Daniel J. DiSalle, Sr., who was inspired by the business success of his Italian immigrant grandfather as he built what became a leading local real estate company, died Wednesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. He was 79.
Mr. DiSalle, of Maumee, had pancreatic cancer the last year. He worked until about two months ago and swam almost daily until last August, his wife, Mary, said.
He started to sell real estate part time in the late 1960s while a manager at DiSalle Plating and Die Casting, which his grandfather Anthony DiSalle founded during the Depression. He joined Hennessy Realty and became a partner in 1972. He assumed ownership in 1973 and renamed the firm as DiSalle Real Estate Co. in 1974
Mr. DiSalle opened offices across the Toledo area and in Bedford Township. In 1980, he started DiSalle Securities and Mortgages, which in part raised equity funds for real estate investments, said Bill Thees, a vice president of that firm and a longtime friend.
“He had an excellent business mind right from the beginning, combined with his personal character, which included a tremendous amount of integrity,” Mr. Thees said.
“You were working for him, but also working with him,” Mr. Thees said. “We talked things through and had a very good understanding, what we wanted to do and where we wanted to get.”
Mr. DiSalle's grandfather, who came to the United States at age 14, was out of work and the middle-aged father of seven when he started an electroplating business in South Toledo.
“Dad was inspired by what his grandfather went through and what he did, an Italian immigrant starting a business from nothing,” said his son Joe DiSalle, who is a DiSalle Real Estate vice president, as is Mr. DiSalle's son Dan, Jr.
Mr. DiSalle was a former president of the Toledo Board of Realtors and was a supporter of charitable and civic causes. He was a former board chairman for St. Luke's Hospital in Maumee, Little Sisters of the Poor in Oregon, and St. Francis de Sales High School. He'd been a trustee of the YMCA of Greater Toledo and founded a golf outing to support Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
“He was a very generous man,” his wife said.
He was born Jan. 11, 1935, to Helen and Joseph DiSalle. At his baptism, his godfather was his uncle Michael V. DiSalle, who became mayor of Toledo and governor of Ohio, and they remained close until Michael DiSalle’s death in Sept. 15, 1981.
Mr. DiSalle was a 1952 graduate of Central Catholic High School and a 1956 graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he was on the swim team. He was an Army veteran.
Surviving are his wife, Mary DiSalle, whom he married Sept. 15, 1960; sons, Dan, Jr., John, Chris, Joe, and Eric; daughters, Mary Catherine Schlatter and Caroline German; brothers, Tony and Joe DiSalle, and 22 grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Coyle Funeral Home, with Scripture services at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday in St. Joseph Church, Maumee.
The family suggests tributes to the Dan and Mary DiSalle scholarship fund at St. Francis de Sales High School; St. Ursula Academy, or Little Sisters of the Poor.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.