Francis Paul ("Pierre") Avellone, Commander, USN (Ret.), passed away on Friday, May 28, 2021 in Lake Forest, Ill. with family at his side. Born March 5, 1926 in St. Louis, Mo., Francis was the first of seven children of Salvatore Carmelo Avellone and Mary Amanda Avellone (nee Gingrich). He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Elizabeth T. Avellone (nee Byrne), son Francis S., daughter-in-law Kristin M. Avellone (nee Campbell), sister Carmela, and brother Thomas. As a teenager, Francis earned rank of Eagle Scout, mastered Morse code and radio circuitry, became a ham radio operator. In his room at home, he cut a 78-rpm record of his grandmother singing an Italian lullaby. He graduated in 1943 from South Side Catholic High School (now St. Mary's) in St. Louis. He enlisted in the Navy's V-12 College Training Program through which he attended Central Methodist College, graduated from Miami University of Ohio, attended Harvard Business School, and was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. After Naval Midshipman School Francis was commissioned as ensign in the Naval Supply Corps and assigned to the USS Gunston Hall, beginning a 24-year career spanning WW II, the Korean Conflict, Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam War. He served on the USS Pennsylvania, witnessed the nuclear test at Bikini Atoll, served aboard the USS Gardeners Bay and as executive supply officer on the USS Newport News, flagship of the Sixth Fleet. Francis attended the Naval Post Graduate School at Monterey, Calif., and the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va. His last Naval duty was Comptroller for the Ninth Naval District at Great Lakes, Ill. After the Navy Pierre earned an MBA from Roosevelt University and pursued a successful career as an enrolled actuary, Equitable Life agent, and senior partner, president and owner of the Louis Behr Organization, a Chicago actuarial and employee benefits firm. Pierre was an 80+-year licensed Amateur Radio operator and remained active in the American Radio Relay League. He was a 54-year member of the American Legion, a 20-year leader with the Lake Bluff Boy Scouts, a board member of Great Lakes Credit Union, and served as usher and bereavement minister at Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest. Pierre was an avid gardener and known for his dedication to family, sharp intellect, ingenuity and inventiveness, quick wit, humor and a willing, adventuresome spirit. Survivors include his siblings Barbara Christ, Gandolfa Stegmann, Harvey, Richard (Carolyn) and Elizabeth Suzanne Sander (Timothy), and children Mary, Richard (Kathleen), William (Jo Ann), Thomas (Leslie), and Anne, along with nine grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Visitation at Wenban Funeral Home, Lake Forest, Ill., Monday, July 26, 4-7pm. A memorial Mass will be held at Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest, at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to American Legion McKinlock Post Foundation-Scholarship, P. O. Box 264, Lake Forest IL 60045, or to a charity of your choice
. Info: Wenban Funeral Home, Lake Forest (847) 234-0022 or www.wenbanfh.com
Published by Chicago Tribune from Jul. 18 to Jul. 22, 2021.