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Anthony M. Pastore, 96

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Anthony Michael Pastore, 96, of Pittsfield died on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021, at the Landing at Laurel Lake in Lee.

Born in Pittsfield on Oct. 26, 1924, a son of Nicholas Pastore and of Frances Mary Mazzulla Martino, he attended Stearns, the former Pomeroy Junior High and Pittsfield High School, graduating in June 1942. 

Mr. Pastore was inducted in the Army on March 17, 1943, and assigned to the Army Air Forces. He was sent to New England Aircraft School in Boston, and was shipped overseas in December 1943, landing in Casa Blanco, Africa. He was a member of the 87th Fighter Wing and landed in Salerno, Italy. After the fall of Monte Cassino and the landings of Anzio, the 87th, which was part of the 12th Air Force, was able to proceed to Rome, which had been declared an open city and liberated June 4, 1944. Gen. Mark Clark was in command of the 5th Army and pursued the retreating Germans. The 87th arrived in Florence, Italy, and shortly after Pvt. Pastore was transferred to the 27th Fighter Group of the 12th Air Force. This outfit was stationed on the Island of Corsica in the city of Bastia. From Corsica, the squadron was involved in the invasion of Southern France. In support of ground troops, their P-47 fighter bombers devastated the enemy. They traveled up the Rhone Valley and after a short period of time, were crossing into Germany; however, progress was halted as they waited further orders.

The squadron received the news of the death of President Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, and with the surrender of the Germans on May 8, 1945, they were sent to Nice, France, for rest and relaxation. Their next stop would be Japan; however, with the dropping of the atomic bombs at Horoshima and Nagasaki, Pvt. Pastore came home and was discharged on Dec. 8, 1945. The 524th Fighter Squadron was given the Europe Africa Middle East Medal with five battle stars, WWII Victory Medal, American Theatre Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation with two clusters and the French Fourragere shoulder strap.

After working at home for a year, Mr. Pastore re-enlisted in the Air Force to attend radio school at Scott Field, Ill., and after graduation was disabled by leg injuries sustained during the war. He was hospitalized and then discharged from the service. 

In addition to his education and graduation from Pittsfield Public Schools, New English Aircraft School and Radio and Transmitter School, Mr. Pastore completed some business college courses, and attended service schools. In addition, he graduated from the Phil Saltman Music School in Boston, and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied classical voice. Following a voice injury, he left school and was not able to sing for 30 years. He joined the St. Mark's Choir in 1981 and regained his singing ability after four months. Bob Blafield directed the choir and was succeeded by Tom Frost, who appointed Mr. Pastore as cantor. Also under Mr. Frost, Mr. Pastore was cantor at the former St. Mary's Church on Tyler Street and the former St. Theresa's Church on South Street. He retired from singing, but returned to St. Mark's Church under the direction of Jeff Hunt. Mr. Pastore also took cabaret courses under Sherry James Buxton and Bob Shepherd of Dalton on piano accompaniment. 

Since 1980, Mr. Pastore has been called upon to sing the national anthem on Pearl Harbor Day and at other military functions. He always felt honored to be asked to sing.

After high school but before entering the service, Mr. Pastore was employed by Charles Scace, Fred Gillis Auto Parts, and Wyandotte Woolen Mills. Between enlistments, he worked again for Wyandotte, as well as the former Eaton Paper and Pittsfield Grand companies before he rejoined the military.

Following his final discharge, Mr. Pastore was employed at the GE Naval Department as a test man in the Torpedo Division. He became a Class A test man before being transferred to the Transformer Department. After his resignation, he was employed as a truck driver for Sam Carr Hardware and was later hired as a laborer by the  Pittsfield Water Department. In 1960, Mr. Pastore went into business as Pastore Service Center, which was a gas station and variety store, which also specialized in TV and auto radio repair. He closed the business in 1977 due to the gasoline problems and very slight profit. He was hired as the parts manager at the Battery Mart in Troy, N.Y., and, in 1981, returned to Pittsfield, where he was hired by Arace Auto to work in the parts department. Mr. Pastore was later offered a job with Petricca Construction and worked there until he was hospitalized with knee problems. He retired in 1992.

Mr. Pastore was a communicant of St. Mark's, a life member of the VFW Post 448 and a 50-year member of American Legion Post 68. He was also past commander of Disabled American Veteran Chapter 15 and was elected its chaplain for the last 20 years. He was a former member of the Sons of Italy ITAM Lodge 564.

Mr. Pastore is survived by nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He is predeceased by his longtime companion, Kathleen Ann "Kathy" Raimer, and four brothers, Joseph, Nicholas, Mannato and Michael Pastore as well as three sisters, Victoria Pastore, Mary Pastore, and Mary Brunelle.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Anthony Pastore will be celebrated on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, at 11 from St. Mark's Church, Pittsfield. Burial with full military honors will follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery. A Facebook livestream of the service will be provided by Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Homes on its Facebook page. Memorial contributions may be made to any local veterans organization of the donor's choice. To add to the book of memories please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.


Obituary Provided By: Flynn & Dagnoli

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