ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local World War II veteran Pete DuPre was laid to rest Wednesday. DuPre died last week at 98 years old.
Most everyone called DuPre “Harmonica Pete.” He was known around the world for his harmonica playing, often playing the National Anthem at sporting events around the country.
DuPre’s daughter Mary Ann says, to the world he was Harmonica Pete but, to their family he was much more.
“He was dad,” she said. “He was a mentor, a great friend a travel companion… open up your hearts and just be generous and take care of people and make people happy. Do whatever you can to make the next person smile. I think that’s how my dad filled his days.”
DuPre served as an army medic during World War II. He once told News 8 that he started playing the harmonica when he was a kid and participated in the school harmonica band when he was ten years old. It was a way for him to meet other children during the depression, eventually becoming a way for him to touch other vets and those enlisted in an inspiring way.
DuPre recorded some 40 songs on his harmonica for Paragon Studios.