Remembering Frank DiGiacomo, retired publisher of School Bus Fleet and Metro Magazine.

Many who knew Frank DiGiacomo described him as a “class act."

Source: Canva

Frank DiGiacomo, the retired longtime publisher of School Bus Fleet and Metro Magazine and a Hall-of-Fame member of the National Association of Pupil Transportation, died in New Jersey on May 9. He was 84.

Ken Hedgecock, who got to know DiGiacomo during the publisher’s tenure before he retired in January 2022, remembered him fondly.

“I am grieved to hear of Frank’s passing,” said Hedgecock, who used to work for Thomas Built Buses but is now with United Safety and Survivability Corporation. “Frank was a passionate advocate of pupil transportation. He was also a man of his word and he always did what he committed to do.”

Many who knew DiGiacomo described him as a “class act,” including Mike Simmons, president of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. “He was a true leader in the school transportation industry, but he was also a great man and a friend. Our industry is far better for his efforts, and he will be truly missed.”

“Frank DiGiacomo was a true gentleman,” said Ronna Weber, NASDPTS executive director. “His contributions to the school transportation industry stand as a testament to his commitment to and love for our industry. Our thoughts are with his friends and family as we, the school transportation community, mourn his passing. He will be missed.”

"The best dressed person at anytime for any occasion," recalled John Benish, Jr., National School Transportation Association past president and leader of Cook-Illinois Corp. "A wonderful man!" 

When he announced plans to retire, Justyne Lobello, then with Blue Bird Corporation, said: “When I think of Frank, I think of one word: relationships. He introduced me to many people, ideas, and concepts that are not able to be written down – knowledge that is truly industry-specific and was attained through decades of experiences. I can’t thank him enough for his support and fellowship.”

“Frank was always the consummate professional,” said Mario DiFoggio, general manager for direct sales and marketing at Thomas Built. “Caring, compassionate, insightful, and always dressed to the nines! Under his leadership, he helped to build a solid foundation for the longstanding partnership between SBF and Thomas. His legacy will stand strong in our industry for years to come.”

Molly McGee Hewitt, CEO and executive director of NAPT, said: “It is with regret that we learn of the passing of NAPT Hall of Famer Frank DiGiacomo. Earning our highest honor was a well-earned award for Frank! Our members remember his excellent coverage of our industry, his love of socializing and networking, and his deep Philadelphia roots. We sincerely appreciate his life and contributions.”

Ed Donn, past president of NAPT, said DiGiacomo will be remembered for his sincere commitment to the association.

“I have known Frank a number of decades and have the utmost respect for him,” Donn said. “He understood how important NAPT was to the industry as it is the glue that helps hold the industry together. He recognized that without a national organization, the industry would be splintered into public vs. private, contractor vs. public, vendors and suppliers and state directors. He saw the impact that it has on the media and vice versa. Joining all these groups together is critical to all who are part of this industry. I was pleased when NAPT recognized Frank for his support over the many years and for all his personal efforts on behalf of the industry as he was selected into the NAPT Hall of Fame. He will be missed but not forgotten by his many colleagues.”

Hedgecock shared his recollection that DiGiacomo rarely missed an opportunity to sharpen his golf game while attending conferences around the country.

“Even worked on my game a few times with him,” Hedgecock said. “May he rest in peace, except when the good Lord has a tee time for him!”

Visitation and funeral are planned May 15 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at The Catholic Community of Christ Our Light Church in Cherry Hill, N.J., with a funeral mass at 11:30 a.m. That’ll be followed by interment at New St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bellmawr.

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Executive Editor

Wes Platt joined Bobit in 2021 as executive editor of School Bus Fleet Magazine. He writes and edits content about student transportation, school bus manufacturers and equipment, legislative issues, maintenance, fleet contracting, and school transportation technology - from classic yellow diesel buses to the latest EPA-funded electric, propane, and CNG vehicles.

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