Lou Cipparrone, 88

Korean War medic

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Louis Peter "Lou" Cipparrone, of Oak Park, died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Nov. 17, 2019. The son of Peter and Angeline Cipparrone, he was born in Chicago on June 14, 1931, Flag Day, a fitting birthday for a man who so loved our nation's flag. 

He grew up in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood with his three siblings — Bill, Gene, and Rose. After graduating from Crane Tech High School, he worked as a pharmacy apprentice before being drafted in 1951 to serve as an army medic in the Korean War. He answered his nation's call fearlessly and courageously, working alongside his fellow servicemen in the 4076 MASH Unit — the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital that inspired the television series M*A*S*H. A hero and a healer, he shared the wisdom of his service with his children and grandchildren for the rest of his life. 

After being honorably discharged, he met the love of his life, Joann Greene Cipparrone. Their storybook romance quickly turned to marriage, and they were married on Aug. 31, 1959. Together, they had five beautiful children — Mickie (Chuck Kerr), Louie (Carolyn), Cathy, Debbie (John Figel), and Pete (Kris).

Lou and Joann raised their children in Oak Park, where he lived the remainder of his life. He was known on the 800 block of Forest Avenue for his unmatched enthusiasm for holiday decorations and flying the American flag, both on holidays and also whenever he felt like it. 

A master handyman with a sharp mind, he enjoyed a dedicated career at Louis Zahn Drug Company for 31 years.

 He was dearly loved by his 14 grandchildren, who were his world, and he took an unwavering interest in each of their lives. He never ceased telling them how "terrific" they were, and how deeply he loved them. An exceptionally dedicated family man, he and Joann hosted their famous family dinners every Sunday night for nearly 30 years.

Services will be held on Thursday, Nov. 21 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Salerno's Galewood Chapel. The funeral will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, at St. Giles Church in Oak Park. 

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