Larry Michael Pistole, 69, of Walkerton, Va., died May 12.
He was born March 7, 1949 in San Diego, Calif. He was a 1967 graduate of McMinnville City High School and Middle Tennessee State University where he received a degree in criminal justice. He was a self-employed antique dealer for many years. He was a U.S. Army veteran, having served in Vietnam. He was passionate about veterans’ affairs and worked diligently for the rights of vets and their families.
During his tour of the Vietnam War, Larry received the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with first oak leaf cluster, Good Conduct medal, National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Service medal with three bronze service stars, Republic of Vietnam medal, and the Purple Heart.
Larry’s love of military history and collecting military memorabilia was paramount in his life and he shared that passion with many of his family members and friends. He had a special interest in the Flying Tigers and traveled across the country interviewing many members of the Flying Tigers, include his uncle Herbert Pistole. As a result of these interviews and the generosity of many of those interviewed, he authored “The Pictorial History of the Flying Tigers.” At one time, he owned the worlds’ largest collection of Flying Tiger memorabilia and his collection was displayed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
Larry and his wife, Tere, shared a love of Civil War-period homes in their beloved Virginia and lovingly restored two homes in which they lived for a number of years, most recently the Green Mount Plantation home in St. Stephens Church, Va. The loved sharing the history of the Green Mount with others.
Larry is survived by his wife, Teresa Bennett Pistole and their two sons, Alex Bennett Pistole of Christiansburg, Va., and Tyler Scott Pistole of Walkerton, Va., mother Mertie Pistole Clemons of McMinnville, sister Scarlett Pistole Stout (Phillip) of McMinnville, mother-in-law Juanita Meacham, brother Herbert A. Bennett Jr. (Teresa), sister-in-law Vicki Dean, nieces Misti Wajciechowski, Nealy Pistole, Tara Mitchell Mielnick (Mike), and Susan Stout Gatlin (Ron), nephews Jonathan Stout (Amy), Niles Pistole, Jason Bennett, Allen Bennett (Kerri), Douglas Dean (Shannon), dogs Bear Cub and Paw Paw. He is also survived by several great nieces and nephews in Tennessee and Virginia. Other survivors are cousin Tommy Markum (Kathy) of McMinnville and special aunt Ima “Tip” Pistole of Choctaw, Okla., and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by father Alex Pistole, brother Lloyd Neal Pistole, grandparents Loyde and Edith Swindell, stepfather Lannie Clemons and great nephew Mitchell Patrick Mielnik.
There will be no memorial service. It was his wish to have his remains scattered at the Vietnam Wall and in Nags Head, Outer Banks, N.C. Memorial contributions may be made to charities of your choice.
(McMinnville, Tenn.) May 16, 2018