Don Dinan, the cofounder of the Alexandria Aces summer collegiate baseball team, died after a period of declining health on Monday. He was 74.
A D.C. resident, Donald Robert Dinan spent decades as an international trade and intellectual property attorney. He was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, and was raised in Ellicott City, Maryland, and met his future wife Amy at Mt. St. Joseph High School in Baltimore. Dinan earned degrees from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1971, Georgetown University Law Center in 1974, and the London School of Economics in 1975. In addition to being a practicing attorney, for 30 years he taught a course in international trade law at Georgetown University.
Dinan was active in local politics, volunteering as president of D.C.’s Ward 6 Democrats and as General Counsel for the D.C. Democratic State Committee. He also represented D.C. as a superdelegate at three Democratic National Conventions and served on the DNC’s rules and bylaws subcommittee.
In 2006, Dinan founded the Alexandria Aces with Alexandria’s Pat Malone and was the executive director of the nonprofit for more than a decade.
“Without Don there would be no Alexandria Aces,” Malone said. “He was an amazing guy, the kind of person you could call up any time to pick up a conversation that you’d had with him weeks before.”
Malone said that Dinan contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the Aces, and that he’ll be thinking of him at the first Aces game this summer.
“Losing Don is a gut punch for me personally,” Malone said. “He loved Alexandria and being a part of the community with the Aces. It was his pride and joy. He bought all the equipment for the team, and he paid for the dugouts. The dugouts at Frank Mann Field are 55-feet-long. They’re huge, and he paid for them.”
Dinan is survived by his wife, his daughter Emma Ellenrieder and her husband, Matthias, his siblings James Dinan and his wife Elizabeth Miller, William Dinan, Mary Anne Dinan and Barbara Guiltinan with her husband Edward.
A visitation will be held at DeVol Funeral Home (2222 Wisconsin Avenue, NW) from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11. A mass will be celebrated in his honor at St. Peter’s Church in D.C. (313 2nd Street, SE) on Monday, Feb. 12 at 9:30 a.m., followed by an internment at Congressional Cemetery (1801 E Street, SE). Dinan’s family asks in lieu of flowers that donations be made in his name to Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, or to The Society to Preserve H.L. Mencken’s Legacy.