Richard Pedro loved his family and his legion

By Matt Porter

January 14, 2014 Updated Jan 14, 2014 at 7:31 PM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) When Rick Pedro remembers his father Richard, he remembers a man who gave himself to an entire community.

"We always had our family, but there was always, there was a legion family," Rick Pedro said.

The 87-year-old Richard Pedro died Friday after battling illness for more than a year.

The elder Pedro was a World War II veteran of the Navy from 1944-1947.

He joined the American Legion days after leaving the service and never looked back.

For the last 30 years, he spent his retirement as an adjutant director for the American Legion Department of New York.

"There's a lot of people that have made a lot of sacrifices for this country, and he worked hard to help them,' Rick Pedro said.

Richard Pedro shook hands with three different presidents during his tenure.

His daughter Debra Hackett said her Dad never forgot a friend.

"He knew a lot of people, and he never forgot anybody's name," Hackett said.

For his wife Jeanne, she said her husband was very loving although he kept his personal life close to his sleeve.

She remembers the day they met.

A double date where each of them were with a different person.

"The other two weren't happy by the time the evening was over, but we just knew," Jeanne Pedro said.

Since they married 61 years ago, she's been able to share her day with her husband each night until now.

"Yesterday I was thinking 'Oh I've got to tell Dick this,' That's how we spent the time giving our thoughts to each other," Jeanne Pedro said.

Richard Pedro will have calling hours at the Estey, Munroe & Fahey Funeral home Wednesday evening from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Saint Patrick's Church in Owego.

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