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John N. Pignataro, 89, of Addison, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2020. Beloved companion of Angelina “Ginger” Fabiano and husband of the late Frances M., nee Nicosia; loving father of Christina Pignataro (Dr. Peter Norvid), Francesca and the late John Michael Pignataro and father figure of Pamela Nelson and Paula Hionis and Odesseas Hionis; dearest brother of Rosemary (the late Dominick) Vittorio and Edward (Rose) and Robert (Brenda) Pignataro and brother in law of Mildred Nicosia-Morrison; cherished grandfather figure of Michael Gontarek, Alexandra Hionis, Matthew Gontarek and the late Christian Hionis; fond uncle of many nieces and nephews.
John was born February 28, 1931 in Chicago where he was raised by his parents, Edward Frank and Rose R. Pignataro, nee Viggiano. He was a graduate of Wells High School where he met his wife Frances M. They were married at the age of 19 until her passing at the age of 75. Shortly after marriage, John joined and served in the US Army. He was a proud Korean War Veteran and was honored to have participated in the Heroes Flight Program in 2017.
John spent his career working as a successful salesman for AAA Chicago Motor Club until his retirement at the age of 55. During retirement, John began to spend most of his winters in Marco Island or Naples, Florida. This destination was his happy place where he loved to hangout by the pool, walk on the beach and spend time with his gang of lifelong friends.
After the passing of his beloved wife Fran, John’s friendship with Angelina “Ginger” Fabiano grew to become his second love and provided him with another chapter of love, life and laughter. The last 14 yrs. of his life were lived fully with Ginger and her family, with whom he became extremely close.
Dancing was one of John’s favorite pastimes. He danced at any opportunity including every wedding or restaurant with a dance floor. He would find any excuse to dance even if it was across the kitchen floor. He was also an avid reader which was helpful for the crossword puzzles that he so proficiently loved to challenge himself with. John was very passionate about his family and adored spending time with them. One of his greatest joys was going to his daughter’s restaurants over the last 26 years. He was a recognizable fixture at any of the Francescas Restaurants throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
John will be remembered for his bright smile that lit up a room when he entered it and his ease of friendship and talking to anyone. He was a kind and gentle man who was adored by all who knew him. He will be profoundly missed and never forgotten.
A private graveside service will be held at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. A celebration of John’s life will be announced at a later date when it is safe to gather post pandemic.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org or Heartland Hospice, 4415 Harrison St., Suite 401, Hillside, IL 60162, www.heartlandhospicefund.org.
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund
2100 Sanders Road, S. 100, Northbrook IL 60062