Octavia Benintende DiLeo passed away at her home on August 17, 5 days prior to her 98th birthday. She was born August 22, 1921 in New Orleans, LA to the late Mariano Benintende and Frances Wian Benintende. She was predeceased by her husband of 67 years, Dr. Frank Paul DiLeo, her sister Phyllis Maria Benintende and her son-in-law Lawrence William Gilbert, Sr. She is survived by her children Linda Rountree (Dale Woodiel), Donna Gilbert and Paul DiLeo. She has three grandchildren, Dr. Erin Wian Gilbert (Elizabeth), Dr. Carl Barth Rountree, Jr. (Lisa), Leeann Rountree Marcie (Steve) and Lawrence William Gilbert, Jr. (Janine) and four great grandchildren: Riley Rountree, Luke and Jack Marcie and Ava Gilbert.
She graduated from Loyola University and attended Loyola Law School where she was the recipient of the St. Thomas More Law Key. She was Executive Secretary to the Chief of Shipbuilding of the U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II. On June 7, 1944 she married Dr. Frank DiLeo. As a new bride she moved to Angola, LA where Frank was the dentist. Later, they moved to St. Francisville, LA. There she was president of the P.T.A. After serving for two years at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, CO, they returned to New Orleans, LA.
In 1977 she was selected the Louisiana Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc. In 1986 she organized the National Convention of American Mothers, Inc. in New Orleans. Mrs. DiLeo served as president of the New Orleans Dental Association and of the Louisiana Dental Association. She was custodian of the Dental Student Loan Fund for 10 years. She served as president of the Louisiana Chapter of American Mothers, Lakeshore Women’s Club, and Lakeshore Garden Club. She was a Girl Scout Leader in St. Francisville, Colorado Springs and New Orleans. She and her husband served as presidents of the Holiday Social Club and she was on the board of Lakeshore Property Owner’s Association. She was also given the distinction of Honorary Senator of Louisiana by Lt. Governor James Fitzmorris for her civic activities. Mrs. Dileo was Line Lieutenant Emeritus of the Krewe of Iris and was a member of the New Orleans Republican Women, St. Vincent’s Guild and Plimsoll Club.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at Greenwood Funeral Home 5200 Canal Blvd. New Orleans. Visitation will be from 11am-1pm and mass following. A reception will follow the service.
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