Frank A. Delia, a retired automobile dealer and racehorse owner, died Sunday in Mercy Hospital. He was 71.
Before retiring in 2003, Mr. Delia was owner and president of the Delia Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac and Chrysler car dealerships and a GMC truck dealership in East Aurora. He also had Volkswagen and Chevrolet agencies in the Town of Tonawanda and Niagara Falls, respectively.
Born in Niagara Falls, he graduated from Orchard Park High School and lived all his adult life in the community. As a member of Operating Engineers Local 17 in his earlier years, he worked on the Niagara Power Project and Kensington Expressway.
He entered the automotive field in the mid-1960s as a salesman at Ray Laks Mercury in Kenmore and worked at Anderson Ford in Lackawanna before buying his first business -- the East Aurora Buick franchise -- in 1971.
A lover of standardbred horses, he bought his first in 1959 and over the ensuing years raced trotters and pacers at many tracks.
Mr. Delia was a member of several business and horsemen's groups and gave to many charitable organizations, including his favorite -- the Boys and Girls Club of East Aurora.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Uhrich Delia; two sons, August and Patrick; two daughters, Cheryl O'Marra and Sharron Beaver; a brother, Anthony; and a sister, Carol Seifert.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 3148 Abbott Road, Orchard Park.