John David Pirillo of Pleasant Township passed away at the Warren General Hospital on the morning of August 3. He was 70 and had been fighting courageously against a difficult combination of serious medical challenges for most of the past decade.
David, as he had been called since childhood, was a life-long resident of Warren and a graduate of the Warren Area High School. He was known as a personable, engaged, and well informed individual who had particularly strong interests in sports, finance and politics. Following the example of his father, who died when he was a young boy, David cheered loyally for the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians, even flying their flags over his home. Fortunately, he lived to see the Indians play in the 2016 World Series. He also was a fan of the Pitt Panthers, who had given him more to cheer about in recent years, particularly in basketball.
Strongly impacted by the early death of his father, David typically had more than one job, even as a teen-ager. Over the course of his professional life, he built three separate careers – in journalism, accounting and local government. As a young man, he served as sports editor for the Warren Times Mirror Observer and wrote a regular column entitled “David Pirillo Tells It Like It Is.” At mid-career, he changed direction, earning degrees in accounting from the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville and Penn State – Erie before opening his own accounting practice in Warren. Even more recently, he had served as one of Warren County’s three elected auditors.
David also served his country for many years as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves and Pennsylvania National Guard. Locally, he and other members of his units were called to provide help in the wake of such natural disasters as tornadoes and floods. They also spent time in more distant locations, including South Korea.
David was married to Suzanne Christensen “Susie” Pirillo, also a life-long resident of Warren and a retired elementary school teacher for the Warren Area School District. Throughout his long period of illness, Susie was David’s biggest champion, a source of continuous encouragement and support, and the manager of his relationships with multiple medical professionals. When he was in good health, the Pirillo’s enjoyed spending time with family and friends, traveling, dining out, and discussing politics and current events
David was preceded in death by his father, Nick Pirillo, his mother, Pat Pirillo, one sister, Toni Pirillo, and his grandmother, Rose Pirillo. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sister, Nikki Pirillo Nordenberg, and brother-in-law Mark Nordenberg of Pittsburgh and by a niece, Erin Nordenberg (Tucker Trainor), of Pittsburgh and two nephews, Carl Nordenberg (Diya Akbar), of Seoul, South Korea, and Michael Nordenberg of Pittsburgh. He also is survived by four grand-nephews – Julian, Finnian, Leo and Kayan Nordenberg. Being with his niece, nephews and great-nephews was among the great joys of his life.
Susie Pirillo and other family members are grateful for the kind and committed care that David received from health care professionals here in Warren, including both the Warren General Hospital and the Warren Manor, and in the facilities of the UPMC health system in Pittsburgh and in Erie. There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Paws Along The River, 212 Elm Street, Warren, PA, 16365. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Donald E. Lewis Funeral Home, Inc., 304 East Street, Warren, PA. Email condolences may be sent by visiting www.lewisfuneralhomeinc.com