Obituary of John R. Nasto
John R. Nasto, 85, of Farmington, beloved erstwhile husband of the late Deanna E. (Bailey) Nasto, passed away peacefully from this world at home on Sunday, February 2, 2020, with strength and honor as he reunited with Deanna, the love of his life and soul mate, to continue their spiritual journey together. Born in Utica, NY, he was the son of the late Carl A. and Mary D. (Pepe) Nasto. He was a longtime Glastonbury resident, moving to Farmington one year ago. Besides Deanna, John’s passion was singing and he was blessed with a beautiful singing voice that allowed him to pursue this passion throughout his life. He was a member of the Purdue University Glee Club that appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and sang professionally after graduating from Purdue with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1956. While he ultimately eschewed a singing career to marry Deanna and raise a family together, he did continue his singing with various groups and choirs throughout his life, including the Connecticut Opera Association and, most recently, the Choral Club of West Hartford. Frequently at Mass John would let his voice boom during the songs resulting in folks in front of him turning around to identify the source of the melodic crescendo all to the horror of his children who shuffled away from him down the pew in a desperate attempt to disavow any association with him. John began his career as a field engineer (P.E.) in the Square D sales office in Syracuse, NY, and over the next 34 years steadily rose through the Square D corporate ranks, with stops at outposts in Hartford, CT and Parsippany, NJ before ending his career as the Vice-President of Sales at Square D corporate headquarters in Palatine, IL. John was an avid reader and possessed an overabundance of intellectual curiosity, which allowed him to amass numerous degrees and professional licenses during his career, including an MBA from UCONN, and to reinvent himself after leaving Square D as an engineering consultant with Tulimieri Associates and thereafter as a real estate appraiser with First American. He also enjoyed trading the stock market and was a Series 7 registered broker. While his wife instilled discipline and structure at their home, John would assist in that regard but was primarily responsible for providing the levity, utilizing impersonations (Nixon, David Carradine, Reagan and Dole) and some of the all-time worst Dad jokes, all G-rated and usually products of his business trips to Milwaukee (one notable joke ended with the puchline: the beer that made Mel Faney walk us). Many times he would come home from work and burst into the kitchen proclaiming how beautiful Mom was, and then to the horror (again) of his children seated at the kitchen table he would hug and kiss her while she was cooking dinner. His own brand of paternalistic wisdom was frequently dispensed using biblical references, quotes from historic figures (Julius Caesar) and philosophers, and good old-fashioned Catholic guilt. The latter was often deployed to cajole an otherwise reluctant churchgoer to get into the car for Mass (“Well, it’s your soul…”). John was extremely proud of his Italian heritage, and he would often assume the role of the raconteur (a la Tony Soprano) and regale his children and guests with the stories of the exploits and achievements of the Romans, Italians, and Italian-Americans. John and Deanna, as Upstate New York natives, met one another initially at beautiful Pine Lake, New York in the Adirondacks when they were 8 and 4 years old respectively. One of the most enduring and invaluable gifts that they bestowed on their children was when they purchased a modest ramshackle cabin on Pine Lake in 1962, thereby enabling them to spend countless summers in a bucolic setting at “The Lake” where many wonderful memories were forged. John would take his children, father-in-law and brother on overnight camping trips in the area and entertained them at night around the campfire with scary stories, including one infamous tale entitled “The Monkey’s Paw.” Going to “The Lake” was the clarion call at the end of every school year, and his children are forever grateful to him and Deanna for all the experiences they had there. John was the co-founder of the Enfield Hockey Association, serving as its president and doing his part to lay the foundation that ultimately produced duel state hockey championships by Enfield (Division 1) and Fermi (Division 2) high schools in 1983. While he did not have any prior experience playing organized hockey, he would occasionally fill in for coaches and went undefeated in this capacity, including a signature win over the vaunted West Springfield, MA pee-wee team at the old Hartford Arena on a cold January evening in 1970. Ever the sportsman, John enjoyed playing squash and tennis, and was a life-long dedicated runner. He supported his children in their pursuits of their chosen sports, happily driving them throughout the northeast United States to practices, games, meets and matches. John was a man of the utmost integrity and character, with a kind heart and positive attitude. Saint Augustine once said that “[t]o sing is to pray twice.” If that is true, then John certainly has amassed more than enough spiritual capital through the lives that he has touched, the good deeds he has done for others and his singing to have Saint Peter swing the gates open for him. Well done John, well done. With strength and honor we will carry on. We all will miss you. Godspeed. John is survived by his two sons and daughters-in-law Carl R. and Catherine Nasto of Avon, Michael J. and Nancy Nasto of Scottsdale, Arizona, his daughter and son-in-law Licia and Christopher Kaswer of Avon, his six grandchildren: Alexandra and Brian Nasto, Lianne, Brandon and Jeremy Kaswer, and Lexi Nasto, his brother James Nasto of Clinton, NY and his sister Carla Nasto of Utica, NY. John’s family extends their heartfelt thanks and deepest appreciation for the care, compassion, support and assistance provided to John in his last year by Eva Quispe, Suleman Khan, John P. and the wonderful staff and John’s other friends at Brookdale in Farmington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, 145 Main St., Unionville, CT. Burial will be at the convenience of the family at St. Augustine Cemetery, South Glastonbury. There are no calling hours.