The former head professional at Edgewood CC was awarded with the Chevalier (Knight) medal and inducted into France’s Order of the Legion of Honor in a special ceremony held October 24th in Florida at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum. Andreone served as a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and earned three Bronze Stars during his combat experience as part of the first Armored Division to sail from the U.S. direct to the European mainland.
PGA Professional Gus Andreone’s rich, exceptional life got a bit richer on the afternoon of October 24th.
The oldest member of the PGA of America at 106, Andreone was welcomed by the country of France into one of the world’s most distinguished “clubs”—the Order of the Legion of Honor.
Andreone, a resident of Sarasota, Fla., who served as a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant during World War II, was awarded the Chevalier (Knight) medal by Clement Leclerc, the Consulate General of France in Miami, Fla.
The ceremony was conducted at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum, where a medal also was presented to U.S. Army veteran Harold Stephens, 93, of Ocala, Fla.
Established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte as the highest French order of merit for military and civil achievements, the Legion d’honneur has an estimated million members.
Andreone’s career as a PGA professional included time as an Assistant Professional at St. Clair Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pa. and then as a Head Professional at Pittsburgh’s Edgewood Country Club. He was born in Bellaire, Ohio and began working as a club cleaner at St. Clair CC during the Great Depression, walking five miles to work and making $30 a month.
He was elected to PGA Membership in 1939 and three years later, he was drafted. He then served a three-year tour that included combat experience as part of the first Armored Division to sail from the U.S. direct to the European mainland and for which he earned three Bronze Stars.
After the medal ceremony concluded, Andreone winked at his bride, Betty, 100, and received hugs from family and friends, and then took another long look at his new medal.
“I have been blessed in so many ways,” he said. “What we all did in service, we did together. There aren’t too many of us left. Today, I honor them all.”