Frank Pignone, 80, of Orlando, Fla., died August 25, 2019 after a brief illness. Frank was born August 21, 1939 in Washington, D.C., at Georgetown University Hospital to Francis X. Pignone and Jessie Grace Moore. He attended elementary school at St. Mary’s in Alexandria, Virginia before moving to Orlando in 1950.

He graduated from Edgewater High School in 1957 and the Military College of South Carolina (The Citadel) in 1962. Following pilot training in Del Rio, Texas, Frank served as an officer in the United States Air Force at Pease AFB, New Hampshire, Pope AFB, North Carolina and Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung, Taiwan during the conflict in Vietnam, flying the C-130 Hercules.

Following his service in the United States Air Force, he returned to Orlando and began a career in commercial aviation in 1969, first for National Airlines, followed by Pan American Airlines and Delta Airlines and was a proud member of the Airline Pilots Association. He retired from flying in 2003. In his career as a pilot, he had many opportunities to travel around the world and carry many interesting passengers from Mother Teresa to Dusty Rhodes.

Frank pursued a number of other interests throughout his life in addition to aviation, many in the area of community service. He was elected as a member of the Orange County School Board in the mid-1970’s, and he served on the State of Florida Housing Finance Authority as an appointee of Governor Bob Graham. He also pursued several business interests including serving as a founder of Commercial State Bank, and owning a series of publishing ventures. He loved to watch sports, keep up with the news, and was a strong advocate for the less fortunate.

Frank is survived by his wife Nancy Kirtley Pignone; his son Michael and Michael’s wife Lisa; grandchildren Kevin and Kaley; sisters Patricia, Theresa, Barbara, and Priscilla. He is preceded in death by his sister Joan and by his beloved son, Scott.

He is also survived by the mother of his children, Frances Sharp Pignone.

“Mr. Frank” was delighted to join a large extended Kirtley family, including 4 children and their spouses, nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at Church of the Ascension, 4950 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32819.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Foundation for Fighting Blindness or the Central Florida YMCA.

Posted in: Orlando Sentinel

Posted on: 2019-08-28

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