Dean Francis Wilhelm, 62, of Alexandria, Va., passed away Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008, from complications of GIST. Mr. Wilhelm served for nearly 25 years as General Manager of Holiday Inn Capitol in Washington, D.C., the seventh largest Holiday Inn in the United States.
Born July 6, 1946 in Norwalk, where he was raised in Norwalk, he graduated from St. Paul’s High School in 1964. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and joined the hotel business, and worked in that field for nearly 40 years, beginning as a bellman and working his way up. He was recognized in 2007 as the “Best of the Best” General Manager for Holiday Inn Worldwide.
Besides his duties with Holiday Inn, he also served on the Board of Directors of the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. for 20 years. He advocated the formation of a charter school called Hospitality High School and assisted in the formulation of the curriculum to mentor and prepare inner-city students for college and a career in the hospitality industry. Over the course of the past 10 years, Dean and his staff have mentored 20 students and provided jobs for eight. Because of his commitment to education and the hospitality field, a scholarship has been formed in his name.
Dean’s leadership and commitment to the youth of D.C. was once again manifested in his unwavering support of the Bridges Marriott Foundation, a program that assists youth with disabilities with obtaining meaningful employment. In 2006 he was recognized as the Bridges Marriott Foundation’s “Employer of the Year” for the hotel’s support of the program.
He is survived by his brother, Roger Wilhelm, of Norwalk; and two sisters, Judith Miller, of Bellevue, and Joan Kehrer, of Lakewood, Colo.
Mr. Wilhelm leaves behind many devoted family members.