Melanie S. Delman (April 3, 1957 – September 22, 2018)
Melanie Delman, President of Lila Delman Real Estate and life-long Rhode Island resident passed away peacefully on Saturday evening after complications from breast cancer. In her final days, she was surrounded by her loving sister, Pamela Delman-Hodnett, devoted companion, and close family. During her decade long battle with breast cancer, Melanie continued to sell some of the state’s most iconic coastal properties. A woman with unprecedented strength and courage, Melanie never let her illness interfere with her client’s best interest.
As a second generation real estate executive, Melanie began her illustrious career under the guidance of her mother, Lila Delman, helping with all aspects of the business. In time, Melanie took over the helm as President of Lila Delman Real Estate, with the assistance of her sister and co-owner, Pamela Delman-Hodnett, and brother in-law and co-owner John Hodnett. With their leadership and tenacity, the company grew dramatically, expanding to six office locations across the state, perhaps the most impressive of which being Newport.
A community rooted in tradition and deep ties within Aquidneck Island, Melanie broke barriers, making a splash in the Newport real estate market as an outsider from across the bay. Armed with “Christie’s Great Estates” Magazines, hand written notes, and her stilettos, Melanie reached directly to property owners across Newport, hoping some were ready to see a new way of doing business.
Melanie’s passion for property and alluring personality quickly captivated the greater Newport community. Her persistence, poise and fervency established Melanie’s roots across Aquidneck Island. In time, Melanie’s name became synonymous with luxury real estate and community involvement.
Melanie also had a great love for historic properties and became a leader in preservation efforts across the state. She was proud to be a recipient of the first Doris Duke Award for Historic Preservation for the restoration work done at the company’s Newport office. She was later honored by Preserve Rhode Island for the renovation of the company’s Narragansett office and received a Rhody Award for Historic Preservation for their Providence location.
Melanie was a huge advocate for women, both personally and professionally. Melanie mentored many women starting out in the industry, fostering careers of some of the top performing agents and business owners in the state. Melanie believed in the independence and resilience of women, sharing her beliefs and experiences with all those she could.
Melanie’s professional success is unparalleled. To date, she has sold more multi-million dollar properties in Rhode Island than any other broker. Through her battle, she continued to thrive in the real estate industry. She was determined to leave a legacy that would not be forgotten.
Melanie will be remembered as a spirited industry icon with a love for the beach, fashion, dancing, and culinary experiences. She enjoyed time at her property in Naples and the beach cottage at Castle Hill Inn.
From the Narragansett Sea Wall to Bellevue Avenue; Trattoria Romano to Clarke Cooke House, Melanie’s spirit dances on. Her story continues to inspire all those whose lives she has touched.
Melanie is survived by her co-owners, nieces and nephews, husband and family.
A celebration of Melanie’s life will be hosted at Lila Delman Real Estate’s flagship location, 41 Ocean Road in Narragansett this Thursday September 27th from 5:00-7:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in Melanie’s name may be made to the Susan G Komen foundation for Breast Cancer, noting “The Melanie Delman Grant.” Susan G. Komen New England, 76 Batterson Park Road, Farmington, CT 06032