John “Jack” Mastrianni, 86, of Plainville, Connecticut passed away on February 16, 2020. Born in New Britain, he is survived by his beloved wife of 64 years, Janet (Logan) Mastrianni. He was the son of the late Benjamin and Veronica (Devine) Mastrianni and leaves two sons, Gregory and his wife Ursula of New York City and Christopher and his wife Sarah of San Diego. He cherished his four grandchildren: Allison, Madeline, Cecilia and Avery who brought him great pleasure. He also leaves his sister Sharon Simpson, who was a great friend and caregiver. He valued his many friendships with cousins, school-mates and colleagues.
A life-long resident of the town of Plainville, Jack battled Polio as a young person, but never let it slow him down or dim his spirits. After remission, baseball became his passion and he played shortstop for Plainville High where he graduated in 1951. He later played for the Plainville Blues of the old New Britain City League and during his military service for the March AFB championship team of the Southern Command in California. He played in local softball leagues for many years, coached Little League and was an accomplished duckpin bowler.
He was a proud Korean War veteran, enlisting in the Air Force in 1952 with three of his best friends; all graduates of Plainville High School. He was assigned to a covert squadron that collected intelligence data for the Strategic Air Command (SAC), and National Security Agency (NSA) during the Korean War, and later “The Cold War”. He was stationed in a secluded base near Nome, Alaska with a unit that operated on clandestine and high-risk assignments that pushed the envelope of their aircraft in arctic conditions. In keeping with those of the ‘Silent Generation’ after WWII he rarely spoke about his missions and its hardships, but often said how much he enjoyed listening to ‘Moscow Molly’ “because she played good old American music” and retold his amazement of the indigenous peoples he encountered.
He married the girl who lived-up-street, his great love, Janet Logan. Both were in the same elementary school classes. They married in the last year of his military service and spent several months in sunny California during a station at Edwards Air Force Base. Returning to Plainville and with the help of the G.I. Bill he graduated from the University of Hartford Art School with a BFA Degree in Advertising and Graphic Design. He attended Yale University’s program for Corporate Design and Image. He apprenticed in the art department of a local printer and soon joined Aetna’s art department as a graphic designer and over many years rose to become Director of Communications.
During his 28 year career with Aetna, he steered many corporate sponsorships including the Davis Cup, The Sammy Davis Open, The Hartford Whalers along with numerous community and philanthropic involvements. As an advisor and helped produce and direct the National Easter Seal Telethon at Channel 8 for seven years. He was nominated by the University of Hartford as one of the Outstanding Young Men In America for 1968, served as an Alumni advisor to the Board of Regents at the University. He taught advanced courses in Design to MBA students of the Barney School of Business and received citation by multiple Governor’s of Connecticut for his commitment to Hartford’s public high schools and internship programs he facilitated. He served on many boards and committees such as the State of Connecticut Board of Education for Curriculums; Hartford Rehabilitation Center as well as being an active advisor to Tunxis Community College, and Manchester Community College for design and curriculum. He won many awards from the New York Art Directors Club, the New York Type Directors Club, the Boston Art Directors Club and the Hartford Advertising Club.
Jack liked to say his fifteen minutes of fame was working with Katharine Hepburn who he persuaded to be the voice-over narrator for a documentary he produced and directed in commemoration of the Connecticut River for Hartford’s Riverfront Recapture Committee. Jack remained an active advisor to IBM, Dell, The Travelers, and small businesses regarding communications. He also served on the Plainville Schools Steering Committee, the Linden School Building Committee, and the Plainville Town Beautification Committee. He was a volunteer in the school Mentor Programs for several years. He was a member of the Senior Center and the Historical Society.
Family and friends may gather at the Plainville Funeral Home 81 Broad Street on Friday, February 21, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 12:00 p.m. at St. Matthew Church, 120 Church Ave. in Forestville. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Plainville. In lieu of flowers a memorial donation may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research P.O. Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD 211741-5014 or at www.michaeljfox.org/donation.
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Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown MD 21141-5014