Louis M. Personte

August 13, 2016
Louis M. Personte

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Louis M. Personte, 92, of Williamsburg, Virginia, passed away on Saturday, August 13, 2016, surrounded by his close family.

“Lou”, as he was known to friends, was the eldest of seven children born to Italian immigrants. He grew up in Rochester, New York, where he started playing music at an early age. After his graduation from Edison Tech High School, he auditioned for the Glenn Miller Army Air Corps Band and was accepted for a chair; however, prior to processing, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He served from June 1943 to March 1946, including 19 months in Guam. After his honorable discharge into civilian life, he married Rosetta Ruth Bragg. He then earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana in 1952. With the exception of a one year reassignment to alternative duties with the Air Force, his career was spent in various positions with the Department of Defense and Newport News Shipbuilding during which he was also a member of the Society of Naval Architects. He retired from the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, U.S. Navy Engineering Department in May, 1987.

From the time he moved to the Peninsula, he continued to pursue his love of music and played clarinet and saxophone in many of the local Big Bands. He was a member of the Musicians’ Union throughout his semi-professional career. After retirement from his career in engineering, he continued to pursue his love of music and participated in the local swing bands as well as the Peninsula Concert Band and Peninsula Retired Men’s Band.

Throughout his life he was known for his work ethic and gentlemanly demeanor. His sense of humor brought joy to all.

Lou is survived by his only child, Patricia P. Whisnant, and his only grandchild, Stephanie Whisnant Cash, along with his brothers Frank and James Personte and several nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his wife Rosetta and siblings Anthony, Samuel, Rose, and Joseph.

The family would like to thank the staff of Colonial Manor and Hospice Community Care for their care and companionship of Lou and his family during his illness.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, 12:30 p.m., August 16, 2016, at the The College of William and Mary Catholic Campus Ministry Chapel, 10 Harrison Avenue, Williamsburg. Interment followed in Peninsula Memorial Park Cemetery, 12751 Nettles Drive, Newport News. The family received friends at Bucktrout Funeral Home the day before. Should family or friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/).



Tuesday, August 16, 2016
2:30 PM

Peninsula Memorial Park - Directions
12750 Warwick Blvd
Newport News, VA 23606

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  • August 16, 2016
    Sue Sampson says:
    Patricia and Stephanie, I was a 21 year old designer at Newport News Shipbuilding when your father/grandfather used to approve my drawings for the Navy. While very meek and timid at that age, he always put me at ease, found me a chair and we walked through the technical details of my work. He was always smiling and very kind. My deepest sympathy for your loss. My Daddy passed in 2011 (also born in 1924) and I miss him everyday. May you both find comfort in the lifetime of memories you have. Sincerely, Susan T. Sampson

  • August 16, 2016
    Carol MacVaugh says:
    Tricia - i know that you and Stephanie will miss your dad dearly. You took such loving and dedicated care of him these last years. I pray that you find strength in your wonderful memories.