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Casto Joseph DeBiasi

Jan 31, 2020

Casto Joseph DeBiasi, nearly 99, of Shepherdstown (formerly of Centreville, Va.) peacefully passed from this life on Jan. 23, 2020, at home, in the presence of his family.

A one-of-a-kind individual, he loved life and was beloved by many, remaining fully engaged in family and world events throughout his life.

He was born in New York City on Jan. 25, 1921 as the son of Italian immigrants. He was a talented painter in high school, garnering the attention of NYC Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who selected his paintings for his office. Despite the offer of an art scholarship in Europe, he pursued a degree in engineering, temporarily interrupted by service in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Following Honorable Discharge, he completed his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from New York University in 1949. He was employed in the Corps of Engineers in upstate New York, and later in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. He met his wife of 58 years, Emily (DiPaolo), on the golf course after destiny placed them in the same foursome, soon followed by dancing and their wedding in 1961. They relocated to northern Virginia in 1966.

After his retirement from 35 years of government service, he was a beloved volunteer at Twin Lakes Golf course for over 20 years, and was honored at the age of 92 as the Fairfax County Parks and Recreation Volunteer of the Year. Casto had many hobbies, including golf, horse races, astronomy, painting, sailing, camping, cross-country travel, Broadway musicals, dancing and all types of music (from opera to country). He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9274, the American Legion Post 0177 and a parishioner at St. Agnes (and previously St. Timothy) Catholic Church.

He is survived by his son, James DeBiasi of Lititz, Pa.; daughter and son-in-law, Roberta DeBiasi Cucuzzella and Mark Cucuzzella of Shepherdstown; five grandchildren, Leo Cucuzzella, Lily Cucuzzella, Mary Elizabeth DeBiasi, Teresa DeBiasi and James Michael DeBiasi; and numerous extended family in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Connecticut. He was preceded in death by his sister, Rose DeBiasi, and parents, James and Irene DeBiasi.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Hospice of the Panhandle and the Shepherdstown Fire Department.

A mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 106 S. Duke St., Shepherdstown, WV on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 11 a.m., with Reverend Father T. Mathew Rowgh officiating.

Burial was followed at Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown. Family and friends were received at the church one hour prior.