Coach, Teacher, Administrator
Educator for 40 years
Our beloved dad, Michael Joseph Anastasio, 93, known to all, as Coach Mike or Mr. A, died Friday, May 8, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut on August 3, 1926 and raised in West Haven, Connecticut where he graduated from West Haven High School. He was an outstanding football and basketball player for West Haven High. In 1946, he was recruited by the Army as an athlete to play football among other duties. He later attended the University of Richmond on an athletic scholarship. While in college, Mike was activated into the Marines for the Korean War. He returned to his studies and graduated from the University of Richmond in 1951 and later attended graduate school and received his Masters’ degree from the College of William and Mary. His parents were from Salerno, Italy and were extremely proud of his accomplishments as he was the first to graduate from college.
After graduation, Mike relocated his wife and family to Hampton, VA. He began his career in education at Hampton High School teaching physical education, government and coaching (Assistant) the varsity football and basketball teams. He later became the Head Baseball Coach and in 1956, he became the Head Varsity Basketball coach. Coach Mike had all the qualities of a great coach. He loved the entire process of building and growing a team. His teachings went beyond the X’s and O’s on the court or on the field. He coached the person not just the athlete. He modeled respect and passion for the game. He was able to get his athletes to believe in themselves by inspiring them to do more than they thought they could. Whether the team won or lost, Coach Mike instilled humility and sportsmanship. He was not just a good coach that could change a game; he was a great coach, who changed lives.
In the 1960’s, Coach Mike became the Athletic Director and Assistant Principal of Hampton High School and then in 1969, Mr. “A” began his elementary principal career serving as principal at Phillips, Kraft, Tyler and ending his career at Barron Fundamental School in 1991.
During his years in education, he belonged to numerous coaching and education organizations such as Phi Delta Kappa, National Association of Elementary Principals, Hampton City Schools Elementary Principals’ Association, Virginia Education Association, Virginia High School Coaches Associations, State and District Coaches Association and the University of Richmond Spider Club. He also was a member of the Wythe Exchange and the past treasurer of the Knights of Columbus.
Mike was an active member of the St. Rose of Lima and The Korean Martyrs Catholic Church. He served as an usher, a Sunday school teacher and as a member of the Stewardship and Building Committee.
Mike and his wife Helen, lived 62 years in Virginia and decided in 2013 to retire to Sun City West, AZ where he was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes as an usher and Eucharistic Minister.
Mike loved sports, American History and education. There wasn’t a weekend that he wasn’t watching, reading or talking on the phone about his three interests. He especially cheered for the New York Yankees, his son, Mike, (University of Richmond) and his daughter, Lyn, (University of Virginia) who discovered their love of basketball with their father. He had a unique bond with his children from sports to education. He would spend hours talking about educational issues with his daughter, Mary Jo, who became an elementary principal. He was actively involved in giving coaching pointers to his son, daughter, grandsons and granddaughters on and off the field and court. In the summers, he would relax and help his grandchildren crab on the Ware River where his cottage was located. He touched many lives and will be remembered for his love of family, friends and the impact he made on the people he coached and guided throughout his career.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Josephine Ciaglia Anastasio and father, Jacamo (Jack) Anastasio, four brothers, Louis, Tony, Nick Deotosio and John Anastasio.
Coach Mike is survived by his wife of 70 years, Helen Confrey Anastasio, two daughters, Mary Jo Anastasio (Yorktown, VA), Helyn Walsh Anastasio (San Diego, CA) and one son, Michael Joseph Anastasio, Jr. (Sun City West, AZ).
He is also survived by his five grandchildren and six great grandchildren, nephews and nieces in AZ, SC, VA, CO, KY, CT, an honorary son, Michael A. Noce and his family of Fairfax, VA.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on May 30, 2020 at 10:00 am at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City West, AZ. He will be laid to rest on June 4 in the Mausoleum at Parklawn-Wood Cemetery, Hampton, VA.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to St. Rose of Lima and the Korean Martyrs Catholic Church.
Please join Michael's family and friends in sharing memories, stories, pictures and videos on Michael's Tribute Wall at www.caminodelsol.com
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