James Anthony "Tony" Bilello, 87, passed away on October 23, 2023. He was born April 17, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois to Anthony and Mary Alice (Perdue) Bilello.
He grew up in Granite City, Illinois and graduated from Granite City High School in 1954. In 1955, he entered the US Naval Preparatory School and, after one year, he was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy at Lowry Air Field. He was a member of the second graduating class from the AF Academy in Colorado Springs in 1960. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Fort Snelling, MN, where he was a trainer for the reserves. He was then sent to Maxwell AFB to attend Squadron Officer's School. He resigned his commission on active duty in 1965, but remained in the reserves. He was then employed by Alaska Airlines in Seattle, WA. During the Vietnam war, he was called back to active duty in 1968 and was injured on a training mission in The Philippines. Upon recovery, he was assigned to Maguire AFB, NJ where he fulfilled his commission and left the Air Force in 1972.
He moved to Denver in 1972, where he started his own flying club and worked as a supervisor for the US Postal Service, where he retired in 1990.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, of 62 years and three daughters: Jeanne (Robert) Piechota, Jennifer Laso, and Susan (Shon) Ramsel . He had 7 grandchildren and three great-grandsons and numerous other relatives. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Lawrence, and his son-in-law, Edward Laso.
A Memorial service will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 1130 am at Harvey Park Christian Church, 3401 S. Lowell Blvd, Denver. A private burial will take place at the US Air Force Academy at a later date.