Joseph D. Lastort

September 8, 1934 ~ January 18, 2022 (age 87)

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Joseph David Lastort “JD”, 87, of Wilmington, NC, passed peacefully & comfortably at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare in the early morning of Jan. 18th, 2022.

JD was born & raised in Altoona, PA, September 8, 1934 to the late Catherine “Cili” (Fiore) and Michael “Mitch” Lastort.

He is survived by the love of his life - his wife Rita (Jarrett) of 60 years. They remained in Altoona until 1997, when they retired to Bradenton, FL to be a part of the lives of their three beloved grandsons, their heart! He moved to Wilmington in 2020 with Renee & Paige, to be closer to Nicole & Rita, who resides in a nursing facility in Wilmington.

Surviving in addition to his wife are his three children, Michael (Jan) of Takoma Park, MD, Renee Pennebacker (Paige) & Nicole Lee (Dylan), both of Wilmington, NC; pappy to his three grandsons, Taran, Jarrett & Nicholas Pennebacker, who all reside in California. He is survived by his little sister, Martha Parisi (Mickey) of Altoona & too many cousins to count, who were all a special part of his life growing up in Altoona. Oh the Italian holidays & celebrations that were had by all.

JD graduated from Altoona Catholic High School in 1951, briefly attended Penn State Altoona, then joined the Army for a short time in 1953. He served the USAF 1954-57, the USAF Reserve 1957-59 & the PA Army National Guard 28th Division Infantry band 1959-92. The Army band was his passion & he played in hundreds of concerts, parades & ceremonies & made amazing lifelong friends. In 1988 the band got invited to France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWI.

You can catch a brief glimpse of him playing trumpet around the 27 minute mark.

He attended the Altoona School of Commerce & worked selling ads at the old WFBG that became WTAJ, where he worked his way up to become the General Manager for over 20 yrs. He left in 1985 to become the General Manager of Galliker’s Dairy, from where he retired.

In addition to being the best husband, father and grandfather, his passion in life was music. He was attracted to big band at a very young age with his father and uncles playing in Big Bands. He played the trumpet like his dad in the Army band & continued to play in Bradenton with the Manatee County Community band. He introduced his son Michael to the sax & piano introduced his three grandsons to play the piano & the same instruments that his grandfather & uncles played. He volunteered with the band at Saint Joseph Catholic School, where the grandsons attended grade school, & gave private free trumpet lessons to any student that had interest.

JD loved his Steelers & loved Penn State. He became an avid soccer fan & attended hundreds his grandsons’ matches.

He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Altoona until he moved to FL., where he was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

JD will be sadly missed by everyone who knew and loved him.

Family and friends will be received at Santella Funeral Home, 1106 8th Ave, Altoona, Sunday, Jan. 23 from 2-5 p.m. a funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 806 11th Street, Monday, Jan 24 at 10:30 a.m., masks will be required at both. Funeral arrangements were made at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S 41st St, Wilmington, NC 28403 and Santella Funeral Home in Altoona.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 20401 or to Mr. Holland’s Opus, an organization that provides musical instruments and music education to underfunded schools in JD’s memory.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph D. Lastort, please visit our floral store.


January 23, 2022

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Santella Funeral Home
1106-8th Ave
Altoona, PA 16602

Funeral Mass
January 24, 2022

10:30 AM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

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