MIDLAND - On Oct. 16, 1926, in McAlester, OK, Frank and Theresa Piccolo welcomed the fourth of six children into this world. While filling out the birth certificate for this life's miracle, the attending physician, Dr. Virgil Henry Bartop, asked Mrs. Piccolo, "What would you like to name this child?" Our grandmother said "Well, I suppose we should name him after you," while looking at our grandfather, who was standing behind and slightly to the side of the good doctor. Old world Italian manners would not allow for a correction. Therefore, Benny, Tony, Johnny, and later, Frances, and Margaret (Margi) were joined by Virgil Henry Piccolo.
In World War II, he served in the United States Army, stationed in Tokyo, Japan in General Douglas McArthur's headquarters in the Communications and Telegraph Office. Afterwards, he attended Oklahoma A&M (later to become Oklahoma State University) and graduated with an accounting degree.
Sinclair Oil (later to become Atlantic Richfield Company, ARCO) would be his only employer for 35 years. He moved around to many office locations early in his career, spending time in Fort Worth, Snyder and Odessa, Casper, WY, Seminole and Tulsa, OK, and finally Midland, where he spent most of his career.
In the Midland office of Sinclair, is where, on a blind date set up by friends, he met the love of his life, Vesta Mae Chandler of Stanton. He loved hunting, fishing, and travelling. We went all over the United States in his station wagon pulling a pop-up camper, with an Ouachita boat strapped to the top of the camper and a 9.5 hp Johnson outboard motor stowed inside.
Traveling across the U.S.A. he showed us the wonders of nature in our great land, most of the time with a can of Dinty Moore beef stew heating on the car's exhaust manifold for lunch.
Virgil Henry Piccolo died June 30, 2020, surrounded by his three boys and the love of his family and friends. He was a devoted father who raised his three young sons after losing his wife in 1965 to a sudden death, of which the cause is known only to God.
He was a hero to his boys. He could fix anything. He set an incredible example of how to face life's difficulties with strength, love and determination.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Vesta Mae Chandler Piccolo, father Frank and mother Theresa, brothers Benny and Johnny, sister Frances, best friend and constant companion of 22 years, Rosalie Bailey, father-in-law Aaron A. Chandler, mother-in-law Georgia Chandler, close brotherin-law Vernon Chandler and sisters-In-law Adelina Piccolo, Peggy Chandler and Janice Chandler as well as extended family members and lifelong friend Harold Haynes.
He is survived by his brother Tony Piccolo, sister Margaret Piccolo Gonders, three sons, Frank Allan Piccolo of Houston, David Aaron Piccolo and wife Kimberly of Denton, and Gary Carl Piccolo and wife Shelley of Fort Worth; grandchildren Amanda Piccolo Smith, Austin Piccolo, Sam Piccolo, April Piccolo, step grandson Larry White and four great grandchildren Isabella and Cora Smith and James and Jack White and all his friends at Discovery Village.
Virgil Henry Piccolo was laid to rest July 8 at Resthaven Cemetery in Midland, next to Vesta Mae Piccolo at a small graveside ceremony with his immediate family.