A photo of Dominic Louis “Dom” Gonzon, Sr.

Dominic Louis “Dom” Gonzon, Sr.

September 7, 1937 - March 15, 2020

Dominic Louis “Dom” Gonzon, Sr., owner of Penn Bantam market from the 1960’s through the ‘80s, passed away on Sunday, March 15, 2020.  The New Castle native and longtime Middletown resident was 82 years old.

Penn Bantam was a family business run by Dom and his wife, Donna, with the help of their children, Nick and Lisa. He was the “neighborhood grocer” and more, providing made to order subs and deli sandwiches, cold cuts, groceries and convenience items to local families and businesses. He could be counted on to provide fresh coffee and egg sandwiches in the morning, party trays for special events, and fruit baskets over the holidays. If a local family needed anything, they could depend on Mr. Dom. He knew everyone’s regular order by just their name or face.

For Dom, family also meant community, and he made Penn Bantam a home to everyone in the neighborhood. Dom was a mentor and shared his passion for business and strong work ethic with the many young people who found their first job there. During a time when opportunities working outside the home were limited for many, Dom offered families a way to provide for their own with a sense of pride. From teens, to young adults with developmental disabilities, to parents, to those who would otherwise be retired or unemployed, he always found a job for anyone.

Dom was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. He enjoyed traveling with Donna in their RV, making many friends with whom to share in new adventures. He was a lifelong fisherman and an avid gardener, providing friends, neighbors, and the local senior center with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. He taught his children and grandchildren how to swim and fish, and shared with them an appreciation of the beauty of nature.

A veteran of the Delaware National Guard, and a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Dom was an active member of his church community, serving as a Eucharistic Minister for over forty years. 

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Infusion Center at Christiana Care and to the staff at Dr. Himelstein’s Office for their excellent care.

Dom is survived by his wife of 56 years, Donna Gonzon (Meekins); his son, Dominic (Nick) Jr., his wife, Stacey, their children, Becky and Nicky; and his daughter Lisa, her husband Bernard McKenna, and their children, Aedin and Christopher. He was the last surviving member of his childhood family, which included parents, Frank and Margaret Gonzon; and siblings, Francis (Zeke) Gonzon, Josephine Knight, Anthony Gonzon, Sister Mary Frances Carmel, OSF, and Joseph Gonzon.

All services will be held privately. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the PAN Foundation, P.O. Box 30500, Bethesda MD 20824.

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24 Guestbook messages for Dominic Louis “Dom” Gonzon, Sr.

  • So sorry for your loss. Sending our deepest condolences to you and your family. Dan, Lisa, and Mikayla Murphy

  • The Caputo’s send our condolences to Lisa and the entire family. So sorry for your loss.

  • What a loss! Everyone knew Penn Bantam and “Dom”. There was only one and no one like him. He had such a huge impact on countless lives of the customers and employees, including me. He was the one everyone could count on to help them in anyway needed. He gave so many young people the opportunity to work and trained them to succeed. If you lived in Gordy Estates, Bestfield, Westview, Lyndalia, or Newport, you all knew Dom. He would know you and your order from the minute he saw you. You simply will not find that personality and service in a small store today. Rest well Dom. You earned it. Prayers for Donna, Lisa, and Nick, and their families.

  • Donna & Family,

    Dad and I are sending you and your family our sincerest condolences on the passing of Dom. He was a very special man, and will be missed by many. I’m blessed to have known such a special man, and I’m thankful for the times we spent together. We will be keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Sherry Moore & Will Moore

  • I shall always remember Dom being a gentleman and a great citizen with high standards. He was a good friend and generous in all ways! God bless you DEAREST FRIEND –
    I shall never forget you. Love Always, E. Gale Noel DeAscanis

  • It was my good fortune to get to know Dom. Our relationship began as a business relationship but somewhere along the way, we became friends as well. That was Dom’s way. He had such a zest for life and never failed to find humor in any situation….even stressful ones. Thank you for letting me share a part of your life. It was an honor. Cynthia Hewitt

  • Praying for all of you during such a deep family loss. He truly made a difference in his community!

  • I remember stopping in Penn Bantam when I was little. My father would stop to pick up lunchmeat after leaving Krebs and before we headed home. He always enjoyed chatting with Dom (Mr. Gonzon to me back then) and when he spoke of him, it was always with admiration and respect.
    Later, when I was a teen and started dating my husband,Tom, Penn Bantam became a regular haunt for us. Not only would Dom stop to talk or joke with us, I got to know his son, Nick. Fast forward years later, Nick became our daughter’s godfather and we’d get invited to gatherings at Donna and Dom’s house. I learned, over those years and as an adult, why my father respected Dom so much. Dom was a self-made man — dynamic, intelligent, and self-assured. He was also kind, inclusive, patient, and full of good humor. He was the kind of man everyone admired. I know I did. I consider myself lucky to have known him. May he rest in peace.

  • I knew Dom since I was a child and Penn Bantam was a huge part of my young life.,I have so many fond memories of Dom and the store. He was as iconic as the store itself, always a smile and a warm hello when you entered. To this day, I’ve yet to find a place that makes a better breakfast sandwich. I’ve known the Gonzon family for most of my life and I’m blessed to call his son my best friend. I can’t begin to say how sorry I am for their loss. The entire family has my deepest sympathy.

  • My condolences.. Dom was a truly an execeptional individual .. he taught soo many soo people many things. He truly care for his community…thank you Dom! Prayers to the family!!

  • Donna and Lisa my prayers are with you at this sad time.

  • Don was a special person, always had a smile on his face when you walked into Penn Bantam, always willing to help. Never forgot a name or face. It was the neighborhood store that kids stopped by after school to pick up a snack as they walked home. I’ve thought of him thru the years after he sold the store, Penn Bantam was never the same.
    My deepest sympathy to his family, but I can’t help to think the heaven has gained another great angel.

  • Dear Donna and Family,

    My thoughts are with all of you at this sad time and I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to everyone in your family.

  • Our Deepest Sympathy to Donna, Nick and Lisa, Dom was my boss for more then 20 Years. My mother worked there also, he treated us all like family. We were lucky to have him in our lives.

    Dave & Patti Edwards and Family

  • Please allow me to extend my sincere, prayers, condolences and love for the loss of your loved one. May the arms of our Lord and Savior wrap his loving arms around each and everyone of you and provide peace and comfort.

  • Just wanted to extend deepest sympathy to you and your family. We lived in Westview for 20+ years before moving to Middletown. Always loved Penn Bantam and went to the store, probably on a daily basis. Dominic was always so friendly and helpful. He will be truly missed by everyone.

  • RIP Dominic,you Al at Twin Kiss,Morris Fleshman at Morris’s Sub Shop,were all an integral part of this Gordy guys youth.Thanks for being there Dominic.

  • Our families deepest condolences to the Gonzon family. Dom was a great man and a big part of our family’s life as we were growing up. We are very sorry to hear of your loss.

    The Cammock Family

  • So sad Dom was a very respectful and friendly person . I’ve known him all my life from my many visit in the store before going to Krebs .He will be greatly missed . RIH Dom praying for the family 🙏🏽🙏🏽

  • My deepest sympathy to Donna, Nick and Lisa. Working at Penn Bantam for Dom and Donna was one the best experiences of my life. As my first employer Dom taught me and so many other young teenagers life lessons that helped us as we turned into young adults. I’m thankful to have had the honor of knowing the Gonzon family knowing that what I learned from Dom was more valuable than any paycheck I have ever received. Rest well till we meet again!

    Randy Powell

  • I will always remember you, My brother Chip worked there and many of my friends. There will never be a better Cheesesteak or Italian Sub! Rest In Peace Dom🙏 Prayers for your family 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Truly sad to hear of Dom’s passing. Going to Penn Bantam was a ritual on the way home from Krebs. I worked at Penn Bantam in the early 70’s and he was a wonderful ” boss”. Everybody loved Dom!

  • I loved Penn Batman subs and I remember that when I went to Krebs and before school in the freezing winter I would go to Penn Batman and get a cup of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate for .25cents and Don would be there sweeping the floor. Penn Batman went down the hill when Don sold it. Rest In Peace Don.

  • I was saddened to hear of Dom’s passing. He gave me my first job at Penn Bantam many years ago. He was always so kind. My condolences to the family.