Patrick Meconi, 93, of Wilmington died on June 3 at Wilmington Hospital, surrounded by his family.
He was born Pasquale George Meconi in Williamsport, PA to the late Giuseppe and Anna Maria Imbriacco Meconi, two Italian immigrants. He was an Army Air Force veteran of World War II, entering upon his 18th birthday. But before induction, Pat co-chaired the bond drive at Williamsport High School that raised enough money to buy five jeeps for the Army. He was a cadet officer training to be a B-29 flight engineer in San Marcos, TX when the war ended. He attended Kutztown State Teachers College in Kutztown, PA and Pennsylvania State University in College Park, PA on the GI Bill, graduating from Penn State with a B.A. in Architectural Engineering, the first and only member of his family to get a four-year college education. One summer during college, Pat assisted his brother by coaching in the very first Little League World Series in Williamsport.
You may not have known Pat, but you might know his work. He was an architect for over 60 years, heading his own firm for the last 46 years of his career. He retired only to care full-time for his late wife. Among his more than 800 commissions were the Chandler Funeral Home on Concord Pike, Tilton Terrace Nursing Home in Wilmington, the Wilmington Swim School, the Port of Wilmington’s Refrigerated Warehouse, the Hockessin Community Library, Churchman Village nursing home in Newark, the Warren-Franklin Hall dormitory at Delaware State University in Dover, Cavanaugh Ford Motors in Salisbury, MD, the restoration of the Cupola atop Legislative Hall in Dover, and his own home on Shipley Road. Nationally, he had projects from Massachusetts to Puerto Rico, including the brand new Mary Black Memorial Hospital in Spartanburg, SC. In a profession not always known for repeat clients, he had 84 different projects over four decades for the Mount Pleasant/Brandywine School District. He once described architecture’s enduring appeal for him by saying, simply, “After a building is finished, you can stand there and look at it.” He was appointed by three governors to four terms on the State Board of Examination and Registration of Architects, serving for 16 years, and also served for three years as a director on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
Pat often called himself “the luckiest man in the world.” He said he was “blessed with great parents (a couple of tough cookies), military service, a great education, a wide-ranging, very interesting architectural career, all while living in the greatest country in the world — ever — despite all its faults, and on top of all of that, a fabulous bride who raised a great family and was everything to me.” He was extremely well read, with a personal library of over 1,000 books (only one of them a work of fiction), from which he could quote extensively. He was notable for always making Christmas special for his family. In his final years, he entertained his family by writing and distributing, a page or two at a time, his multi-chapter “Gramps Scrapbook” detailing his memories of growing up during the Great Depression, his military service, and his years as an architect (with a measure of personal philosophy and political commentary as well).
In addition to his parents, Pat was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Mary Lewis Meconi; his sisters Mary Devereaux, Sylvia Baldini, Delphine Pierri, and Johanna Casale; his brothers Toselle Meconi, Dominic Meconi, Rocco Meconi, Julius Meconi, and Amos Meconi; and his granddaughter, Kelly Meconi.
He is survived by his four children, Vincent Meconi and his wife Sharon of Wilmington, Honey Meconi and her husband Michel Godts of Rochester, NY, Kevin Meconi and his wife Michele of Wilmington, and Michael Meconi of Wilmington; three grandchildren, Lindsay Selk and her husband Steven, Jamie Meconi and her husband Michael Mayo, and Yannick Godts; and one great-grandchild, Jackson Selk.
The Meconi Family is grateful for the excellent care provided to Pat by the Wilmington Hospital Intensive Care Unit, Shipley Manor Nursing Home, and caregivers Debbie Matthews and Gina Thomas.