WAUNAKEE-Frank Piraino, 93 years of age, was born on December 24, 1925, in LaSalle, IL and died after a long battle with cancer on November 8, 2019, in Waunakee, WI.
Although Frank died of complications due to his cancer, his love of live allowed him to enjoy five more years of quality life than was predicted. He died peacefully in his own home with family members present.
Frank’s parents were Frank Pirano, Sr. and Maria Buttita of Parlermo, Sicily. Frank was the tenth child of a family of twelve children, growing up in a full, loving home on the East side of Milwaukee.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Alberta Joan of Waunakee, who he married on June 27, 1953 at St. Rita’s church in Milwaukee. Frank is survived by his sister, Josephine Kirkby of Escondido, CA; brother, John Peraino of Justin, TX; and his four children, Nancy Rose Piraino (Charlie) of Lodi, Frank Jr. of Fargo, ND, Carol Piraino (Michael) of Sauk City and Anthony Piraino (Mary) of Tomahawk, WI as well as many relatives in southern CA. Frank and his wife, Alberta have seven grandchildren. They are Sam, Mina, Jake, Jimmy, Becca, Kristin and Russell. They also have 11 beautiful great-grandchildren.
Frank attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison and graduated in 1958 with a Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the Dept. of Bacteriology and Veterinary Science. As a research scientist, he published 21 papers and retired in 1992 as Director of Clinical Virology at the Franciscan Shared Labs in Milwaukee. Frank was an Honorary fellow of the University of Wisconsin Dept. of Ophthalmology where he pioneered research in the discovery and development of antiviral drugs from mushrooms.
During WW II, Frank served as a radio operator and telephone lineman for the 599 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion under Patton’s 3rd Army and participated in the assault crossing of the Rhine River at Oppenheim Germany on the night of March 22-23, 1945.
Frank was an accomplished clarinetist and was the solo clarinetist in the 9th Division military band stationed in Augsburg, Germany during the Army Occupation of Europe. Frank was a member of the Waunakee Veterans of Foreign Wars, Chapter 11244. Frank had many interests. As a clarinetist, Frank had a position in the Milwaukee Symphony band and was a member of the Waunakee Community band for several years. In his leisure time, Frank enjoyed traveling to Civil War battle sites, watercolor painting, reading and playing the harmonica.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at St John’s Catholic Church, 209 South St., Waunakee. Msgr James Gunn will officiate.
Friends may call at the church on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services.
Burial will take place on Monday, November 18, 2019, at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.
Winn-Cress Funeral Home
5785 Hwy. Q
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