Dan "Desi" Lanio, the man considered to be the "unofficial" mayor of Hampton, died Monday at the age of 70.

The death of the former 401 Tavern owner will be a huge loss for the town of Hampton, according to current Selectman Vice Chairman Chuck Rage.

"He was just an amazing person. He did a lot for all of us. His theme was 'it's only a movie' and as far as I am concerned, his movie would be considered a classic and classics go on forever," Rage told Seacoast Current. "The town is going to miss him."

Rage called Lanio an example of goodness, civic duty and philanthropy who didn't seek attention.

"A lot of stuff that he did was under the radar. He just helped a lot of people, organized things for the town. He did a lot of charity events for different people in the town of Hampton like golf outings.

Dan "Desi" Lanio
Dan "Desi" Lanio (Experience Hampton)

"Mr. Hampton"

In a tweet, the Hampton Fire Department said that Lanio "ate, slept and breathed Hampton."

"He was always first in line to support any cause that we came to him with. If it was about Hampton, he was in," the firefighters wrote, dubbing him "Mr. Hampton."

"You lived in a way more of us should… you never left things unsaid. At times you possibly could have used a bit of a filter, but that lack of filter means you leave us all behind knowing full well where we all stood in your heart," Christine Jameson wrote on her Facebook page about Lanio.

The Experience Hampton Facebook page said that Lanio left his mark on the community in 1,000 different ways by honoring veterans, advocating for Two Miracle Miles of Hampton, and spearheading the return of the Hampton Christmas Parade.

"We feel his contributions throughout many of the projects that Experience Hampton has undertaken, and his presence was immeasurable," the group wrote.

Experience Hampton said that in accordance with his wishes, there will be no funeral for Lanio. A scholarship fund will instead be set up in his name. Donations can be made to Experience Hampton at PO Box 444, Hampton, NH 03843 with the notation "Dan" or "Desi."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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