John F. Piro, M.D., loving father, grandfather, son, partner, cousin, uncle, physician and friend to many, peacefully entered into eternal life early morning April 17, 2020 at Norwalk Hospital, where he also served his entire life career as a General Surgeon and, at one point, as Chief of Surgery. He was born in Norwalk, CT, at 4 Gregory Blvd. on October 5, 1930 to Frank and Mary Piro, whom he absolutely adored and took much pride in as their devoted son.
“Doc” Piro, as he was affectionately and respectfully known to those whose lives he touched, enjoyed a greatly successful medical career serving a multitude of families in the greater Norwalk community. He was a graduate of Fairfield College Preparatory School (1948), College of the Holy Cross (Cum Laude,1952) and Georgetown University Medical School (1956), served as resident at St. Vincent’s Hospital (1956-61) and as attending physician for the Norwalk Hospital Department of Surgery with his own practice on East Avenue through his retirement in August 1997. An active member of the professional medical community, he served as President of the Norwalk Medical Society (1972) and was a member of the American Board of Surgery, The Connecticut Society of American Board Surgeons, the American Society of General Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons and the National Board of Medical Examiners.
As a dedicated member of the Norwalk community, John also served on the Board of Directors at Fairfield County Savings Bank, Fairfield County Child Guidance Center, the Norwalk YMCA and Shorehaven Golf Club where he was also elected Club President for 1977-78. Shorehaven was the center of John’s social and recreational life, where he enjoyed countless rounds on the golf course with good friends, on the tennis courts, in the swimming pool, and acing several tournaments over the years, true to his competitive athletic spirit. Dr. Piro was also Team Physician for the Norwalk High School and Brien McMahon High School football and hockey teams and the semi-pro Home Oilers hockey team throughout most of his professional career.
In his earlier years of study, Dr. Piro was not only an excellent student but also a top-performing athlete on the basketball and baseball teams in high school and college. He loved baseball and was astonished when he was invited to play for pay on the New York Yankees farm team. He would likely have been headed for the major league had he not chosen to dedicate himself to a career in medicine and helping people instead. His most satisfying and fulfilling experiences in his life were being able to help those who were ill return to a healthy life. “Doc” was ever at the ready to help anyone who called upon his medical expertise and would often recount his most memorable cases through a shaky voice, tears in his eyes and a broad smile with a little chuckle. As a sportsman, he was also an avid skier who derived great joy spending special weekends over many years with family and close friends at the family’s chalet in West Dover, Vermont.
A man of great pride in his Italian heritage and a passionate musician, John loved nothing more than to cook up a big Italian feast every Christmas Eve for his family and friends and then play his Cordovox for all to dance and clap along to in celebration. So many recall the sheer joy he exuded when playing for his guests at his East Norwalk home on Sasqua Road or at Shorehaven with his band, Doc and the Forceps… no one had more fun than him!
Dr. Piro’s living mottos were centered on hard work, or as he would say, “grit” meaning passion + determination; making thoughtful decisions, being smart, applying oneself and doing one’s very best; dedication to his practice and patients, and boundless love and devotion to family and his Italian heritage. These outstanding values resulted in a life exceptionally lived and earning the great love, honor and respect of all those who knew him.
John was predeceased by his father, Frank Piro, his mother, Mary Piro, and his brother, Anthony Piro. He is survived by his dear life companion, Dianne Unangst, his children, Marcia Ellis, Janice Piro Letonoff and her husband Lars Letonoff, John F. Piro, Jr., Frank John Piro and his wife Paula Taylor Piro, who tirelessly devoted herself to ensuring his excellent care, Carol Piro, and their mother, Maria Sikes. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Courtney and Amy Ellis, Lucas and Jason Letonoff, John III (JT), Benjamin and Daniel Piro, Frank, Nick and Elizabeth Piro, Kaya and Kenya Piro-Stoute and Aja Piro-Ibrahim, Jaclynn, Ryan, Max and Sam Unangst and great granddaughter, Lyilah Piro Vanegas, all of whom will miss him dearly.
John’s ashes will be interred in private service at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Norwalk, CT, alongside his beloved parents. The Piro family will hold a memorial service for family and friends of John to attend at a later date TBA. If you would like to be informed of the memorial service, you may send your email address to: email@example.com.
For those wishing to make a contribution to John’s memory, please consider a donation to the Emergency Preparedness Fund designating “Norwalk Hospital” as the recipient and in the name of “John F. Piro, M.D.”. Dr. Piro would take much honor in supporting the protection of his fellow colleagues in his name who are serving on the front line in this time of crisis. Contributions may be made here:
By mailed check, including a note designating in the memory of John F. Piro, M.D., and restricted to Norwalk Hospital’s Emergency Preparedness fund addressed to -
Norwalk Hospital Foundation
34 Maple Street
Norwalk, CT 06856
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