WINSTON SALEM Pete Louis Pihos, 87, passed away peacefully in his sleep Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at Grace Healthcare in Winston-Salem, NC after battling Alzheimer's Disease for many years. Pete was born October 22, 1923 in Orlando, Florida to Louis and Mary Pihos. He was preceded in death by his parents and by a son, Christopher Louis Bo Pihos.
Pete is survived by his ex-wife, Donna Pihos-Howell, who has been his loving caretaker for the past twelve years and the love of his life since 1971; their daughter, Melissa Pihos; and children from a previous marriage to Cecile Pihos, a son, Peter L. Pihos (wife, Terry), daughters, Nikki Pihos Walker, Lisa-Anne Pihos Mann; a stepson, John Wesley Poole (wife, Alexis); grandchildren Christina Pihos, John Walter Mann, IV, and Heather Watson; great grandchildren Sean Baker, Taylor Maggie Watson, Travis Watson, Camberleigh Bull and Christopher Pihos Bull.
Pete proudly served in WWII in the 35th Infantry under George Patton. He was in the D-Day campaign and the Battle of St. Malo. He was commissioned 2nd Lietenant on the battlefield and was awarded the bronze and silver metals for bravery. He was quoted in a documentary film as always caring for the men who served with him.
Pete earned an undergraduate degree in Business from Indiana University where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He attended Law School at Indiana University during the off seasons of football.
Pete's football career began at Austin High School in Chicago in 1940 where he was a star end. He was recruited on scholarship by Indiana University where he was an All-American and All-Star. He left Indiana to serve in WWII and came back to Indiana to finish his college football career. He was drafted as the No. 3 draft pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1945 even though he couldn't play until 1947. He played with Philadelphia until 1956, missing only one game in nine years. He was a 60-minute star on the Eagles title team, 1948-49, caught the winning TD pass in the 1949 NFL championship game. He was All-Pro in NFL six times in nine seasons. He played in the first 6 Pro-Bowls and was a three-time NFL receiving champ, 1953-1955. He was the only All-Pro in both offense and defense. Pete was a member of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame, and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
He enjoyed traveling the country playing in celebrity golf tournaments to raise money for various charities.
The family will receive guests Thursday night from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home at 3315 Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem. The funeral will be on Friday, August 19 at 11 a.m. at Bethel United Methodist Church, 2390 Bethel Church Road, Winston-Salem, with burial following in the church cemetery.