ATHOL - Gary R. Bastarache, 54, of Hampstead Place, unexpectedly entered into eternal rest Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at Milford Regional Medical Center after collapsing at work from a cardiac arrest.
Mr. Bastarache was born on Oct. 2, 1959, to the late J.P. Roger and Stella M. (Gaudet) Bastarache. He was born in Fitchburg and his family later moved to Westminster where he spent many happy childhood days on Wyman's Lake. In 1977 he graduated from Oakmont Regional High School and found his niche in electronics as a graduate of Worcester College of Technology.
For nearly 30 years Mr. Bastarache shared his talents and was dedicated to his field, working in research and development as an electronics designer, earning the reputation as the group's "go-to man" at QinetiQ North America, A Technology Solutions Group in Waltham.
In addition to being very passionate and dedicated to his life long career at QinetiQ, Gary deeply loved his children and cherished spending time with his grandson Tyler. His hobbies included a love of vintage cars, motorcycles, line and ballroom dancing, music, water sports, the sun and the river. His love of nature was clearly evident through his activities of hiking, alpine skiing, canoeing, swimming and water skiing.
He recreated and cared very much about the viability and health of this valley's natural resource, the Connecticut River, and was a volunteer for the annual "Source to the Sea" Connecticut River Clean-up. Gary was a motorcycle enthusiast who enjoyed riding his Honda VTX 1800 and participated in the annual Americade Motorcycle Rally in Lake George, N.Y. He was an active member of the American Motorcycle Association.
Not only was Gary skilled in electronics and an avid outdoors man, he was an extremely innovative, creative and meticulous carpenter and mechanic. He was often found in his garage repairing, rebuilding or refurbishing the many treasures he had collected and was always willing and available to help others.
He loved deeply and will be dearly missed by his son Craig G. Bastarache of Austin, Texas; his daughter Crystal M. Stone and grandson Tyler Stone of Athol; his sister Anne E. Bastarache of Westminster; and his longtime friend Leena Newcomb of Montague.
Full of integrity, kind, courageous, loyal, tenacious, persistent, honest, humble, contemplative... these are only a few of the words that express who this amazing man was. His humility kept him from truly embracing the idea that he was indeed loved and respected by all who had the blessing of knowing him. And those who do, know he would have gladly given you the shirt off his back.
Dancing eyes of soft sage green. An easy smile filled with sincerity and warmth. A jovial laugh, a witty come back, a man who stood so very tall and played at life full-out. No matter where or how our paths merged into Gary's, our lives are richer because he was a part of it and he will continue to always be a beautiful presence, like music remembered by heart.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m., at St. Joseph's Church, 49 Woodland St., Fitchburg. Burial will be in the parish cemetery.
Calling hours are Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Isabelle & Anderson Funeral Home (www.andersonfuneral.com), 316 Clarendon St., Fitchburg.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the non-profit organization Connecticut River Watershed Council, 15 Bank Row, Greenfield, Mass. 01301.