SSGT Albert Leon Mampre

SSGT Albert Leon Mampre

Oak Park, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 31 May 2019 (aged 97)
Denver, Denver County, Colorado, USA
Burial Skokie, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 199724494 View Source
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Albert Leon Mampre lived a life of optimism, humility, humor and faith. He passed away Friday, May 31, 2019 at age 97 surrounded by his family and friends.

Growing up in Oak Park, IL, the son of Armenians who escaped to America, he and future wife Virginia met as children at one of many annual Armenian picnics in the Chicago area. She told her mother that she was going to marry him. Years later and after WWII, that wish came true.

Al was a fast learner, quick witted and curious about the world. Though a serious student, his sense of humor was evident throughout his school years from elementary through graduate school. He had an innate ability, which continued through his last days, to bond with others and bring levity to a situation - even in the depths of WWII. Following his years at Oak Park High School, he became an undergrad at Ohio Northern University - where he became a brother of the Ohio Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) Fraternity, and Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX with the intention of going into the ministry.

During a WWII summer semester break, working in Dallas, he decided to enlist in the army. With a desire for something challenging and a bit risky, he joined the new paratrooper division which the Army was just forming. He trained in Toccoa, GA. He excelled in all tests both intellectual and physical, minus the shooting skills. The Army then asked if he would like to become a medic and his answer was an immediate "yes." He was promoted to Staff Sergeant in charge of the medics of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division. To the very end, he was proud to have served as a medic in support of his fellow soldiers and his country.

Al's unit jumped into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden, where he was twice wounded by a sniper as he went to the aid of a wounded lieutenant and was subsequently transported to an English Hospital. After healing, he returned to the front in France. During the Battle of the Bulge he served at Bastogne, Belgium at Regimental Headquarters across the plaza from General McAuliffe (who responded to the German offer of surrender in one word, "Nuts".) He moved with the regiment all the way to occupying the Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden. At the Berchtesgaden Hof he became the 'House Physician.' He ended the war in Paris and Marseilles, then flew home to be discharged from Ft. Sheridan.

For his war service his honors included: Purple Heart; Purple Heart with bronze oak leaf cluster; Distinguished Member of the 506th Infantry Regiment honor, by Order of the Secretary of the United States Army; European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with 4 bronze stars; European Campaign Medal; WWII Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal; Legion of Merit from The State of Illinois, 2017. Unit Citations included: 2 Presidential unit citations; French Croix de guerre with Palm and Fourregere; Belgian Croix de guerre with Palm and Fourregere; Netherlands, Orange Lanyard.

A month after returning from the war in 1945, Al and Virginia were married. Virginia and Al shared love, laughter and inquisitiveness about the world, and a commitment to family and faith that never flagged over their 63 years together. They were interested in everything: gardening, music, theatre, art, advances in science, even archeological digs. In 1948, before they had a family, Al took his bride on a 3 month grand tour of Europe on bicycles (which they brought over in pieces and then reassembled). Off they went, country after country throughout Europe in areas that were still recovering from WWII. Over 7 countries later, they returned with a thousand slide images, memories and friends for a lifetime. They were quite a team and people the world over recognized that sense of connectedness.

Switching his focus, Al resumed studies, this time in the field of psychology at Pepperdine University and UCLA, doing post grad work in psychology and social/cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago. His efforts there brought the opportunity to work on a project at International Harvester.(IH) He worked at IH in management development and public relations, alongside his family psychology practice. Active in many leadership capacities in the community and at church, he also served as Chairman of the Human Relations Committee in the Evanston School District, spent years leading Junior Achievement programs and mentoring Boy Scouts. (In a nod to the scouting years of his youth, he always acknowledged that experience served him well during the war as a medic).

In 2001, the multi-award winning HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, highlighting the war efforts of the 101st Airborne 506th Easy Company, aired nationally, then globally. The Oscars brought the men of the 506th much notoriety. The veterans who served were invited to the premier and Al reconnected with his fellow Screaming Eagles. Though he had been to a few reunions, the recognition for veterans and these men in particular rocketed upward. Never one to glorify his own accomplishments, he was still able to articulate the challenging circumstances that soldiers faced, how they felt and how lucky they were to come home again - always remembering those who gave their all.

For the last 20 years he has devoted many hours to fundraising for veterans and children's organizations. He was in demand as a speaker, presenter and eyewitness to history and attended events all over the world on behalf of veterans. He has worked with law enforcement and emergency medic response teams and visited the wounded at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospitals for critically wounded military personnel. His visits to schools served to educate and inspire the next generation.

Al is predeceased by his wife Virginia in 2009 and daughter Elizabeth Celebucki in 2011. He is survived by his daughters Virginia E. Mampre and Susan D. Mampre, her husband Glen Wright, their daughter (his granddaughter) Anayis J. Mampre Wright, his brother Edward Mampre, son-in-Law, Jim Celebucki, and many nieces and nephews and their children.

Visitation: Friday, June 14, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Donnellan Family Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Boulevard, at Old Orchard Road, Skokie, IL 60077.

Funeral Service: Saturday, June 15 2019, 10:00 a.m. at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60202.

Interment: Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, IL.
In lieu of flowers please make a memorial contribution to:

The Gary Sinise Foundation
C/O/ Albert L. Mampre
P.O. Box 368
Woodland Hills, CA 91365

Provides a wide range of support for Veterans of all branches of the service, First Responders and their families.
The Screaming Eagle Foundation
C/O Albert L. Mampre
PO Box 929
Fort Campbell, KY 42223

Helps Screaming Eagles in need to survive and thrive. Albert was an original Toccoa man, a dedicated Screaming Eagle of the 101st Airborne now Air Assault Division of the US Army.
The World War II Foundation
C/O Albert L. Mampre
334 Main Street
South Kingstown, RI 02879
Keeps alive the important knowledge of our vital history for current and future generations through documentaries as well as public and private educational events.
Shriners Hospital for Children
C/O Albert L. Mampre
2900 Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607
Provides specialized care to children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate. Albert has been a supporter since a family member needed care as a young child. That child is now a Major in the 101st Air Assault Division.
Overlord Project, Denver PAL
C/O Albert L. Mampre
1240 Bayaud Ave.
Denver, CO 80224
Introduces children to the sacrifices made by 'the greatest generation' and provides students the opportunity to visit Normandy, France for an immersive educational experience.

A memorial Celebration is planned for mid-summer.

Source: Sigma Phi Epsilon

Family Members