Henry 'Pierre''s Story
Henry 'Pierre' Pierangelino passed away on Monday, February 27, 2017 in Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Born Enrico Paulo Pierangelini in Niagara Falls, NY on July 14, 1921, the son of Silvio and Maria Bernetti, recent Italian Immigrants from Servigliano, Province of Ascoli Piceno in the Marche Region of Italy. While attending St. Joseph School. his name would forever be changed to Henry.
A gifted student and altar boy, Henry would soon be recognized for his academic ability. The nuns and priests pleaded with his parents that he should go to college. His father replied "I have nine children, college is not an option."
After graduating from high school, he worked at The Union Carbide. On October 16, 1942 he enlisted in the newly formed United States Army Air Force. His ambition was to become a pilot, but because of his height, he settled for gunner-radio operator on a B-24 Liberator named the "Maheda Belle." After extensive training they flew to South America and across the ocean to Africa then England. Stationed at Hardwick Air Force Base the 93rd Bomber Group of the 8th Air Force they would do 32 bombing missions including a D-Day bombing of the Coast of France.
After the war, 'Pierre' took advantage of the GI Bill and graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, majoring in electronics. Working as an electrician for the New York Central Rail Road for over 10 years, he would later join his older brother, Guido, as an electrician on board ship as a Merchant Seaman. This 10-year adventure took him around the world several times, including many trips to Vietnam during the War years and many other world ports. During these travels he would hone his skills as a linguist speaking fluent Italian, French, Spanish, Polish and Russian. He was also conversational in many other languages including German, Japanese and the Romance languages that evolved from Latin as well as Latin itself. He was a vivacious reader and excelled in history, mathematics and calculus.
Upon returning home, he became a City of Niagara Falls Master Electrician and started his own business, "Pierre Electric" specializing in commercial and residential services. Pierre spent 12 years working as an electrician at Harrison Radiator in Lockport. Retiring from Harrison, he continued to work as an electrician mentoring young men, encouraging them to become electricians.
Pierre was active in The Embassy Club, traveling to sporting events in New York City, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Buffalo. He enjoyed every summer day in his garden, planting his famous tomatoes, peppers and garlic. He frequented many local taverns including Jonfre's where Pete Lysiak would stay open until 12:03 every night so he could have his "night cap."
He had many friends and interests and could converse on many subjects. He will be sadly missed by all.
He is survived by his son, Michael J. Hooper. His loving caregivers, nephew and niece, Robert and Joanne Pennington; his brothers, John (Janet) Pierangelino of Plymouth MI and William (Patricia) Pierangelino of Niagara Falls, NY; his adopted family, Nick, Bee, JoJo and Henry DePadre; Godson, Louis Antonacci; special friends, Robert Marasco and Gary Strenkowski; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by brothers, Andrew (late Mary) Pierangelino, Albert Pierangelino, Guido (late Josephine) Pierangelino, Dr. Rudolph Pierangelino; and two sisters, Elmita (late Nick) Petrillo and Rose (late John) Pennington.
Pierre, as in life, has remained a mentor in death and donated his body to UB School of Medicine. The family plans a Memorial Mass to celebrate his life at a later date. We want to thank Dr. Sujatha Addagatla, Dr. Edward Ventresca, Dr. Simmanjeet Mangat and the staff of Schoellkopf Health Center and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for all their loving care to Pierre.
Published on March 3, 2017