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Jerome K. Pasto

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Jerome K. Pasto June 21, 1915 - March 17, 2013 Jerome K. Pasto, 97, of State College, died Sunday, March 17, 2013, at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College. Born June 21, 1915, in Monessen, Pa., he was the son of the late Emil and Edit Elisabet Pasto, Finnish immigrants. He was raised on a farm in New York state. Mr. Pasto graduated from high school in Van Etten, N.Y., in 1934. He earned his B.S. in Agronomy from Cornell University in 1938, following which he was employed with the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On June 14, 1941, he married Frances G. Grove, who passed away on May 6, 2000. They were married 59 years and had two children. After the Pearl Harbor attack, Dec. 7, 1941, Mr. Pasto volunteered in the U.S. Navy, with the officer rank of Ensign. He served aboard two aircraft carriers in the Pacific and was responsible for interpretation of aerial photographs of enemy military installations and damage assessment after bombing raids by U.S. forces. The carriers participated in nine invasions, among them Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The other carriers also participated in air strikes against the Japanese islands and homeland. The San Jacinto and the other taskforce ships were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Mr. Pasto earned seven campaign stars. By war's end, he had been promoted to full Lieutenant and later to Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves. After the American forces in the Pacific took over the Japanese-held island of Saipan, Jerome took ground photographs of the enemy's fortified installations. Copies were forwarded to the other taskforce ships and to the central intelligence office in Hawaii. The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, which included Saipan, was formed flying the American flag. The Commonwealth awarded Jerome a medal for his intelligence work. The photos also now are in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. Following the war, Mr. Pasto earned his M.Agr. and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural Economics at Cornell University. He also served as Extension Specialist at Cornell. In 1950, Mr. Pasto joined the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the Pennsylvania State College. He was the author or co-author of 70 publications and articles on his research, including 14 Experiment Station Bulletins. In 1957 to 1959, while on leave, he served as a specialist with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, at its headquarters in Rome, Italy. He traveled widely in Asia and the Far East, conducting seminars on farm production under limited agricultural resources. In 1968, Professor Pasto was appointed Associate Dean of Resident Education in the College of Agricultural Sciences. In 1971, he was named among the Outstanding Educators of America. He was president of the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. From 1978 to 1985, he served on the Advisory Council of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. He was a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the American Farm Economic Association. He was a charter member of the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, the Centre County Historical Society, Alpha Zeta, Delta Theta Sigma, the State College Rotary Club, and the State College Presbyterian Church. In honor of his late wife "Frankie," a volunteer R.N. in the bloodmobile, Mr. Pasto made a grant to the Central Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross to recognize each year a person who has donated many pints of blood, and a service bloodmobile worker, with a framed certificate, known as the Frances G. Pasto Award. In assisting Penn State in celebration of the nation's Bicentennial in 1976, Mr. Pasto researched the life of Dr. Evan Pugh, Penn State's first and brilliant president, from 1859 to 1864. Employing Dr. Pugh's own words on the need for more science in agriculture, Mr. Pasto, in costume, impersonated Dr. Pugh in 25 presentations on campus and around the state. Mr. Pasto's interest in collecting antique farm and home equipment resulted in an agricultural museum. The Alumni of the College of Agricultural Sciences raised funds for the construction of a building. They recommended strongly that the collection be named the Pasto Agricultural Museum. Mr. Pasto retired on June 29, 1980, as associate dean emeritus and professor emeritus of agricultural economics. After retirement in 1980, he continued as volunteer curator of the museum until 1999. In 1991, he and the late Mrs. Pasto initiated an endowment for the museum. In 1993, he was named by Penn State as an Honorary Alumnus for having "made significant contributions to its welfare and prestige." He was also named a member of the Mount Nittany Society, the George W. Atherton Honor Society, and the President's Club. In 1996, the Pastos established the Heritage Trust for the Pasto Agricultural Museum. In 2001, Mr. Pasto, though not an alumnus of Penn State, was recognized with the Philip Philip Mitchell Award for significant volunteer service to Penn State and its Alumni Association. On Nov. 22, 2002, he became charter member of the Armsby Honor Society for distinguished service to the college. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Tris Stewart Pasto. Surviving is a daughter, Jena Pasto Harvey and her husband, David, and their two children, Jonathan Stewart Harvey and his fiancŽ Jacquillene Nickerson, and Dr. Laura Lee Harvey and her husband Carl Chamberlin. Friends will be received at the Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College, on Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. A Celebration of Life Service will follow in the funeral home at 11:30 a.m. with the Rev. Susan Reisinger officiating. Burial will be private in Centre County Memorial Park at the convenience of the family. Memorial contributions may be made in Dr. Jerome K. Pasto's name to the Pasto Agricultural Museum at Penn State, College of Agricultural Sciences, University Park, PA 16802; the State College Presbyterian Church, 132 W. Beaver Ave., State College, PA 16801 or to a .
Published in Centre Daily Times on Apr. 7, 2013
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