Lt. Col. Francis L. Pieri, Jr., USMC Retired

April 4, 1932March 15, 2013

Francis (Frank) Pieri, Jr., Lt Col., USMC Retired, completed his tour of duty on earth and reported to his Heavenly Father on the 15 day of March 2013. His parents, Francis L. Pieri Sr. and Margaret Dowling Pieri received their first of six sons on 4 April, 1932. He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Karen, brothers Paul, Charles, Joseph, and his wife of fifty-five years, Betty Ann Burns the mother of their three daughters.

During his senior year at St. Thomas High School, Frank enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve April 1950 and reported for active duty in July of that same year. After Combat Training at Camp Pendleton he reported to “B” Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division in Mason, Korea, where PFC Pieri was in the Machine Gun Platoon of Baker Company Fifth Marines. As Cpl. Pieri continued to advance his military career he served his country with assignments as Drill Instructor at Paris Island, South Carolina, as Sgt. Pieri for recruiting duty in New Orleans/Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His next assignment was to attend the Airborne Interceptors Operators (AIO) school at Cherry Point, North Carolina. He finished first with the best grades ever recorded for the AIO School. Upon completion Staff Sgt. Pieri received his AIO Wings and reported to flying duties as a Radar Intercept Operator. During this job as a radar operator, Staff Sergeant Pieri served in VMF(N)-531 Cherry Point, North Carolina and VMF(N)-513 Atsugi, Japan. From Japan he was assigned to VMCJ-3 at El Toro, California as an Electronic Countermeasures Operator in the F3D-2Q. In February of 1959 Gunnery Sergeant Pieri was selected for the Meritorious NCO Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. After graduating first in his class, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant at Quantico, Virginia.

Following his commission, Lieutenant Pieri entered The Basic School (TBS) at Quantico, Virginia, (finishing second in his class) then reported to NAS Pensacola, Florida and NAS Kingsville, Texas for flight school. Again graduating with honors, he received his Naval Aviator Wings in July of 1961. At that time he was ordered to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at El Toro, California and was assigned to the first Marine F4 Phantom Squadron VMFA -314. He served in that Squadron in various capacities until November, 1964, when Captain Pieri reported to Beeville, TX as a flight instructor and Landing Signal Officer. In 1966 he was ordered to exchange duty with the Royal Air Force and was assigned to RAF Squadron No. 23 at Leuchars, Fife, Scotland. During his tour with the RAF he was promoted to Major and was assigned as one of the Flight Commanders within the Squadron. In August, 1968 Major Pieri was ordered to Vietnam. During his Vietnam Tour he flew over 216 missions. Upon his completion of his Vietnam Tour he was ordered to the Amphibious Warfare School (AWS) at Quantico, Virginia. Upon completion of that course, he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) and served in the G3 as an Operations Officer in the Operations Branch.

In 1972 Major Pieri was selected for the College Degree Program at George Washington University. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree and accepted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He was then ordered to the First Marine Aircraft Wing at Iwakuni, Japan where he served as the Wing NATOPS Officer and Wing LSO for his entire tour. In 1975 he was ordered to NAVAIRSYSCOM as the Assistant Program Manager Logistics for the Harrier Program. Lt. Col. Pieri served in this capacity until 1979 when he retired from the Marine Corps.

During his Military flying career Lt. Col. Pieri has logged approximately 5,000 hours as a pilot and RO in 31 various types of American, British and French tactical fixed wing aircraft.

His personal Military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, Single Strike Air Medal, 16 Strike/Flight Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”, three Purple Hearts, two Marine Enlisted Good Conduct Medals and numerous other awards. Upon his retirement from the Marine Corps Lt. Col. Pieri worked for Smiths Industries Aerospace in Clearwater, Florida as the Program Manager of various Harrier Programs until he retired as the Director of Military Programs. Upon retirement from Smiths he formed his own consulting company PBA, Inc. until a final retirement in 2004.

Frank was a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, He was a past Faithful Navigator of his previous council in Florida. Presently he was affiliated with Council #6557and Our Lady of the Pines Assembly #1759

Frank started the “Second Chapter” to his life when he returned to Houston and on September 25, 2010 married his high school sweetheart the former Billie Jean Ayres Proctor. While their time together was too short they spent it wisely, loving, laughing, and making new memories. After being blessed in previous marriages Frank and Billie were ever thankful God blessed them a second time by reuniting them after sixty-one years.

Surviving Frank are his wife Billie, daughters Kathleen and Kristen, brothers Mickey, and Tommy, 7 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 p.m., with a rosary at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in the Chapel of Earthman Resthaven. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am., Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church, 26777 Glen Loch Dr., The Woodlands, TX 77381 with the rite of committal to follow at Earthman Resthaven Cemetery.


  • Visitation Wednesday, March 20, 2013
  • Rosary Wednesday, March 20, 2013
  • Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lt. Col. Francis L. Pieri, Jr., USMC Retired

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Mike Standish

February 21, 2014

Frank extended great hospitality to me when I visited Smith's in Clearwater from Cheltenham UK in the early eighties to support the AV-8B HUD. He invited me to his newly built home, where I helped him install a new CB antenna onto his RV which was parked "semi-underground" in his custom garage !!!
Frank and Betty entertained me for a weekend and I have never forgotten their kindness....SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI

April Johanford-Guzman

May 17, 2013

Rip to uncle frank from April & Steven grandchildren of Jack Elwood Thetford. Sorry we haven't been able to see you or he family over the years, but we thought of you often. U will be missed & say hi to our grandpa Jack &aunt betty and grandma audrey. Rip sir.

Jay Clark

April 3, 2013

I met Frank at Smiths Aerospace in Clearwater. He was genuine and always nice to me. We sat with Frank and Betty at a Smiths Christmas party in 2003 and had a great time. May he rest in peace.

Gerald Pappa

March 24, 2013

I met Frank for the first time at our Knights of Columbus Meeting @ Espiritu Santo in Safety Harbor, Florida. I knew from the start that Frank was a special person, and as I got to know him, I quickly found out what a gentle caring man he was. When I made my 4th Degree, Frank was our host, and once again proved what to me what being a member of the 4th Degree was all about. We had the privilege of knowing Betty before her passing, and then Billie before she and Frank moved to Texas, what wonderful people. Holly and I would like to offer Billie and the entire Pieri family our deepest sympathy, Frank will be missed. God Bless, Holly and Jerry Pappa

Duke Savage

March 24, 2013

During Frank's NAVAIR tour and afterward, he was a champion for the AV-8 Harrier. Frank led the logistical charge for the USMC Harrier readiness during the critical 70's. Frank did more for the Harrier community than any Marine I know. He was tenacious, professional, loyal and a true friend.

Bob Kennedy

March 23, 2013

I met Frank over 35 years ago. He was my boss, teacher, mentor, and, most importantly, a true friend. He demanded the best from those he worked with, and, in return, gave his best to them. He has left us with wonderful memories that won't be diminished by time.

God bless and keep Frank, his family and friends.
I am ever thankful for the pleasure of having Frank as a friend.

Steph and Lin How

March 23, 2013

Rest in Peace Frank, fond and happy memories of the times we spent with you and Betty. Thoughts with Billie and your family

AnnieVive Wilson

March 22, 2013

Dear Billie Jean,
Alice called me this morning to tell me of Frances'passing. I am so sorry for your loss but am happy that your three years with him brought you happiness. I will pray for you and think of you often. Love AnnieVive. If you would like to talk my number is 281-485-5337

Justin & Scharlene Fox

March 20, 2013

Dear Billie: We share in your grief, as well as in your joyous memories, of your "sweetheart," as you affectionately called Frank. He indeed was a true gentleman, committed Christian, and dedicated military hero. We were honored to know Frank for the brief time that he lived in The Woodlands. May his soul rest in peace!

John Papa

March 20, 2013

We remember Frank as a Friend, Patriot, and Past Faithful Navigator of our Knights of Columbus Assembly. Frank would always remind us at the passing of a Brother Knight that a Brother Knight should never depart this world alone. Today, though seperated by distance, we stand with Frank as he makes his way to his heavenly reward.

Bless you Sir Knight and God Speed,
John Papa
Faithful Navigator
K of C Assembly 2474
Safety Harbor FL