Obituary: John Joseph Guisti Sr.

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Obit-CandleNAUGATUCK — Mr. John Joseph Guisti Sr., 81, of Naugatuck, died Saturday, June 8, 2013 at Waterbury Hospital surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Gionda (Bisiakki) Guisti.

Mr. Guisti was born in Waterbury on Feb. 4, 1932, a son of the late Amerigo and Theresa (Kane) Guisti. He worked as a corrections officer at the Cheshire Reformatory, AFLCIO police and municipal union rep and retired from AFSCME, where he worked as an int’l union rep. He was a communicant of St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Naugatuck and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #17 in Naugatuck, the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Derby; he is honored in the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Museum in Windsor, N.Y. and had volunteered as an agent with the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Fund for over 25 years.

Mr. Guisti served in the United States Naval Reserve from 1950-51, he also served in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged as a corporal having served from 1951-54. He was the recipient of a Purple Heart as a result of his bravery during the Korean War.

He cherished spending time with his family and playing pool with his grandchildren. His nieces and nephews affectionately nicknamed him “The Jack.” He was a truly caring, very humble, and selfless person who had a great heart for helping the less fortunate. He enjoyed playing practical jokes, “loved horses” and his motto was “Go easy.”

Mr. Guisti is also survived by four daughters, Karen Dunn of Coventry, Debra Lamas and her husband Wilson of Prospect, Lois Haag and her husband Paul of Beacon Falls, and Donna Trzaski and her husband Mark of Coventry; a son, John J. Guisti, Jr. and his wife Claudia of Torrington; grandchildren, Christopher, Kaitlin and Cameron Dunn, Kendra Lamas, Peter and Jeremy Haag, Madison and Mackenzie Trzaski; great-grandson Christian Dunn. Many loved nieces and nephews. His siblings include Eleanor Guisti of Naugatuck and Irene Guisti of Southington; brothers, Lawrence Guisti of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Frederick Guisti of Waterbury and Robert Guisti of Wolcott; stepchildren, Liana SantaMaria of Naugatuck and Elizabeth Engle of New Hartford, William Engle of Las Vegas, and John Soltanas and his wife Jen of Middlebury; step-grandchildren Cailyn Soltanas, Joseph SantaMaria, Jimmy, William, Johnny and Magda Engle; step-great-grandchildren Joseph and Mason SantaMaria.

He was predeceased by his loving and cherished wife, Lois (DeCarlo) Guisti and his sisters, Mary Schurer, Barbara O’Reilly and brothers, William and Richard.

The funeral will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. from the Prospect Memorial Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Road, Prospect to St. Vincent Ferrer Church, 1006 New Haven Road, Naugatuck for a mass at 10 a.m. Burial with full military honors will be in St. James Cemetery in Naugatuck. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Fund or to the American Heart Assoc., 5 Brookside Dr., PO Box 5022, Wallingford, CT 06492.

For more information or to place online condolences, visit www.prospectmemorial.com.