Editorial: The real estate, and human, legacy of Dennis Delap
A framed photograph of Founder Dennis Delap is displayed, Wednesday, at the Delap Real Estate office in Northampton. SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »
Dennis Delap is gone but not forgotten. And that’s the way it should be. Delap, 65, died in mid-October from a viral infection after returning from a vacation in France with his wife, Paula Olson.
As we reported in our business section Monday, Delap, a longtime real estate agent, left his business to his staff as equal partners. We were struck by Delap’s generosity toward his co-workers and the outpouring of love for this man by the people who worked with him.
Linger on that phrase: “worked with him.” Not “worked for him.” With. One such word can make such a difference in a workplace.
Delap’s business has offices in Northampton and Amherst. The company’s nearly dozen workers learned a day or two after his death that Delap had left the entire business to them. Still grieving, the staff needed time to absorb the impact of this gesture.
People who worked with Delap described him, after his death, as a selflessness person with a collaborative spirit. He was open, encouraging, confident and spirited.
To quote one staff member, “Dennis was a philosopher. He had a demeanor and philosophy about life and how to treat people — to not expect anything from them, but to give to them instead.”
The staff is carrying on his legacy. They are committed to making a go of the business. Pictures of him adorn the office walls. Reproductions of oil paintings done by him are also on display.
Thanks to his legacy, Dennis Delap still walks among those he respected and trusted to carry on the work of the company that still bears his name.