Armand Bruno was a staff sergeant in the 99th Infantry Division in World War II, receiving a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service in the Battle of the Bulge. This June, just after his 92nd birthday, and days before the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the French consul general traveled to Pittsburgh to award the French Legion of Honor to Mr. Bruno and eight fellow veterans from the region.
Mr. Bruno died Wednesday. He was 92.
A lifelong resident of the Verona and Penn Hills communities, Mr. Bruno returned to the United States after the war and spent his career at the former Edgewater Steel plant in Oakmont. Always handy around the house, he himself built the yellow brick home where he and his wife, the late Mary Bruno, raised their twin daughters.
“He did everything himself,” recalled his daughter, Jean Carothers. “He planted flowers, tomatoes and hot peppers. This was the first year he wasn't able to do that.”
He had also been an avid golfer and enthusiastic card player.
“He and a group of friends got together and played cards every week ... different poker games. I remember them tossing the pennies around,” she said.
He continued to be surrounded by friends in his retirement. Until he broke his hip from a fall in May, he would start his day with a trip to the local McDonald’s to chat with the morning regulars.
“He was a special person. He seemed a little gruff, but he was a pussycat inside,” Mrs. Carothers said. “He was not a man of a lot of words; he was reserved, but everybody loved him.”
Independent until the final months of his life, he told his daughter, she recalled, “ ‘Always remember, I had a good life. Don't be sad when I die.’ ”
In addition to his wife, the late Mary Papapetrou Bruno, he was predeceased by three brothers and two sisters. He is survived by his daughters, Ms. Carothers of Mt. Lebanon, and Joan Hall of Apollo; four grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Burket-Truby Funeral Home, 421 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont, where a blessing service will he held at 10:30 a.m. A private interment will follow at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.
James O’Toole: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1562.