Longtime Del. lawmaker Joe DiPinto remembered as an ‘outstanding person and public servant’

DiPinto spent 40 years with the DuPont Co. before being elected to Wilmington City Council and the state House.

Joseph DiPinto

Joseph DiPinto (center) who served nearly four decades in city and state government is seen here with former Wilmington Mayor James Baker (left) and deputy chief of staff for Mayor Purzycki John Rago. (city of Wilmington)

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Joseph DiPinto was “focused and determined to serve the needs of the people of Wilmington.”

That’s how Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki remembered the former state Rep. and member of Wilmington City Council following his death earlier this week.

DiPinto had two successful careers, including 40 years working for the DuPont Company and another almost 40 years in city and state government, with some overlapping years when he did both.

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“I offer the condolences of a very grateful city for the years that Joe devoted to Wilmington’s growth and to preserving the strength of our State,” Purzycki said in a statement. “Joe was a Republican in a heavily Democratic city and state, yet he never let political party affiliation or politics to interfere with getting the job done. He was focused and determined to serve the needs of the people of Wilmington.”

DiPinto was first elected to City Council in 1973 before moving up to represent Wilmington in the General Assembly from 1987 to 2006. He returned to city government after leaving Dover, serving as Wilmington’s Director of Economic Development under then-Mayor James Baker, a Democrat.

“Joe knew that this position gave him the opportunity to directly help the people of Wilmington through development agreements that provided jobs for city residents and revenue to support city services,” Baker said. “Joe cared about people regardless of their standing in life, race, religion, or politics. He served the people of Wilmington well.”

“Joe always put Delawareans first and looked to improve the First State,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, who was New Castle County executive while DiPinto was leading the city’s economic development office. “We forged our friendship through civic service at different levels of government.”

DiPinto was also active with a number of cultural groups and other organizations, including Delaware’s Science and Technology Council, the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture, the Riverfront Development Corporation, the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Delaware Science and Technology Commission.

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DiPinto was also once a member of WHYY’s board of directors.

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