Obituary: Ettore Nicola Piraino
A man of integrity, kindness, generosity, with a wonderful sense of humor
Ettore Nicola Piraino, age 88, died March 23, 2020 peacefully of natural causes at home, Claremont. His parents, Italian immigrants, were founders of the Italian Pentecostal Church.
Ettore received his early education in the public schools of New York and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in medieval history from Bowdoin College in 1954. Also, he was named a James Bowdoin Scholar. At Bowdoin, he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega, was active in the college orchestra and was instrumental in organizing the first Music Library.
Ettore served a tour of duty in the United States Army Security Agency and worked as a Russian translator after graduating from the Army Language School in Monterey, California. After his tour of duty in the Army, he continued his education at Columbia University earning a Master of Arts degree in history in 1959. In 1960 he married Clara Baron. Later, he was awarded a fellowship by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue his historical studies into the origins of Socialism in Italy; and was awarded the Laurea degree at the University of Naples. He went on to receive his Ph.D degree in counseling psychology from Fordham University in 1974, winning a prize for his dissertation on the effectiveness of peer counseling.
After his return from Italy, Dr. Piraino began a long and distinguished career in education. He taught history and later became a guidance counselor in various schools in Westchester County, New York. He was elected president of the County Personnel and Guidance Association and served as editor of the association’s newsletter. Dr. Piraino was instrumental in introducing an open plan guidance office which made counselors more accessible to students. He was an adjunct professor at Fordham University, and a presenter at numerous local and national conferences.
Dr. Piraino retired from the Eastchester Schools, New York in 1984 and began a second career as a psychotherapist and educational consultant. He was tireless in advocating for the rights of handicapped children for a free and equal education in the public schools. He enjoyed many years of Manhattan living before moving to Claremont in 1996. Dr. Piraino was a member of the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, and was a certified clinical mental health counselor. Aside from his professional career, he was active in the University Club serving on the board of directors, education and program committees. He also became a member of the Great Books reading group at the Claremont Colleges. Dr. Piraino was an avid gardener, and classical music buff.
Dr. Piraino’s wife predeceased him. He is survived by his brother Daniel in San Diego, many nieces and nephews, and by his loving adopted Lee family. His family, friends and relatives will always remember him as a man of integrity, kindness, and generosity, with a wonderful sense of humor.