Anthony Peter Gasparo had only one speed: Slow, a description his son said he used in the best sense of the word.
“My dad was laid back and easygoing," son Anthony Michael Gasparo said. "It took a great deal to get a ride out of him,” said his son, who added watching his dad under stressful situations had “a calming effect to [see] how he handled life and what came with it. He was supportive with everyone no matter what they were going through.”
The elder Gasparo, of Huntington Station, died April 30 at Huntington Hospital after a three-week battle against the coronavirus, the son said. He was 81.
“If the house were [ever] on fire … he wouldn’t freak out,” said Anthony Michael Gasparo, also of Huntington Station, who added he would have imagined his father unhurriedly leaving.
Once when he was a teenager, he and a friend were caught by police wandering the streets at night with cans of beer, and were brought home, the son recalled. His father simply told him to get inside, the son said, which was typical of his father.
Gasparo was born in the South Bronx, the son said, adding that his father’s parents moved to Huntington Station when he was 9 years old. While in high school, his father worked as a stablehand at the West Hills stables in Melville.
After high school, his father first worked as a pin setter in a local bowling alley, then as a carpet installer, and lastly he began a long career as the head of security at the Huntington Townhouse, his son said. The Townhouse — which billed itself as the largest catering hall in the country — closed in 2007.
Along with his family, Gasparo had three passions, his son said. They were the New York Yankees, the Buffalo Bills and the Civil War.
His father “was a die-hard Yankees fan and wouldn’t miss a game.” And he rooted for the Bills, because “he would say they’re the only real New York team,” with the Giants and Jets playing in New Jersey, his son said.
As for the Civil War, Gasparo collected many books on the topic, and would talk about nuances on the subject, such as what caused the great conflict, his son said.
Gasparo would also take his family to the Civil War re-enactments at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. The family was unaware how he got his intense interest in the subject, his son said.
In addition to his son, Gasparo is also survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia; two daughters, Debbie Gerken, of Huntington Station, and Donna Meystrik, of Smithtown; four grandchildren, Victoria, Brandon, Amber, and Dean; and one great grandchild, Logan.
A graveside service was conducted on May 7 at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Pinelawn.
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