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Lawrence Dimmitt IV, scion of car dealership family, dead at 32

Lawrence Hundley Dimmitt IV [Photo Courtesy Stephen John Photography]
Lawrence Hundley Dimmitt IV [Photo Courtesy Stephen John Photography]
Published Sep. 27, 2017

Lawrence Hundley Dimmitt IV, a scion of the locally famous car dealership family, died by suicide last month. He was 32.

In recent years, Mr. Dimmitt led Dimmitt Chevrolet, one part of the larger automotive group, with his trademark warm heart and generosity, his family said, helping the company repeatedly place as one of Tampa Bay's top places to work.

"He took pride in the accomplishments of his large group of friends and often shared stories of their successes with our family," the Dimmitts said in a statement. "We hope that Lawrence's death will inspire conversation and understanding around depression and mental health issues, helping others in our community to seek assistance and connect with those who are struggling."

Mr. Dimmitt shot himself at a home in Island Estates on Aug. 24, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office.

The Dimmitt Automotive Group dates to the 1920s, when Lawrence Dimmitt Sr. bought a Ford dealership in Clearwater. The business grew over the years and passed through several generations of the family. The group now has dealerships across Tampa Bay, but the family remains a particular fixture in the Clearwater community.

Lawrence Dimmitt IV's family remembered him as an athlete, a high school football player who moved on to triathlons afterward. He enjoyed fishing and hiking. His sisters, in a remembrance for his memorial service, said when they had family outings, Mr. Dimmitt was the guide.

"He spotted the break in the water," they said, "the birds, and the clouds signaling a change in weather."

They continued, according to a copy of the remembrance shared with the Times:

"We invite you all to carry Lawrence's love forward by making an extra effort with those around you. Ask the hard questions, have uncomfortable conversations, let yourself be vulnerable, and make space for others to be vulnerable with you.

"It is incredibly hard to ask for help; we must reach out even to those who are not asking."

He is survived by parents, Genevieve Lykes Dimmitt and Lawrence Hundley Dimmitt III; his sisters, Mallory, Elizabeth and Genevieve; and a large extended family.

Contact Zachary T. Sampson at zsampson@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8804.

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