Arthur Diamonstein, 92, former president and chairman of the board of Paramount Sleep Company, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on Aug. 14. Born on March 11, 1930, in Norfolk, Va., he was predeceased by his wife, Renee Gartner Diamonstein.
Diamonstein attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech), majoring in business administration. He served his country with great pride in the Korean War as part of the Army’s 45th Thunderbird Division until the end of the conflict and was awarded a Purple Heart for his bravery. He then served in the Army Reserves until he was honorably discharged in August of 1960.
Following active duty, Diamonstein returned home and began work at Paramount Bedding, the family mattress manufacturing business founded in 1935 and originally operated by the Comess and Diamonstein families. Arthur served in many capacities at Paramount, starting out as a truck driver and shipping supervisor and rising through the ranks. After learning all aspects of the business, he ultimately became president and guided the company through a sustained period of growth. He valued his relationships with the employees of the company, including multiple generations of families. Until the outbreak of Covid-19, Diamonstein came to work every day to feel the pulse of the organization he helped build. He remained chairman of the board until his recent illness.
Diamonstein was a generous and caring man whose devotion to his community and family was the very essence of his life. He was the ultimate pragmatist and had a gift for making deals happen with his humble nature. The many community organizations that he served as a board member, and often as an officer, include the following: Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau, Norfolk Academy, Old Dominion University, Chrysler Museum of Art, The General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, Harbors’ Edge, Virginia Opera, Tidewater Winds, The Virginia Symphony and Ohef Sholom Temple. The Cosmopolitan Club recognized Diamonstein as Norfolk’s First Citizen for 2001, honoring his lifelong commitment to his hometown.
Diamonstein and his wife enjoyed traveling the world, cultivating their interest in art and experiencing many cultures. The couple was dedicated to their community and gave generously of their time and talent. Always ready with a joke, Diamonstein loved to make people laugh. He was a friend to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
He is survived by his three children, Richard Diamonstein, Jamie Diamonstein and Anne Fleder, and their spouses; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service and reception will take place on Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. at Ohef Sholom Temple in Norfolk, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The General Douglas MacArthur Foundation and The Chrysler Museum of Art, Arthur and Renee Diamonstein Glass Purchase Fund, or a charity of your choice.