G. Vernon Casto Sr., 93, died peacefully April 6, 2013, surrounded by loved ones. Born Oct. 20, 1919, aboard the yacht L" Rewar in route to Stuart, Fla., from Atlantic City, N.J., which docked at Fernandina Beach, Fla., for his arrival. He was a lifelong resident of St. Augustine and member of the Cathedral Basilica. He attended St. Joseph Academy where he met his wife of 72 years, Mary Triay. He was an outstanding athlete and led the Flashes to many victories. As a 1939 graduate of Mainland High School, Daytona Beach, where his family moved enabling his father to be instrumental in designing a Daytona Beach landmark, The Bandshell and Clock Tower. While in Daytona Beach he continued to excel in athletics and was all conference all State players on Mainland"s championship football team. During those years he also joined the Red Cross Lifeguard Corp., where he was credited in saving numerous lives. He remained an active member until 2010 and attending yearly reunions of the LG Corp. After graduation he coached St. Joe"s football team and led them to a 1940 championship, the only time the Flashes would win the St. Johns River Conference. In 1941 he married his high school sweetheart and began his family.
As a veteran of World War II, he proudly served alongside his brother Harry and father Mark in the U.S. Navy. After the war in 1946 he established Casto Brothers Appliance which he and wife Mary operated for 50 years. During those years he remained very active in the community as a volunteer coach, past commodore of the St. Augustine Boating Club where he held numerous offices, a member of the American Legion and past post commander, active in the VFW, 3rd degree Knight of Columbus, active supporter of Boy Scouts of America, Troop 63 and St. Augustine Elks Club.
Survivors include his wife Rita Mary Triay; children, George, Jr , Sissy Wall (Bill) and Michael (Jan); grandchildren, Trey and Mike Casto, Clint (Stella) Mike (Jennifer) and Missy Sanders, Maria Eimer (Tom) Savannah, Katy Hampton (Rick); great-grandchildren, Stuart, Sterling, Ty, Pierce, Sy, Nate Jacob, and Lili.
He is preceded in death by younger brother Harry and granddaughter Jennifer.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Thursday at the Cathedral-Basilica, the Rev. Seamus O"Flynn, celebrant. Visitation will be held 5-7 p.m. Wednesday with a prayer vigil at 6 p.m. at Craig Funeral Home Burial will be in San Lorenzo Cemetery. Flowers are gratefully declined those wishing may make a contribution to Sisters of St. Joseph, P.O. Box 3506, St. Augustine, FL 32085.
Craig Funeral Home Crematory Memorial Park (www.craigfuneralhome.com) is in charge of the arrangements.