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John R. Anastasia Sr., Veteran Westport Police Officer, 83

John R. Anastasia Sr, a veteran Westport police officer, died June 3 at home. He was 83.

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John Anastasia: retired as deputy chief. Contributed photo

A native Westporter, he served 34 years on the force, retiring in 1993 as deputy chief. During his illustrious career in law enforcement, he received several promotions and commendations for his service.

Born Nov. 28, 1936 to Placido and Carrie (Capasse) Anastasia, John grew up in Saugatuck as the youngest of 11 children and where he shared many neighborhood memories with family and friends.

He graduated from Staples High School in 1955 and married his high school sweetheart, Annette Ferrone, on July 4, 1958.

As a young man, he loved sports and excelled in basketball, playing in several competitive local leagues.  As an adult, John was committed to giving back to the town’s youth by being an active participant of Westport’s Police Athletic League (PAL).

He raised money for children’s sports through holiday gift giving programs, school scholarships, town fireworks, and many other PAL programs. 

His love of the game of golf translated into many lifelong friendships and the start of the annual PAL fundraiser tournament that he founded in 1961, led for several decades, and which is still held every year at the Longshore Golf Club.

In 1995, John was recognized for his significant contributions to the town’s sport programs by receiving Westport’s Sportsman of the Year award.

John was also very proud of his Italian heritage, as a lifelong member of the Sons of Italy, he was actively involved in bringing back the Feast of Saint Anthony to Saugatuck, known as Westport’s Italian Festival.

He is survived by his wife, Annette, son John R. Anastasia Jr., his wife Tina, his daughter Karen and her husband Greg Hawes, all residing in Westport.  John was very proud of his six grandchildren: Samantha her husband Ian Eicholtz, Natalie Anastasia, Slade Anastasia, Matthew Hawes and his wife Morgan, Taylor Hawes, and Eric Hawes. He was fortunate enough to have met his two great-grandchildren, Jagger and Remi Eicholtz.

A funeral procession, led by the Westport Police Department, will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 8 at the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East.

There will be a prayer service at the Assumption cemetery following the procession.  Additionally, there will be a memorial service at the Assumption Church at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “John Anastasia Scholarship Fund” (in care of Westport PAL, 50 Jesup Road, Westport, CT 06880).

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