ONEONTA – William (Bud) Pirone, revered retired Oneonta High School principal and one of the founders of the active alumni association, died on Jan. 13, 2020, one day shy of his 81st birthday. He passed in peace at the Fox Nursing Home, where he had been a resident for a year following a series of strokes starting in September 2018.
Calling hours will be this Saturday, Jan. 25, from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by a service at 3 p.m. to remember Bud’s life at the Oneonta Senior High School auditorium, 130 East St.
Bud was born on January 14, 1939, in Rome. N.Y., the second child of William and Madelyn Pirone. The family relocated to Oneonta when he was a young boy and lived on Union Street, adjacent to Wilber Park, where he roamed the woods and developed a love for tennis.
He attended Bugbee school, where he made many lifelong friends, and Oneonta High School, graduating in 1956. Bud attended Syracuse University, where he studied history and played on the university tennis team, frequently traveling to play at competing East Coast colleges.
After graduating, he returned to the Oneonta area, and began his teaching career at Oxford High School in 1960. After a year at Oxford, he moved on to Sidney High School, where he served as a teacher for three years, before being hired as a teacher and tennis coach at Oneonta High School.
He spent the remainder of his career in Oneonta, first as a teacher of European History and Russian Studies, then moving into a series of leadership roles, including high school principal, until his retirement in 1997.
Bud had many interests: a love of reading, music and movies, jigsaw and crossword puzzles and was a true fan of the Boston Red Sox, who he followed faithfully starting in boyhood.
In retirement he spent as much time as possible at the Arnold Lake camp purchased with his second wife, Rose Anne. They took daily walks, stopping to chat with neighbors, and volunteered to walk dogs for those who had a harder time getting up and down the hills. In winter they enjoyed snowshoe walks along the snowy lake road and in warmer weather swimming and sunning were favorite activities.
Bud deeply loved his hometown of Oneonta and served his community by sitting on various local boards, including the Dewar Foundation, the Ricky J. Parisian Foundation, and the Fox Hospital board; he was also a founder of the OHS Alumni Association.
Bud is predeceased by his parents, stepmother Kathleen, and his sister Connie, as well as his mentors, George Waddington and Charles Belden.
Bud is survived by his wife, Rose Anne Pirone; three children and their partners, Patty (Orson Moon), Kim (Walter Baskin) and Michael (Maureen Flinton); grandchildren, Hannah, Sam, Sadie and Lila and several nieces and nephews.
He was blessed with an extended family and friendship group who gave generously of their time and care at the end of his life. His sister-in-law, Mary Powell, provided care and expertise from her nursing career and the extended Powell family and a constellation of friends and colleagues paid regular visits, baked sweet treats and cared for Rose Anne so that she could continue to care for Bud with love and hope.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Dollars for Scholars, PO Box 1083, Oneonta, NY 13820, www.oneonta.dollarsforscholars.org (William Pirone Scholarship in the memo) or the OHS Alumni Association, The UPS Store, #6676, Box #106, Oneonta, NY 13820, www.oneontahighalumni.org
The family would like to send their thanks and appreciation to the AO Fox Memorial Nursing Home Staff, who took such good care of Bud over the past year.
Arrangements are by Oneonta’s only family-owned funeral home, Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono at 51 Dietz St. Expressions of sympathy may be made at, www.lhpfuneralhome.com