John Gasper
August 21, 2015

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  John J. Gasper, a well-known Antique Car Restorationist, passed away after an extended illness with his family at his bedside on Friday morning, August 21, 2015. He was 88 years old.

John was born in Cambridge, son of the late John and Mary Gasper. He was raised and educated in Arlington. He served in the Navy during World War II, achieving the rank of Seaman Second Class. He was awarded the WWII Victory Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal. He was a gunner on an LST, and one of the many soldiers who were staged for the invasion of Japan. He would later support the men and women of the US Armed Forces as a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans in Arlington.

John was an extremely hardworking and well respected man. He had worked for 15 years for the Arlington School Department as a custodian. However, his real career and gift was that of auto body mechanic and the art of restoration. He co-owned Automotive Service in Arlington for over 40 years. He was an artisan when it came to cars. He could do the simple auto body work for collisions, but also the restoration of “Show Worthy” automobiles. He was recognized as one of the top “Body Men” in the country. Customers from all over the country sent their cars for modifications, painting, and total restorations. He worked on all cars including those from the 1930’s. He had a large following of Corvette enthusiasts. He was involved with many racing teams including Woods Brothers Racing. Even after he retired, customers would beg him to still work on their cars.

John had a huge heart and always placed others above himself. His family would joke that not only would John give the shirt off his back, but also the family car and furniture. When he was questioned why he walked home from work, he would say, “someone else needed the car more than us.” He didn’t think twice about losing money on a repair if someone needed the help. He was a truly special man and the world would be such a better place if we all could be more like John. John was devoted to his family. He relished in caring and sharing his talents with all of his family. He would find a junk yard car and bring it back to life for any of his children (then they would pray that he wouldn’t sell it and make them start from scratch again). He enjoyed working with his children, and in doing so, shared his knowledge with them. He worked with his son to restore a Chevrolet Impala convertible that they found rusting away in a field, and returning it to its original glory. It was those special times that his children and grandchildren will always cherish. He was a loving husband to his wife Catherine for 68 years. He was a proud (and bit of a doting) father, grandfather and great grandfather.

John was the devoted husband of Catherine A. (Gallagher) Gasper. He was the loving father of Joseph Gasper & his wife Joyce of Burlington, Carol Davison & her husband Kent of Burlington, Patricia Plourde & her husband Ken of New Port Richey, FL, the late Elaine Gasper and John Gasper. He was predeceased by his siblings; Gerald Gasper and Irene Burke. John was the proud grandfather of Jay Gasper of Bedford, Scott Gasper of Westford, Matthew Davison of Burlington, Jody LaCascia of Burlington, Sean Plourde of Victor Idaho, and Jason Plourde of Derry, NH. He was also survived by 9 great grandchildren.

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Tuesday, August 25 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn Street, Burlington at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Monday from 4-8 p.m. Interment in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Arlington. Memorials in John’s name may be made to the Make A Wish Foundation, One Bulfinch Place, 2nd Floor , Boston, MA 02114 or
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