Diane Therese DiMare Bongiorno, a longtime seasonal and year-round resident of Edgartown, died July 5 at Emerson Hospital in Concord. She was 86.

She was the youngest of three siblings, born Sept. 20, 1936 in Belmont to Sebastian Henry DiMare and Mary Elizabeth DiMare. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology, magna cum laude, from Boston University in 1956, and her master’s in business administration from Northeastern University in 1983.

She was a beloved elementary school teacher, avid reader, modern art collector, businesswoman and devoted mother and wife. She was admired for her grace, her deep capacity to love and her boundless kindness. 

Diane and Anthony Bongiorno met in 1956 and they were married on Feb. 1, 1957. They lived in Boston and Lynnfield before moving to Concord in 1961 to start their family. In those early years, Diane taught kindergarten, first and third grades in the Everett, Lynnfield and Concord public schools. She was a passionate teacher with a gift for encouraging her students, providing them a loving environment and a wonderful sense that the world was theirs to explore and to savor.

She was an avid art collector and in the early 1970s she opened a private gallery displaying artists then considered avant-garde, including Karl Appel, Victor Vasarely and Joan Miro. With her husband Tony she worked for many years in real estate development and construction for their companies Walden Construction, Bongiorno Associates and School House Enterprises. 

Martha’s Vineyard was one of her favorite places. She and Tony began spending summers in Edgartown when their children were young. It became a second home where many precious memories and experiences are still held dear by three generations of family and friends — clamming, blueberry picking, beach picnics and expert cooking. Diane made these family traditions profound for everyone around her.

She was also an excellent tennis player and equestrian, a master at needlepoint and an accomplished pianist.

She loved dinners at the Edgartown Yacht Club, dancing with her husband and sunny days at the Chappaquiddick Beach Club with her grandchildren.

One of her great passion projects was the renovation of the old Edgartown schoolhouse on School street as the Bongiorno family home. Upon its completion in 1985, Diane became a permanent resident of Martha’s Vineyard, where she lived until 2008. She was an active member of the Edgartown community with a deep appreciation for the Edgartown library, where she served on the library’s board of trustees from 2000-2009 and was vice-chair from 2005-2009. During those years, she also led the library planning committee, a group that laid the groundwork for the beautiful building that houses the library today.  

Diane is survived by her beloved family: her husband Anthony John Bongiorno; her son Grant Daniel Bongiorno; older daughter Laura Diane Bongiorno, her spouse Kelly Stiles and their children Sophie and Lilian; younger daughter Alyssa Mary Bongiorno; brother Seymour DiMare and sister in law Paula DiMare; and a large loving family of cousins. A sister, Annamarie DiMare Hayes Eggert, died in 2021.

Memorial donations may be made to the Edgartown Public Library in one of two ways, either through the Friends of the Edgartown Free Public Library website (in memory of Diane Bongiorno) or via check to the library.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 4 at Saint Bridget’s Church in Maynard.