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Arthur Di Stasi


Arthur J. Di Stasi, age 103 of Allendale and formerly of Wayne, joined his loved ones in eternity on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

There are so many things to say about Dad, a man loved by his family, and admired by his friends and colleagues.

Who was he really? There were many facets to this ever moving, bow-tie wearing bundle of physical and mental energy. His family was the most important part of his life. We never saw him cross or angry, he always had a positive attitude (although we’re sure on occasion he just shook his head)… With his “OK, let’s try that” and “roll with the punches” philosophy, life in our house always seemed fun and interesting.

Dad had three brothers, Frank, Mike, and Albert, a sister, Millie and a step sister, Clara and is the last to make this journey. He was a good student, going to high school at night and working during the day. After high school, he continued his education graduating in 1938 from the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics now called Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in Queens, NY. To complete his education, he obtained Professional Engineering degrees for New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

After graduating, his first engineering jobs were in California. He spent 3 years there, but moved back to NJ where he married Ida in 1944, who was the love of his life. He knew her family because he used to bootleg for her uncle. In his early days, he drove the trucks of sugar, but graduated to building a still and making liquor…said he was really good at it too! But that’s a story for another time.

He became a family man when Bob was born in 1945 and Linda in 1947. That responsibility was simply and naturally the next chapter in his life, and he made the most of it. Of course, we thought everyone had a dad like ours. He could fix anything and built some wonderful toys…like the full size, motor-driven carousel made from airplane fuel drop tanks which he erected and ran in our backyard...anything for his kids! Bob had a pedal car with a propeller on the front – one of a kind in the neighborhood…seemed normal to us. He was a very resourceful fellow. Because of the WWII, conveniences like washing machines were not to be had, except he somehow managed to have one delivered to our house, along with some precious nylon stockings, making life easier and happier for mom...!

Dad was interested in everything. He loved the water…he bought a boat…we all learned to water ski…and spent many weekends at the Jersey Shore for the beach and boardwalk activities. He loved airplanes…we attended many airshows, noted as background footage in numerous family photos. His love for mom was evidenced by making sure we had lots of time with her family and our cousins. We visited his family in Trenton as well, and picked wonderful fresh vegetables from “pop pop’s” garden including those delicious figs. One “oops” at pop pop’s house: the children once spent a joyful hour in the old unused coal bin…we had fun getting dirty…he rolled his eyes. His children loved animals, so we always had a four-footed friend around, and if horses were his daughter’s love, he got her to the nearest stable to learn to ride. Bob became a good sailor and pilot because of Dad’s enthusiasm with the “go ahead – try it” attitude. Dad’s creative juices – with mom’s input - were put to good use when he designed and built 3 homes – one in West Trenton, one in Brookside, NJ and the final one on Merion Drive in Pennsylvania.

His love of airplanes and flight started very early in his childhood. His first plane was a simple fuselage built in his teens. His career was airplanes, his hobby was airplanes and we often thought he should have been a bird he loved flying so much. He obtained his pilot’s license, bought planes, refurbished and flew them. Sometimes his planes came in baskets of parts – “needs some assembly” was the operative phrase but he loved the challenge. He also learned to fly sail planes, but the most fun he had was building his Fly Baby in 1970…that took a few years. We hauled that “project” from New Jersey to Florida, to Maryland and back to New Jersey where it was completed and he finally got to fly it. That little single-seat, open cockpit plane was quite an accomplishment for him to build and a thrill for him to fly. Eventually he sold it and started building and flying ultra-light airplanes and finally at 94 was learning to fly helicopters. Model airplanes also fascinated him, and his basement was full of ongoing projects some new ventures and some crashed models in need of “fixing.” See what I mean about the “bird” complex…?

So the guy with all the energy, what else did he do? Of course he had a job. He worked at Cape Canaveral on the early space programs, Curtiss-Wright and Boeing Rotocraft Systems as a critical skills engineer. He and Mom became the entertainment chairmen at their country club, organizing and decorating for holiday parties and bringing in local talent for the enjoyment of club members. He bowled, became a ham radio operator, joined the Masons and Elks, and was president of his local AARP group for a few years. In his later years, he learned how to use a computer enjoying many hours learning AutoCAD and designing parts.

He and mom went dancing on Saturday nights, they learned to snow ski, travelled extensively and visited much of the United States…cruised the islands and went overseas to Italy, England, Spain and North Africa. While in North Africa as mom went shopping, Dad said he ended up trying to ride a camel although he didn’t stay on very long. He worked many years after his “formal” retirement and eventually volunteered his time at Boeing on some special projects. The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester, PA also received a lot of his attention and he enjoyed his many hours of service there.

So what is his legacy? With a twinkle in his eye he said “I’d just like to be remembered.” Well, who in our family can forget him? His enthusiasm was infectious. He was the energizer bunny with a penchant for surprises. He loved his family more than life itself, and was delighted to have daughter-in-law, Lynne, and son-in-law, John, join the family…then came 2 grandchildren–Jeff and Stephanie. The icing on the cake was that Jeff married Jessica and Stephanie married Ben. He had mom beside him for 70 years…he was a very happy man and in honor of his request…we will certainly remember this unforgettable man who had a very rich, full life.

Arthur was predeceased by his beloved wife of seventy years – Ida Di Stasi (nee Lanzi). He is survived by his son, Robert Di Stasi, wife Lynne; his daughter Linda Di Stasi Schweighardt, husband John; Grandchildren: Jeffrey Di Stasi, wife Jessica, and Stephanie Di Stasi Roewer, husband Ben; and great granddaughter Annie Roewer.

Friends may visit with the family at Our Lady of Magnificat R.C. Church, 2 Miller Road, Kinnelon, NJ on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 from 10–11 AM. A Mass will follow and begin immediately at 11:00 AM in the church. Please meet directly at the church.


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