Anthony Joseph Morasco, better known as Duke, passed away unexpectedly Friday, August 11th, 2017. He was 57 years old.
Duke was a graduate of New Milford High School. He attended Heidelberg College in Ohio and Western Connecticut State University. At the time of his death he was employed as a flight instructor at Arrow Aviation in Danbury, CT.
In his life, Duke excelled in many areas. He was an expert mechanic and craftsman who was able to build, replace, repair or recreate nearly anything. He was a meticulous craftsman; good enough was not good enough for him. He liked nothing more than to be able to assist a friend who needed it. Duke was a profoundly decent man with a thoughtful and generous spirit. He was willing to teach those who were eager to learn and help those who needed it.
Duke was also a gifted writer, poet and satirist, often writing humorous poems, commentary and song parodies, which he enjoyed singing, as well as American song book and rock and roll classics. His intellect and wit were well-known and cherished by his family and friends; there was practically no subject about which he could not create a humorous anecdote, or about which he did not have a deep knowledge and understanding. Duke loved intelligent banter and had a brilliant sense of humor and comic timing. He recognized the humor in just about every life situation or moment. Everyone could count on a great story, well-timed pun or hilarious joke when Duke was there.
But Duke’s true passion was flying. From the time he was a child, Duke had a special interest in any air craft, commercial, military or experimental. He trained and acquired his private pilot’s license in his twenties and continued his studies, learning to fly some of the most unusual and challenging aircraft ever made. Duke flew for many summers as an aerobatic performer in the Rhinebeck Air Show at the Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, New York, piloting WWI aircraft, flying maneuvers, offering rides in antique planes and even having his skills featured in an episode of Man, Moment and Machine on the History Channel. Duke loved to fly and loved to talk about flying, aircraft, weather and all aviation-related trivia. His lifetime dream was to one day become a corporate pilot.
Duke was deeply devoted to his family and his family cherished him. Duke is survived by his father, Anthony S. Morasco and step mother Gail Washburn of New Milford, by sisters Annette and Jeffrey Marcus of Brookfield, Patricia Morasco and Louis Sproviero of Newtown, and Sharon and Edward Baldwin of Brookfield, and by eight nieces and nephews whom he adored. He is predeceased by his mother, Harriet Berry of Swansboro, N.C.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday August 16, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Lillis Funeral Home, 58 Bridge Street, New Milford, CT. A graveside service will take place at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in New Milford, CT, on Thursday August 17, 2017 at 11:00 am.
Duke will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.
Contributions in Dukes memory may be made to the New Milford Animal Welfare Society, 8 Dodd Rd., New Milford, CT 06776.