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Obituary Lou Pierotti

Lou Pierotti 6-7-1920 ~ 3-21-2015 Lou Pierotti died a year ago on March 21, 2015, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, at age 94. Lou is predeceased by his wife Lee (Lena Silvia Ruffini), his sisters Julia Supancic and Virginia Bartalussi, and his brothers Albert and Mack Pierotti.  He is survived by his brother Steve Pierotti (98) of Walsenburg, CO; his children Michael of Las Vegas, NV; Marilee Pierotti Lau of San Francisco, CA; Lewis of Columbus, OH; David of Flagstaff, AZ; and Peter of Albuquerque, NM; seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren; nieces and nephews Dorothy Barbari, Jolene Noga, Marlene Hudran, Robert Pierotti, Gloria Ruffini, Vic Pierotti, Jimmy Pierotti, Ray Pierotti, Sharon Ader, Deb Pierotti, Carol Spagnola, and Karl Supancic. Lou was born Luigi Gustavo Pierotti on June 7, 1920, in a rural community near Walsenburg, CO. He was orphaned by the age of six due to the early death of his Italian immigrant parents, Pietro Pierotti and Angelina Lami. He was the youngest of six children, and was raised by his older brothers and sisters. Lou enlisted in the Army in 1942 and completed his basic training at Camp Cook, Lompoc, CA. He transferred to the Army Air Corps as a sergeant, first stationed at Lowry Air Base in Denver, CO, and then in Panama until his discharge as a staff sergeant at the end of World War II. In 1944, Lou married Lee Ruffini at the Lowry Air Base. Lou was a gifted athlete, and while still in the service was offered professional baseball contracts to play with the Balboa Brewers in Panama, and with the St. Louis Browns and the Brooklyn Dodgers. As the contracts in those days only paid $150 per month plus expenses, he turned all of them down in favor of returning to Walsenburg to raise his family. After the War, he worked with Lee’s father Herman Ruffini, and brother-in-law Silvio Michelli, at the Ruffini Grocery in Walsenburg. Lou and Lee moved to Los Alamos, NM, in 1951, becoming prominent merchants, owning

and operating Pierotti’s Soda Bar in the Community Center until 1965, and Pierotti’s Flowers and Gifts, until their retirement in 1985. In Los Alamos, Lou was proud to serve with other community and laboratory leaders on boards of directors of local banks, hospital, nursing, and assisted living centers. He was the first honorary life member of Kiwanis International, an honorary member and director of the New Mexico Seniors Golf Association, and director of the Northern New Mexico Seniors Golf Association. Lou is most celebrated as the founder and star of the Pierotti’s Clowns 5-man softball team. Lou and the other players dressed in brightly colored uniforms and dabbed their faces with greasepaint for the games. They played throughout the Southwest between 1953 and 1977, raising money for charity. With Lou as the ring leader the team’s antics were legendary, from having the team field with trash can lids instead of gloves to Lou pulling all the fielders out of their positions into an impromptu dice game next to the pitcher’s mound, leaving only the pitcher, catcher and an eight-year-old first baseman to finish the inning. Despite the clowning, all games were played by the rules and the team won 90% of their games against regular 9-man teams, including three games against the Albuquerque Dukes (now the Isotopes) winning one and tying twice. Sponsored by the Los Alamos Kiwanis International, the Clowns raised over $200,000 for charity (more than $2,000,000 in today’s dollars) selling tickets for as little as 25 cents. The Clowns were literally the “Goodwill Ambassadors of Los Alamos.” Lou was also a dedicated family man and devout Catholic. His care for his wife Lee until her death in 2014 was a labor of love, and an inspiration to all who knew him. The two of them were partners in every aspect of their lives from working side by side to raising their five children. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in June 2014.  Interment of both Lou and Lee occurred in Los Alamos at Guaje Pines Cemetery on March 27, 2015. Condolences and memories of Lou can be provided by visiting: www.legacy.com/ obituaries/abqjournal/ obituary.aspx?n= lou-pierotti &pid= 174480725&fhid=10276 #sthash.VXxiu04H.dpuf

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