Louis John Pioli
South Burlington - Louis John Pioli, 100, died peacefully at home on Sunday, June 14, surrounded by his loving daughter, grandson, and granddaughter-in-law.
Born in Seneca Falls, NY on January 4, 1920, Lou was the son of the late Adelmo and Olga (Lotti) Pioli. He attended St. Patrick's School and graduated from Mynderse Academy in 1938, returning the following school year as a post grad to play another year of football. He was a "3- letter-man" (football, basketball and baseball) for Mynderse, excelling in football and integral to the success of the history-making undefeated, untied and un-scored-upon 1938 football team where he won accolades as a versatile left end and member of the All-Tri-County football team.
Lou was a hard worker all of his life. As a young boy, he worked in his mother's confection store roasting peanuts. After losing his father when he was only 14 years old, Lou needed to work all through high school to help support his family. He often held three jobs at a time, working at the A & P in the meat department, Endicott Johnson selling shoes, and as an usher at the former Strand Theater. After graduating from high school, Lou worked the night shift at Seneca Falls Machine Shop to earn enough money to attend college. He attended Niagara University on a pre-dental tract under the ROTC program until the US Army called him to duty during World War II. Lou proudly served his country for 42 months as a Glider Trooper in the 13th Airborne Division in the European Theater of Operations. He was accepted into OCS (Officer Candidate School) for Field Artillery, but decided against the placement in Oklahoma.
Before being deployed, Lou married the love of his life, Martha Ann Errico on April 11, 1942. They shared 68 beautiful years of marriage, in love every day, until she predeceased him on April 29, 2010.
Lou and Martha settled in Seneca Falls. Their Catholic faith was always important to them, and Lou often helped out at St. Patrick's Church with weekly Bingo and the annual carnival. After the war, Lou was first employed at Sampson Naval Base until he followed in his late father's footsteps as a Prudential Insurance agent until retirement. He also worked for many years at Ceo and Rutz Shoe store in Seneca Falls. Always civic-minded, Lou served as a Village Trustee for nine years, and on the Town Board as a Councilman for eight years. As Village Trustee for Seneca Falls he took great pride especially in working with Judy Hart from the U.S. Parks and Recreation Department, and was instrumental in bringing the Women's Hall of Fame and convention park to Seneca Falls, as well as a new fire house and DPW building. Lou was a lifelong member of the VFW and American Legion, a member of the SMS (Italian Club) for more than 50 years, where he was also the Drum Major of the SMS Band, and the Seneca Falls Country Club for 30 years. Along with his wife, he chaired the annual Cotillion fund-raiser for the Seneca Falls Hospital, and was active on the Aqua Festival Committee, and annual Cancer and March of Dimes drives.
Following his retirement, Lou and Martha moved to Johnstown, NY to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. There, Lou became active on the Service Committee at St. Patrick's Church, volunteered for the Food Pantry, joined the Johnstown City Republican Committee and Lions Club, sat on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and worked as an Election Inspector. He and Martha became very active in the Johnstown Senior Center playing Bridge and traveling with friends on many senior excursions. Lou also served on the Center's Board, and worked each year cooking and serving at the Men's Club breakfast.
After the death of his wife and daughter, Donna, Lou moved with his daughter Lou Ann to South Burlington, VT in 2013 to be closer to his grandson, Kevin. Here he had made many new friends both where he lived and also through a local senior center. In May of 2019, Lou was both proud and humbled to be awarded an Associate's Degree from Niagara University in a ceremony at St. Michael's College that drew national attention, and resulted in Lou being "adopted" as an honorary member of the NU Class of '68, his newest friends.
In his younger years, Lou enjoyed playing golf with his wife and their friends. Later he drew great joy from attending his grandchildren's sporting events, concerts, musicals and dance recitals until his loss of vision made that impossible. He was a die-hard NY Yankee fan, finally making it to Yankee Stadium for the first time when he was in his 80's. Most recently Lou enjoyed playing cards and Wii bowling with his dear friends at Northern Meridian Bldg. C. Lou was always very social. He loved people, and all who met him were drawn to and inspired by him. A gentle man in every sense of the word, he was kind, witty, and wise. Though he suffered many losses, both personal and health-wise, he never became bitter, and was grateful for every day. His greatest love throughout his life has always been his wife and family. Though the void in our hearts is abysmal, we draw comfort knowing he is reunited with his sweetheart, and they are undoubtedly with Jesus, dancing in His presence.
Lou is survived by his daughter and caregiver Lou Ann Pioli with whom he has resided for the past sixteen years, his grandson and legacy Kevin Pioli-Hunt and wife Carah (Lou's "Little One"), granddaughter Dr. Kirstin ("Kirstie") Sparrow and her wife Colleen, granddaughter Melissa Capone, great grandchildren Kayla Thompson (Steven Catalano), and Caden (CJ) Sparrow, and great-great grandchildren Elouise and Alba Catalano. He is also survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Mark and Joanna Errico, his special long-term caregiver, Paula VanEtten, and several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and many dear neighbors and friends.
Besides his wife and his parents, Lou was predeceased by his beloved daughter Donna (Pioli) Capone, his sisters Etta Pietrocarlo and Victoria Beatini, sister-in-law Rose Errico, and brothers-in-law Joseph Pietrocarlo, Ollie Beatini, and Joseph Errico.
There are no calling hours. A Mass of Christian burial will be said on Friday July 3, 2020 at 10:00 am at the Chapel of St. Michael the Archangel on the campus of St. Michael College in Colchester. Burial will take place at St. Columbkille Cemetery in Seneca Falls NY. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Ready Funeral Home South Chapel 261 Shelburne Rd in Burlington. Please visit www.readyfuneral.com
to place on-line condolences.
The family wishes to thank the VA Home Based Primary Care team, Bayada Hospice, Transition II, Armistead staff and caregivers, and VA nurse case manager Margaret Briand for their outstanding care and support of Lou during the past few years and most recently.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Lou's memory be sent to Niagara University, P.O. Box 2008, Niagara University, NY 14109 or Vermont Department of Libraries, ABLE Library, 60 Washington Street, Suite 2, Barre, VT 05641-4209.