The renovated second floor of American Legion Post 1195 in Hastings was dedicated to 96-year-old James Pasanello on the afternoon of Saturday, April 10.
The lifelong Hastings resident served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and then joined the American Legion in 1946. From 2013-15, as commander of Post 1195, he led the effort to secure funding for the renovation.
In recent years, Post 1195 subdivided its property, a lot between Farragut and Rosedale avenues, and then sold the parcel along Rosedale, where a single-family home has been built.
Post 1195 used the proceeds from that sale to fix up the exterior of its building and the interior of the second floor, including the addition of a handicapped-accessible bathroom.
Post 1195 purchased the 1.4-acre site in 1946. The building was constructed three years later.
Pasanello received proclamations from Hastings Mayor Niki Armacost and Post 1195’s current commander, Rob Lee of Hastings, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1995-99.
Hastings Village Trustee Tom Drake, who served in the Navy from 1992-96, was the emcee of the ceremony, which included opening and closing prayers by the post’s chaplain, Ignacio George Febles of Yonkers, who served in the New York Army National Guard from 1964-70.
Pasanello was deployed in Austria, France, and Germany. Upon his return, he worked for the New York Central Railroad, and then as a union scaffolder and bookkeeper. He retired in 1987.
Pasanello lives in his childhood home. He has three children — James, Joseph, and Diane; four grandchildren — Elissa, Karisa, Samantha, and Todd; and five great-grandchildren. His wife, Raphaela, passed away in 2004.