Joseph David ‘JD’ Lastort | News, Sports, Jobs
Joseph-David “JD” Lastort, 87, of Wilmington, North Carolina, passed away peacefully and comfortably at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare early Tuesday morning. JD was born and raised in Altoona, son of the late Catherine “Cili” (Fiore) and Michael “Mitch” Lastort.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 60 years, Rita (Jarrett). They remained in Altoona until 1997 when they retired to Bradenton, Florida to be part of the lives of their three beloved grandsons, their hearts! He moved to Wilmington in 2020 with Renee and Paige, to be closer to Nicole and Rita, who reside in a nursing facility in Wilmington.
In addition to his wife, JD is survived by his three children: Michael (Jan) of Takoma Park, Md., Renee Pennebacker (Paige) and Nicole Lee (Dylan), both of Wilmington, NC; known as Pappy to his three grandsons: Taran, Jarrett and Nicholas Pennebacker, all of whom reside in California. Also survives his little sister, Martha Parisi
(Mickey) of Altoona; and too many cousins to count. All were a special part of his life growing up in Altoona. Oh, the Italian holidays and celebrations everyone had!
JD graduated from Altoona Catholic High School in 1951, briefly attended Penn State Altoona, then joined the military for a short time in 1953. He served in the USAF from 1954 to 1957, the reserve of the ‘USAF from 1957 to 1959 and the AP Army National Guard. 28th Division Infantry Band from 1959 to 1992. The Army Band was his passion and he performed in hundreds of concerts, parades and ceremonies, where he made incredible friends for life. In 1988, the group was invited to France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
You can catch a brief glimpse of him playing the trumpet around minute 27 of the video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWCOCRLPbSk.
He attended business school in Altoona and worked in ad sales at the former WFBG-turned-WTAJ, where he worked his way up to general manager for over 20 years. He left in 1985 to become General Manager of Galliker’s Dairy, from where he retired.
Apart from being the best husband, father and grandfather, his passion in life was music. He was drawn to big band at a very young age with his father and uncles playing in big bands. He played trumpet like his father in the army band and continued to play in Bradenton with the Manatee County Community Band. He introduced his son, Michael, to the sax and the piano and convinced his three grandsons to play the piano and the same instruments his grandfather and uncles played. He volunteered with the band at Saint Joseph Catholic School, where the grandsons attended elementary school, and gave free private trumpet lessons to any interested student.
JD loved his Steelers and loved Penn State. He became a football fanatic and attended hundreds of his grandsons’ matches.
He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Altoona until he moved to Florida, where he was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
JD will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 23, 2022 at Santella Funeral Home, 1106 Eighth Ave., Altoona.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, January 24, 2022 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 806 11th St., Altoona.
Masks will be needed for both.
Arrangements are being made by Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st St., Wilmington, NC 28403; and Santella Funeral Home, Altoona.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 20401; or Mr. Holland’s Opus, an organization that provides musical instruments and music education to underfunded schools in JD’s memory.