Pierre A. Conte, a retired clothing salesman to many high-profile New York clients, died Saturday, April 1, at his home in San Francisco surrounded by family and friends. He was 85.
Mr. Conte had struggled against Parkinson's disease for nine years before succumbing to his illness.
He was born in Lyon, France on Nov. 30, 1931, and spent part of the Nazi occupation in Switzerland in a program that provided safe haven to children during World War II.
After immigrating to America and settling in Brooklyn, NY, in the early 1950s, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
He got his start in his career in the clothing industry by fitting and tailoring soldiers' uniforms in the Army.
In New York, before retirement in 2002, he was a top salesman for the Paul Stuart clothing store on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
Mr. Conte had varied interests and hobbies, including landscape painting, gardening, sailing, traveling and, in recent years, playing the game of pétanque with French ex-patriot friends in Golden Gate Park.
Above all, he enjoyed spending time with his family.
Young family members say they are inspired by his fearless approach to life. "He left a legacy of joy and risk-taking, and taught us to never let hardships get us down," said grandson William Conte, a senior at the Millbrook School.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Isabel Alvarez Conte; a son, Jean-Pierre L. Conte of San Francisco, chairman of Genstar Capital; a daughter, Christine Conte of San Francisco, and five grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his sister, Betty Jones of Hazlet, NJ.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, April 6th, at 5pm, at St. James Church, 4620 California Street, San Francisco.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Pierre Conte to:
CPMC Foundation, Parkinson's Research Fund,
2015 Steiner St.,
Please enter 'Parkinson's Research' in the designation area.
or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station,
P.O. Box 4777
New York, NY 10163-4777