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Home Obituaries In Memory: Ronald J. Diorio, Age 86

In Memory: Ronald J. Diorio, Age 86

Obituary - Ronald J Diorio1Ronald J. Diorio of Naples, Florida passed away peacefully at age 86 on Friday, September 16, 2022 surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his wife Arlene Diorio, his five children, Cathy, Stephen, Jeffrey, Paul, and Jonathan, nine grandchildren and his brother Anthony Diorio.

Ron Diorio was born in the Bronx, NY to Nicholas and Anne Diorio in 1936. They moved to Yonkers where he grew up and met his wife and the love of his life, Arlene. They were married in 1958.

Mr. Diorio graduated from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, with a degree in Finance, and was one of the first in his family to attend college. Over the next sixteen years, he moved through the upper ranks of the international banking industry, from Bank of America to American Express Banking Corporation, rising to the level of Senior Vice President. In 1967, Ron started American Express International Bank in Rome, Italy and trained the first generation of Italian multinational bankers.

Mr. Diorio was a prominent Rye resident from 1978 to 1994, residing on Drake Smith Lane, and having graduated three children (Jon, Jeff, Paul) from Rye High School.

Mr. Diorio went on to lead Finance and Operations at ACLI International, a commodities trading firm, and, ultimately, he founded The Drakewood Company, where he pioneered the field of interim executive search.

A larger than life personality, Ron was held in high regard by his family, friends, and professional peers for his extreme intellect, his outrageous sense of humor, and his devotion to his family and close friends. His wide-ranging passions included Shakespeare, travel, education, languages, gardening, baking bread and Italian cooking – especially pignoli cookies. His number one passion, however, was his family, where he was inseparable from his wife of 64 years and beloved by his children and nine grandchildren.

Affectionately known as Big Benny Borghese by his family, Diorio was proud of his Italian heritage, gaining many lifelong friends while residing with his family in Rome, Italy in the late 1960’s. More recently, he was one of the early influencers and a member of the Founding Board of Directors of the Italian Cultural Society in Naples, FL, which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Italy.

Intellectually curious his entire life, in retirement Ron attended programs at Oxford, Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English and St. John’s College in Santa Fe, studying Shakespeare, literature and writing. Moving to Naples, FL in 1994, Ron was instrumental in creating several cultural institutions, including the Renaissance Academy, now renamed FGCU Academy, which offers 1,500 year-round cultural and educational programs at a dozen locations from Marco Island to Punta Gorda. According to Jack Crocker, Founding FGCU Arts & Sciences Dean, “Ron Diorio should be praised and remembered for being a primary catalyst for life-long learning opportunities throughout SW Florida. His legacy lives on.”

A private memorial will be held with close family and friends on October 15 in Naples, FL.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ron Diorio’s name to the Kapadia Education Foundation, which has created a sponsorship in his name, reflecting his lifelong commitment to the importance of education and mentoring young people.

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