Francis Pierron


Francis A. Pierron of Grafton spent his life building things.

After graduating from Port Washington High School in 1953, he volunteered for military service, serving in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955.

He went to the engineering school for heavy equipment operation and was assigned to the 74th Engineering Co. in Korea, where he built roads, airstrips and other military facilities near the demilitarized zone.

Mr. Pierron’s interest in carpentry led him to pursue an apprenticeship in the trade after his military service. He began working for Gahan & Sons in 1960 then, in 1968, started his own firm P&L Construction.

He specialized in residential and commercial construction, and did much of his work in Ozaukee County and the surrounding area.

Mr. Pierron never really retired, his family said

“We had a retirement party for him,” his daughter Michele Pierron said, “but he kept working. He enjoyed building things. He did something he absolutely loved — that’s why he kept doing it after he retired. And he loved the people he worked with.

“He was not an old 83-year-old by any means.”

After retirement, he continued to do projects for friends, family and the community that were as varied as tree trimming, remodeling and carpentry.

“He would not come to visit unless we had a list of projects for him to work on,” his daughter said.

Mr. Pierron, 83, died Wednesday, Nov. 21, of injuries he suffered while trimming trees.

“He was doing something he loved,” his daughter said.

Mr. Pierron was born in Belgium on Sept. 30, 1935, the eighth child of Nicholas and Johanna Mayer Pierron.

He grew up in Belgium and went to Holy Cross Catholic Grade School, then graduated from Port High.

On June 13, 1959, he married Barbara Dries in a ceremony officiated by his brother Joseph, who had been ordained two weeks earlier.

In addition to carpentry, Mr. Pierron enjoyed puttering in his four gardens, which were filled with a variety of vegetables.

His prize crop was sweet corn, which he planted weekly at the beginning of summer so he would have fresh corn throughout the season to share at the corn roasts he and his wife hosted.

He could never plant just a few of any crop, instead planting an abundance so he could share the vegetables with family and friends.

He was also known for the bonfires he hosted, fueled by wood scraps from job sites and tree trimmings, each winter.

There were years the flames could be seen from as far away as I-43, his family noted.

The bonfires were often accompanied by fireworks from a neighbor, and they served as a highlight of the season for those who attended — including some local law enforcement officers.

Mr. Pierron was a member of St. John XXIII Parish, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Saukville, for more than 50 years. A spiritual man, he used his skills to serve the church, where he also served on the first Parish Council and was an usher.

Mr. Pierron was known for his generosity and quick-witted humor, his family said, adding he took pride in getting telemarketers to hang up after long, drawn-out conversations.

Mr. Pierron is survived by his wife Barbara; children Michele (Andrew Michel) Pierron of California, Michael of Grafton, Robert of Jackson and Richard (Mona) of Florida; and grandchildren Joey, Jen, Nic and Zac.

He is further survived by his brother-in-law Ralph Schmidt of West Bend.

Mr. Pierron was preceded in death by his parents Nicholas and Johanna; brothers Robert, Joseph and Eugene; sisters Lavern Cornish, Lorraine Tackes, Elyane Chambers and Gladys Schmidt; sister-in-law Ethel Pierron; and brothers-in-law Ken Cornish, Jack Tackes and Richard Chambers.

A funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at St. John XXIII Parish, Immaculate Conception Church in Saukville. Father Patrick Wendt will officiate.

Visitation will be at the church on Friday from 2:30 p.m. until the service, with a military walk-through at 4:15 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. John XXIII Parish or the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight are suggested.

Funeral arrangements are being handled through Eernisse Funeral Home, Port Washington.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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