John C. Pastori, age 59, of Wisconsin Rap­ids, Wis., passed away Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, at his residence.

Private family services were held at Ritchay Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids. A Celebration of Life will be held outdoors this summer. 

John was born April 17, 1961, in Racine, Wis., to Louis and Lorraine (Campbell) Pastori.

He studied auto mechanics at Wyo Tech in Laramie, Wyo., and graduated in 1984. John retired from Verso Paper Mill.

John married Holly Meyer in 1984, in Jacksonville, Ill.

John was a warm and loving member of his family and community. He had a big, infectious laugh and an easy sense of humor. He enjoyed family gatherings over a glass of craft beer or homemade wine, sharing stories and playing games.

He loved life and being with friends and family, and his life was filled with passion for woodworking, woodcarving, cooking and out­door pastimes. Good with his hands, he was an avid and accomplished woodworker and an expert small-engine repairman, and he was always generous with the fruits of his labor.

He eagerly helped friends and neighbors in any way — putting on roofs, taking down trees and making repairs.

He was a founding member of the Wisconsin River Woodcarvers. He donated his chainsaw carvings for benefit events. His shop was his refuge, where he welcomed visitors and enjoyed teaching them. 

Never one to sit still for long, John was quick to pursue new interests, developing new outlets for his considerable energy and creativity — most recently a CNC machine and laser engraver, which he often used in partnership with his son in California. 

He traveled widely and recently took up tent camping again, in order to travel safely in a pandemic. He thoroughly enjoyed his summer trip to the U.P.

His favorite place was Mexico, however, where he snorkeled in the Sian Ka’an and visited Chichen Itza and Tulum, though simply lying on the beach in Cancun was his favorite.  

John is survived by his wife, Holly; two children, Dan Pastori of Laguna Beach, Calif., and Gina Pastori of Milwaukee, Wis.; his mother, Lorraine Pastori; and siblings, Cindy (Dan) Zubella of Rudolph, Wis., and Joe Pastori of Eagle River, Wis.

John was preceded in death by his father, Louis, and his grandparents.

John is already sorely missed by his family and his devoted Labrador, Maya.