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Shawnee Remembers Nicholas P. DiMona III

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Shawnee Remembers Nicholas P. DiMona III

Charlotte Mandy, Editor

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Nicholas P. Dimona III, a twenty-year-old army paratrooper and Shawnee alumni, was killed in a training accident in Alaska. His friends, teachers, and acquaintances at Shawnee remember him as a quiet, dedicated, and charismatic young man who grew up knowing he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. He enlisted in 2017.

Sadly, both father and son were killed during separate training accidents, the senior DiMona having passed in a helicopter accident in South Carolina in 2004 when Nick was about 5-years-old, the younger having been caught in the crossfire during a live night fire exercise.

Even before Nick joined the military, his life was characterized by a desire to serve. In 2016, he ran his father’s hero mile in the annual NJ Run for the Fallen. He spoke often of service in his classes at Shawnee and worked as a camp counselor at the YMCA of the Pines. The local YMCA organization expressed on Facebook that the tragedy left them heartbroken. “Nick practically grew up here,” they wrote, “starting out as a camper and then joining the staff as a junior counselor, counselor, lifeguard, and member of the School’s Out staff.”

Shawnee teacher Danielle Holcombe, whose English class Nick was a part of in his senior year, explains her admiration for his character. “He was always a calming presence in the class,” she says. “He had discipline and a passion that many students his age lacked, and was a kind and loving person that I certainly will never forget.”

Similarly, his junior English teacher Lora Griffin says she remembers his final project most clearly, a presentation which he had memorized and delivered professionally, and with a touch of humor.

“Nick told me that he had asked his recruiter for help with it,” she says. “He knew from a young age that he wanted to serve his country. I can’t say that I knew him well, but I know he was a young man dedicated to and focused on a goal. I would say it was a noble goal.”

Kevin Looney, a Shawnee guidance counselor, was Nick’s counselor while he was at Shawnee. He explains that they got along really well because of Nick’s big heart and his determination to fulfill that noble goal.

“The news of his passing, and knowing what the family has already been through with the loss of his father– it’s truly heartbreaking.”

Brianna Stokes, a senior at Shawnee, was in his world geography class in freshman year. She says she remembers him as “very kind and happy all the time,” a young man who brought a mature sense of well-being to every room he walked in, always smiling.

“I was shy then,” she says, “but I knew he was a rare person.”

He has also been praised as a loyal and true friend, someone who could be depended on to do the right thing, even if it was unpopular or unappreciated. Shawnee science teacher Jennifer Pulliam remembers Nick as “a great big brother” to his sister and her friends.

“He was fun loving, and enjoyed making the most of the situation, whatever it was…It is absolutely tragic that he had to give his life in the process of keeping our Country safe. I don’t think our community will ever be over losing Nick. He will forever be in our thoughts, and our love goes to his family.”

Shawnee’s Yellow Ribbon Club will be allocating funds from their annual Memorial Day Flag Sale to make a plaque for any student or alumni that was killed in action. The tragedy has highlighted how much Nick meant to his community and to his Shawnee family while he was here. He will not be forgotten.

 

Left is Nicholas Dimona II. Bottom right is Nicholas Dimona III.

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