You blew my cover.’”
Former Borough Councilman and Wilson’s Hardware owner Joe Flyzik knew Mayor Mike for many years, and he says they got together frequently to discuss business and politics.
“He was the first one to welcome me when I bought my business, and he and I would get together and we’d sit in the back up there at the shoe shop and when I was first asked to run for borough council I went up there and I said, ‘You know, Mike, I run a hardware store,’ and he turned around and looked at me and said, ‘Joe, who would ever think a shoemaker could be a mayor?’”
Flyzik says he and Mayor DiNunzio didn’t always agree, but he was always a gentleman and they became lifelong friends.