Thomaston – Mr. Joseph F. Wassong, Jr, 83, passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, May 18, 2021 at his home. He was the husband of Rebecca Skinner and the late Shirley (Gyurik) Wassong.
Joseph was born May 10, 1938 in Waterbury, son of the late Joseph F. and Margaret (Hayes) Wassong, Sr. A Thomaston resident for most of his life, Joe was coached by his father in Thomaston’s first year in the Little League (1949). After graduating Thomaston High School, class of 1955, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College, where he was selected as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He earned an M.A. degree from Columbia University and a Sixth Year Certificate at Trinity and completed summer fellowships at the Universities of Virginia, Washington, and Florida. Joseph taught history at Glastonbury High School for 8-1/2 years, followed by a 31-year career as a history professor at Mattatuck (later Naugatuck Valley) Community College. Contributions included the introduction into the curriculum of self-paced courses and the creation of courses in Great Lives and Women in American Life, Past and Present. A lifelong educator, his teaching impacted the lives of more than 10,000 students of all ages.
Joe contributed immensely to his hometown. He was a member of the Democratic Town Committee (1978-2014), the Zoning Board of Appeals (1978-2000 including 19 years as chairman), and the Board of Finance (1985-2004 including nine years as chairman). He was president of the Adult Doubles Tennis League (1982-1995), was selected as a Rotary Citizen of the Year in 1991, and served as vice-chairman of the Building Committee (1987-2005). Joe was Curator of the Thomaston Historical Society (1996-2021) and the author of Thomaston in the Arcadia Series of Local Histories (2003). From 2005, when the Historical Commission was established and charged with restoration and management of the Seth Thomas Bradstreet House, Joe served as its chairman until 2019.
Joe loved to travel in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He was a loyal fan of the New York Mets, New York Giants, UCONN women’s basketball, and the Connecticut Sun.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Joseph F. Wassong, IV, of Cambridge, MA, John F. Wassong and his wife Tina of Corpus Christi, TX and Jean Wassong Lynch and her husband Paul of Malverne, NY; his stepdaughters, Kathryn Borgatti and her husband Dan Evans of Brooklyn, NY and Rachel Borgatti and her husband Tristan McNamara of Montpelier, VT and four step grandchildren, Cassidy and Lyra McNamara, Jennifer Tipton, and Sonny Mayes.
The family wishes to thank the caregivers and health care professionals from Seasons Hospice and Heaven’s Hands Home Care for the compassionate care they provided to Joe.
Calling hours will be held on Monday, May 24, from 4:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. at the Lyons Funeral Home 46 High St. Thomaston. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday at 10:00 A.M. at St. Thomas Church. Burial will follow in St. Thomas Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in Joseph’s name may be made to the Seth Thomas-Bradstreet House Society, Town Hall, 158 Main Street, Thomaston, CT 06787.
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