Amherst Magazine
Richard Steel Pastore '54

Dick Pastore died at home in Old Greenwich, CT, on December 27, 2007, at the age of seventy-five, following a two-year decline with an obscure and incurable neurological brain disease. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Virginia and Emil Pastore ’28 and grew up in Chatham, NJ.


Dick attended public schools in Chatham and summer-camped at Camp Dudley in Westport, NY, later serving as camp counselor and, more recently, as a member of its board of directors. He graduated from Chatham High School as class president and captain of his 1949 All-State soccer team. He was voted “Most Versatile” by his high school classmates.

At Amherst, Dick was an active member of Alpha Delta Phi, a pitcher on the varsity baseball team and a member of Amherst’s 1953 undefeated football team. He graduated with honors in history.

Following graduation from Amherst in 1954, Dick served three years in the US Army, earning his lieutenant’s commission from officer candidate school at Fort Dix. With a law degree from Columbia Univ., he opened his first general practice law office on Vanderbilt Avenue, across from Grand Central Station, in 1961. He was a founding partner of the Greenwich law firm, Albert, Pastore & Ward, where he spent most of his career practicing general and commercial law. He was a member of the American, New York, and Connecticut Bar Associations.

In addition to his successful law practice, he owned and managed several commercial and residential real estate ventures in New York and Connecticut. He was also active in the New York Thoroughbred Racing program, owning a share of “Rubiano,” the Grade I Stakes winner of the 1992 Eclipse Award for Champion Sprinter.

Our memories of Dick Pastore at Amherst are of a popular, respected, hard-working, intelligent, independent, and strong-willed classmate and fraternity brother. Dick did not suffer fools lightly and was well known for his gritty and outspoken tirades against idle minds, wasted opportunities, and sophomoric indulgences. Not that he lacked a sense of humor or the readiness, when work was done, to romp with the rest of us. He was a mature young man of changeable moods, and he loved to debate the issues of the day. He could not abide hypocrisy, pretension or sloppy discourse. He valued a level playing field and equal opportunity for all, but he never accepted the liberal concept of adjusting academic standards to meet a lowest common denominator. Rather, he would always make the effort to help the less advantaged reach the higher bar.

To accommodate returning veterans after World War II, a limited number of second year students, including Dick, were invited to reside in their fraternity houses. They profited greatly that year from their close association with an older, more experienced, and wiser body of men. His loyalty to his fraternity brothers extended beyond his Amherst years. When Jim Richardson, his junior and senior year roommate, transferred to AT&T headquarters in 1968, Dick invited him to become a part of the Pastore family in Old Greenwich for a few months. He indoctrinated Jim into the world of commuting to New York City and helped him find an apartment in Greenwich. They remained very close friends.

Dick Pastore’s defining attribute throughout his life after Amherst was his unfailing devotion and attention to family. Whether traveling, on the sidelines of a sporting event, or sitting around the dinner table, Dick’s happiest and proudest moments have centered around his wife, their children, and their grandchildren. He is survived by his devoted wife of forty-nine years, Joanna Matthews Pastore; sons Michael ’82, John, Thomas, and Richard; daughter Anna Sommers ’86; thirteen grandchildren; and three siblings, Susan Rollinson, Grace Boyd, and John Pastore ’68.

—John Ferguson ’54
—Jim Richardson ’54

 

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