Former Westport Deputy Police Chief John Anastasia died at his home surrounded by his family. He was 83.
Anastasia, who died on Wednesday, June 3, was laid to rest on Monday, June 8, in Westport.
"The men and women of this department as well as the residents of Westport both past and present will be forever grateful for his 34 years of dedicated service to his hometown community," said the Westport Police Department.
A native Westporter who served his community as a life-long police officer, retiring as Deputy Chief in 1993, Anastasia received several promotions and commendations for his service to the community.
"At a time when the whole concept of policing is being re-examined, Deputy Chief Anastasia’s record shows us what “community policing” can really be," the department said.
During his years as an officer, Anastasia connected to the broader Westport community through the Police Athletic League, and at the same time, gave back to the community through his PAL leadership.
In addition to his PAL involvement, Anastasia spent years raising money for children's sports through holiday gift-giving programs, school scholarships, town fireworks, and many other programs.
When not working, he loved to play golf and founded the annual PAL fundraiser tournament in 1961, which is still held every year at the Longshore Golf Club.
In 1995, he was recognized for his contributions to the town's sports programs by receiving Westport's Sportsman of the Year award.
Anastasia is survived by his wife, Annette, son John R. Anastasia Jr., his wife Tina; his daughter Karen and her husband Greg Hawes; six grandchildren: Samantha her husband Ian Eicholtz, Natalie Anastasia, Slade Anastasia, Matthew Hawes and his wife Morgan, Taylor Hawes, and Eric Hawes, and two great-grandchildren, Jagger and Remi Eicholtz.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "John Anastasia Scholarship Fund" in care of Westport PAL, 50 Jesup Rd, Westport, CT 06880.
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