Dominick Brasco

Final Resting Place

1:00 pm
Friday, January 8, 2021
Hillcrest Memorial Park
Washington Twp., New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Dominick Donald Brasco

D. Donald Brasco passed from earthly death to eternal life January 3, 2021, after 84 years of blessing everyone around him with joy and generosity rooted in the good news of the gospel. He was a devoted husband, loving father, beloved grandfather, great-grandfather, son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend and pastor. Born April 11, 1936, to Frank and Catherine (Pistone) Brasco, he grew up in Erie, Penn. A graduate of Strong Vincent High School in Erie, he was a standout athlete in basketball, baseball and football. His record for scoring in a single basketball game still stands at his undergraduate alma mater. He sang in the Strong Vincent High School choir at a national competition at the Atlantic City Convention Center. As a young man, he tested the bounds of good behavior and his family's faith, then found himself at a spiritual crossroads at age 23. He chose to live for Christ and studied to become a minister, starting at Southeastern Bible College in Florida and graduating from Eastern Bible Institute, now Valley Forge University. After graduation, he married Mary Jane Bongiorno, his wife of 59 years. His and Mary Jane's parents dedicated them as infants on the same day, not knowing their children would spend a lifetime in ministry together. They had three children, Lori Marshall (Dorsey), Don, and Camille Davis (Guy). He served congregations for eight years in Aliquippa, Penn., three years in Kent, Ohio, and 36 years in Glassboro, New Jersey, where he fostered a thriving college ministry, became a beloved pastor, district leader and ecumenical mentor. At each pastorate, the congregations grew and were able to build new ministries and facilities. Retired from pastoring at Calvary Hill Church, he became an interim pastor for two years in Burlington, New Jersey, and ministered at churches in Philadelphia and Gloucester County. He had an insatiable appetite for reading (several newspapers daily, plus magazines, Bible studies and more), good food, fellowship and travel. He was always on the hunt for the best bread, barbecue, seafood and sweets, and reveled in out-of-the way spots that majored on taste and minored on sophistication. He continually clipped promising recipes that Mary Jane adapted to be a bit healthier, and advice on finances and health that he shared with his kids and grandkids. When his son gave him a laminating machine, he was proud to take his clippings to a new level. He mastered a treasured cheesecake recipe years ago, making it for holidays and family celebrations. He eagerly planned road trips that helped him and MJ make memories and enjoyed visiting family, especially when Camille moved to Alabama and offered him more reasons to head south for the winter. He had a prized antique toy collection and baseball memorabilia. An avid sports fan, he rooted for Philadelphia teams and proudly wore Eagles and Phillies gear, but part of his heart always belonged to the Steelers. He enjoyed attending community, collegiate and pro sports contests. He played recreational softball and basketball well into his 50's, jogged, walked and was bicycling several miles daily until he became ill. He loved telling jokes, often laughing so hard at the humor that he struggled to get through the punchlines. He loved people, building relationships, serving multiple generations of parishioners and making friends of strangers. He spoke simply and warmly, often breaking the ice with a ?question about food or asking, "Where do you go to church?" He often parted company by suggesting, "Let's pray," and led in heartfelt thanks and calls for help from the God he knew so well to be faithful, loving and forgiving. He is survived by his adored wife; children; grandchildren, Danielle (Jordan), Maria (Felix), Erica (Tyler), Donald, Catherine and Julia; and great-granddaughter, Olivia; sister, Berley MacKrell; and countless loved ones. The immediate family held a private service. They encourage memorial gifts to be made to local charities with generosity toward individuals and families in need, to follow Don's example of "going about doing good," as Jesus did.
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