Tony Diaz, 1991 mayoral candidate, who served as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, passed away July 3. His brother Hector Diaz served as town clerk for two decades. Diaz challenged party-endorsed Joe Ganim in a September 1991 Democratic mayoral primary. Ganim won the primary on his way to a general election victory over Republican incumbent Mary Moran.
Antonio Dimas Diaz, age 82 of Bridgeport, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 in his home in the presence of his family. Antonio, known to all his friends and family as “Tony” was born in Naranjito, Puerto Rico, to Maria Cruz Robles and Angel Jesus Diaz.
Antonio dedicated more than forty years to public service and served in more than 30 organization boards through the City of Bridgeport, the State of Connecticut and Puerto Rico. He committed himself to helping the people in his community whether it was filling out job applications, finding them adequate housing, medical services, training, social services assistance or by serving on boards. He became an activist, not only by helping people navigate the system, but also by entering the political arena in the form of volunteering with different political candidates.
Governor Ella Grasso, the first female governor in the State of Connecticut, appointed Mr. Diaz as Assistant Commissioner to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles to which he was later promoted to Deputy Commissioner and served in his position for 18 years. This was a groundbreaking appointment because, at the time, there were no Hispanics employed at that Motor Vehicle Department.
Antonio is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Nilda Diaz, three sons Hector and his wife Juanita, Edwin and his wife Evelyn and Eric Diaz, sister Anita Falco, brothers Roberto, Angel Luis, his grandchildren Nadine, Melissa, and Eric Lee Diaz and great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Antonio Jr., and grandson, Eric Dimas Diaz and brothers Hector, Angel Rafael and Elias. He will certainly be missed by all.
The family will receive friends on Monday, July 8, 2019 between 5 and 8 pm in the Commerce Hill Funeral Home, 4798 Main St., Bridgeport. Funeral services will take place on Tuesday at 11am in the funeral home followed by interment at St Michael’s Cemetery, Stratford. For online condolences, memorial tributes and to order flowers visit us at commercehillfh.com
Mr. Diaz was a good man and a leader for the Hispanics here in the State, God bless and I’m sorry for the family and friends for their lost.
Thank you Ron for your kind words and Lennie for the article. Growing up under my dad and uncle was a blessing. They taught me the value of treating others fairly no matter race, color or creed. To be proud of my family and City. To step up when others are quick to step out. RIP TIO DIMAS… you are already missed…