Dominic F. Clemente, a longtime Del Monte Foods Co. employee whose dedication to his job was rivaled only by his commitment to his family, died June 9. He was 72.
Mr. Clemente, of Monroeville, worked at Del Monte as a director and in a number of other positions for almost a decade, after the San Francisco company acquired several product lines from Mr. Clemente's former employer, Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co., and established offices on the North Shore.
Mr. Clemente was known for arriving at work well before anyone else each morning and serving as a confidant and mentor to many co-workers and friends. "If you needed anything, if you had any problems, any issues, you'd talk to him and it would be resolved," said his son, Mark Clemente, of Murrysville. "He'd always have the right words to say."
The younger Clemente said his father would wake up at 3 a.m. each day and exercise before heading to work, where he would finish many of the day's tasks before his co-workers even arrived. As people trickled in, Mr. Clemente would stroll through the hallways whistling and greeting colleagues.
David McLain, senior vice president and chief information officer at Del Monte, said Mr. Clemente became personally invested in the projects he oversaw and worked hard to mobilize the staff to meet goals. He said Mr. Clemente had no qualms about telling his superiors how they could work more efficiently and effectively.
"Dom was an extraordinary human being," said Robert Ferguson, a vice president at Del Monte. "He had a work ethic unlike anyone I've ever met."
When executives learned of Mr. Clemente's death, Mr. McLain said they felt he was so well known that they went from floor to floor Monday to personally inform the staff.
"He had this really unique way of bringing out the best in people and not doing it in a way that made them feel unworthy," Mr. McLain said.
Despite that dedication to his "second family" at Del Monte, Mark Clemente said his father was always present and devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren.
In 2010, Mark's son was diagnosed with leukemia, and Mr. Clemente returned to Pennsylvania from a business trip in Kansas City, Mo., within a matter of hours. A devout Roman Catholic who found strength in his faith, he was a constant source of support throughout his grandson's battle with cancer, Mark Clemente said.
That experience motivated Mr. Clemente to become an annual participant in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk to raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research. Maureen Durkin, director of the walk at the society's Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia chapter, said Mr. Clemente always brought a large group to the event and raised about $2,000 each year.
His wife, Donna, said she knows her husband of 54 years had an impact. "He was my friend, my husband, he was my confidant," she said. "Whenever anybody needed him, he was there. He's going to be sorely missed by everybody here."
Mr. Clemente also lectured and taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, while also serving on the latter's Information Systems Management board.
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Clemente is survived by his mother, Mary Clemente, of Verona; another son, Anthony Clemente of Monroeville; two daughters, Maria Dicesere of Hempfield and Kathy Evason of Mt. Lebanon; a brother, Frederick Clemente, of Atlanta; and 11 grandchildren.
Visitation will be held Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Gene H. Corl Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services of Monroeville. Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at St. Bernadette Church in Monroeville.
Memorial contributions may be made to Team Mike Mikes at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, River Walk Corporate Center, 333 E. Carson St., Suite 441, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
Daniel Sisgoreo: email@example.com, 412-263-1410 or on Twitter @danielsisgoreo.