William A. Delmont, a powerhouse in Erie County Conservative Party politics, trustee of Erie Community College, founder of the Front Page newspapers serving Lackawanna and the Southtowns and senior executive assistant to former Erie County Executive Dennis Gorski, died Saturday in Erie County Medical Center after a short illness. He was 81.
A native and lifelong resident of Lackawanna, Mr. Delmont was a graduate of Lackawanna High School, attended Canisius College and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He was a disabled veteran.
He served as county chairman of the Conservative Party from 1991 to 1994, was a key adviser to Byron W. Brown during his successful first campaign for mayor of Buffalo in 2005 and was a member of the Erie County Conservative Party's executive board.
Mr. Delmont was Gorski's senior executive assistant from 1995 to 1999, working as liaison with the county's 29 cities and towns to promote efficiency and iron out problems among the municipalities.
He founded the Front Page Group Inc. in 1959, publishing and editing weekly newspapers serving South Buffalo, Lackawanna, West Seneca, Blasdell and Hamburg. He managed all aspects of the newspapers, which became the official newspapers for publication of legal notices of Erie County, Lackawanna, the Town of Hamburg and Blasdell.
Mr. Delmont sold the Front Page in 2010 but retained his status as publisher and editor until the time of his death.
He was a trustee of Erie Community College since his appointment in 2002 by then-Gov. George E. Pataki. He served on the board of directors of Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna from 1982 to 1998 and was a state civil service commissioner from 1972 to 1991, verifying payrolls for the City of Lackawanna, Lackawanna School District and Lackawanna Municipal Housing Authority.
Mr. Delmont was a commissioner of the Lackawanna Municipal Housing Authority from 1958 to 1970, serving as its chairman for six years. He also was Lackawanna's director of civil defense and head of disaster preparedness in 1964-65.
He was a member of the Lackawanna City Council in 1956-57 and was the city's director of development in 1971.
Mr. Delmont was a 45-year member of Matthew Glab Post 1477, American Legion, and was a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
He also was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lackawanna Front Page Man of the Year Award for 2011 and the Lackawanna Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award for 2006.
Among organizations honoring him for community service are the Lake Erie Club, Lackawanna Area Historical Association, Our Lady of Victory Hospital, South Park High School, Matthew Glab Post 1477, Bishop Timon High School Alumni, American Legion of New York, American Lung Association of Western New York, Limestone Club, Western New York Association of Youth Bureaus, Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, South Buffalo Amateur Hockey Association, Shooter Committee on Political Education (SCOPE), Kidney Foundation of Western New York, Col. John B. Weber Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 898 and the National Police Officers Association of America.
Among the messages of condolences is one from Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, who said, "As a journalist, public official and political leader, [Mr. Delmont] served our community with honor and integrity for many, many years. I will miss our regular dinners at Curly's, in the heart of his beloved hometown, where we would hash out the issues of the day."
He was the widower of Mary Ann Salem Delmont.
Survivors include five daughters, Kathy Taylor, Kim, Noreen Guzzo, Lynne Sevinsky and Mary Violanti, and a son, Phillip.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Ridge Road and South Park Avenue, Lackawanna.