Industry Loses Charismatic Innovator

Dilillo: Charismatic and very, very giving

MISSISSAUGA — Pat Dilillo, a face familiar to many in our industry and a man described as “charismatic,” “giving,” and a “risk taker,” passed away this morning almost a year to the day after detecting the very first symptoms of colon cancer.

He was 57.

Dilillo was the founder, president and CEO of Di-Mond Trailers, which he came out of semi-retirement to launch in 2004.

Prior to that Dilillo founded Mond Industries in 1981. He took Mond public and ran it until 1999, when it was purchased by Trailmobile.

While he was at Mond, the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada presented Dilillo with the prestigious “Executive of the Year Award.”

He is known for his innovative ideas and, among other inventions, built the first 40-to-53-ft extendable chassis.

Reputed broadly for his open-door policy, Dilillo was always accessible to all customers, staff and, according to his son Chris, anyone who needed his help. When Dilillo started Di-Mond, all 45 employees had previously worked for Mond, Trailmobile, or both. When he announced the start of his new venture, they simply came along.

“He was a very very giving man,” the younger Dilillo told “Outwardly he seemed very tough but once you got to know him you learned that he was an extremely gentle guy.”

“He said at the time he left Mond that he was retired,” recalls friend and associate G. Allan Tucker of the Canadian Transportation Equipment Association. “But then he told me, ‘I’ve had enough golf.’ He was a man who had to keep doing things.”

Chris, who now looks after the company, says that his father had fully intended to retire but customers approached him and, says Chris, “asked, ‘How many trailers do we have to order to get you back into the business?'”

Says Tucker: “People like Pat who create things make a huge contribution to the transportation industry, creating business and creating thousands of jobs, one job at a time.”

Dilillo immigrated from Italy to Toronto with his family when he was four years old. A trained automotive and diesel mechanic, he married Serena and was father to Chris (wife Danielle) and Lilly (husband Rob). Chris has three sons, Josh, Ryan and Max while Lilly is mother to Michael and Serena Jr. Dilillo will also be missed by his father Vito, mother Nicoletta, sister Nietta and her husband Pino and his sister Milane.

Memorial visitation will be held at the Glen Oaks Memorial Chapel and Reception Centre, 3164 Ninth Line (Ninth Line just north of Dundas) Oakville, 905-257-8822, on Saturday from 7-9 p.m. and on Sunday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Memorial Mass to be held at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church, 4072 New Street, Burlington on Monday, October 22, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

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