Carmen Joseph ‘Duke’ Deldeo Jr., 72

Carmen Joseph “Duke” Deldeo Jr., 72, of Dagsboro, Del., passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, Del., with his wife, Betty Lou, and daughter, Cara, by his side. He was born in Wilmington, Del., son of the late Carmen and Carmela Deldeo.

Deldeo attended Holy Rosary School, Salesianum School, the University of Delaware, Villanova University and the Wilmington College doctoral program.

He held many educational positions, including college professor, administrative assistant to the superintendent, nutrition supervisor, high-school and middle-school principal, teacher and coach. He also taught business courses at Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey and William Penn High School in Delaware. His girls’ track team was undefeated. He was the assistant principal of Avon Grove High School in Pennsylvania.

Deldeo returned to Delaware and settled in Sussex County, which he called “God’s Country.” He retired from work for the Indian River School District after 35 years of service.

He was a member of many professional and social organizations, including the Delaware Association of School Administrators; Delaware Association of Business Officials; Delaware School Nutrition Association (earning an Outstanding Member Award); the Lions Club; Lower Delaware Baseball/Softball Umpires Association; Lower Sussex Little League; Delaware Association of School Administrators (treasurer); and Delaware Umpires Association (secretary).

Deldeo was a college, high school and Little League baseball/softball umpire for 27 years. He held many unusual jobs: auditor, bartender, chicken farmer, construction worker, doorman and factory worker. He received an award for being the best Santa Claus for Strawbridge & Clothier. He was a volunteer speaker for the American Cancer Society.

Deldeo and his extended family, Tom and Grace Milspaw and coach Eldred Cress, enjoyed following the softball career of his daughter Cara from Little League to the state high school championship to ASA and St. Joseph’s collegiate competitions.

Deldeo was an avid hunter and fisherman. He and his cousin, Doc Deldeo, had many great hunting and fishing memories. He especially enjoyed deer hunting with every weapon Delaware allowed.

In addition to his parents, Deldeo was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Ann Brown. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Betty Lou; a daughter, Cara M. Robinson and her husband, Robbie; two grandsons and a granddaughter, Brayden, Cole and Allie.

The memorial service to celebrate his life was to be held Dec. 19, 2019, at Melson Funeral Services, Ocean View, Del. In lieu of flowers, the family requested memorial donations to the Delaware Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; 100 West 10th St.; Wilmington, DE 19801, or to consider honoring his life by making a blood donation. Condolences may be sent online at