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In Memory

Mr. John DeGasperis
















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02/18/15 12:53 PM #1    

Kenny "Tash" Tashian (1964)



Mr. DeGasperis "Gassie" was a mentor, coach, and friend to everyone, not just athletes.  He was so much more than part of the faculty, he was part of our lives, a part that endured over time.  Life's lessons were not learned by instruction, but rather by example.  He was simply the best!

Many from the Class of 1964 will recall how he helped us through the shock and grief the day President Kennedy was assassinated.  Michele See was on the road with him during a Driver's Education class.  He was a comfort, and someone she could turn to for strength in the midst of a national tragedy.  To this day she appreciates having been with Mr. D on that fateful day.

I was fortunate to have remained close to Mr. D (I still can't call teachers by their first names not matter how old I get) through his lifelong friendship with my father "Pops."  For years, there was a group of teachers that included Mr. Corso, Mr. Brown, Mr. Kingsley, Mr. Haugh, and Mr. "D" got together on a regular basis for lunch.  I tried to time my trips back East to coincide with these luncheons.  It was worth the effort to see this group of mentors in a personal setting.  Mr. D was always good for a joke, a story, or a jab at his peers that was hilarious.  What a great sense of humor!  He will be missed.



02/18/15 08:32 PM #2    

Vic Canzani (1965)

There is a special bond between players, teammates, and coaches. As a student at Paramus HS, I was extremely privileged to play for, and with, some extraordinary people. Coach Lanzalotta was one of the finest men I have ever known, Coach Peck gave me a chance to play, and I would have done anything not to let him down, and Coach DeGasparis was that special person who taught us football— a game of hard work, individual responsibility, teamwork, accountability, sportsmanship and passion. In short, a blueprint for a successful life. Football got me into college, gave me a scholarship, fostered lifetime friendships, and provided lasting memories. My one regret is that I never truly thanked him.

I have to smile thinking of Frank and Doon and all the teammates who left us much too soon— they have their coach back and I can only hope that when my time comes, they will have saved a place for me.

02/20/15 04:13 PM #3    

Michele See (Simon) (1964)

Coach De was absolutely one of my favorite people at PHS. Taught me how to drive. He had so much patience. We were together in the Driver's Ed car when JFK's shooting was announced on the radio. He told me to immediately get back to the school and said, "step on it". I'll never forget it. I used to do the mimeographing of plays for the football team. He was always very appreciative. Had a great sense of humor. My thoughts are with his wife of 60 years Ann and his 6 children and his 19 grandchildren and his 3 great-grandchildren. We've lost a wonderful man. RIP

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