Stephen J. Pasterick, 68, of Apollo, passed away Sunday, December 9, 2018. Born November 23, 1950, at home in the Paulton section of Washington Township, he was the son of the late Thomas and Pearl (Dudenas) Pasterick.
Steve was a heavy equipment mechanic for A.T.I. and retired after 41 years in 2012.
He was a proud veteran of the Army, having served during the Vietnam Era. He was a Free and Accepted Mason (Pollock Lodge No. 502), a member of Westmoreland and Pittsburgh Ski Clubs, and also participated in Outdoor Adventure Group.
Steve’s passion was building, whether homes, storage units or rentals. He loved life, laughter and pranking those close to him. He will be forever missed and has left a hole in many lives. He also enjoyed all things outdoors, hiking, kayaking, back-packing, snow skiing, and he truly enjoyed travel with an appreciation for good food.
The family asks that you pause and remember the “Fire Master” at your next bonfire or fireworks display. In addition to his parents, Steve was predeceased by his brother, John, and sister-in-law, Nancy Pasterick. He is survived by his siblings, Joseph (Linda) Pasterick, Richard Pasterick and Susan (Jeff) Snyder; his beloved significant other, Mary Sauer; three nieces; and one nephew.
Military honors were accorded by the Vandergrift Veterans Honor Guard at the conclusion of his funeral Mass.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to American Blind Skiing Foundation, 609 Crandell Lane, Schaumburg, IL 60193, or http://www.absf.org/.
Steve Pasterick was another one of those larger-than-life figures. As I entered the funeral home in Apollo, just up the road from where he lived, there were many people I recognized, but few I could name by name. Perhaps it was because of the parties he held up until he retired.
Steve lived along the road to the Roaring Run Trail in Apollo and because of his friendly personality he knew virtually everyone. So he invited virtually everyone to his parties. Once a year, he called it his “roast.” He generally hired a DJ, built an enormous bonfire, usually did a kayak ride down the river earlier in the day, and had a feast for the neighborhood. He mailed invitations, planned and talked about the parties for months.
He always had some kind of “surprise” costume before lighting the bonfire. As I recalled with Chuck Snyder at the funeral home, the one that stands out the most, of course, was the time he came out in a horse costume to light the fire. The horse, of course, required four legs, and Chuck got stuck being in the wrong end.
Steve was a long-time member of MAKC, and up until a certain point in time, he hosted the Loyalhanna Grotto meetings in one of his buildings. He attended the annual Old-timers Reunion (OTR), generally with Chuck, and also came to several MAKC campouts.
The funeral home held many symbols of his loves: a floppy hat, hiking rucksack and boots next to the casket; photos of him on many of his adventures, yes, the full-sized kayak that he loved so much, and many family members and friends.
Another caver and friend gone, but not forgotten. —Kim Metzgar