Carl E Presto
WESTFIELD — Carl E Presto, 75, of Westfield, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Jan. 11, 2021, after a courageous battle with declining health. Carl was born Feb. 15, 1945, in Dunkirk, N.Y., to the late Phillip and Mary (Bellando) Presto.
He was raised in Brocton, N.Y., graduating from BCS in 1963. He continued his education at both Kansas State University and Erie Community College, eventually earning an engineering degree. Carl retired after 35 years of service as a Civil Engineer for the NYSDOT. He was especially proud of his work and contributions in the construction of the then Route 17 bridge over Chautauqua Lake, which was completed in 1982.
His children have fond memories of being some of the first individuals to traverse the bridge, as their dad took them for a ride across before it was opened to the public. It was impossible to drive anywhere with him without a story or comment about a local road project that he was involved in, he owned many bright orange t-shirts, and they always proudly donned his hard hat when he wasn’t looking.
Much of Carl’s life was defined by his love for sports and his athletic ability. He excelled in football and baseball throughout his youth and in high school, and was a proud member of the undefeated Brocton Football squad of 1962-1963. He often spoke passionately of their hard-nosed style of play and of “givin’ em the business” at the bottom of the pile, which was expected by his cherished coach. He was also a great pitcher on the baseball team, dueling in Babe Ruth, high school and Grape-Belt games with other local legends, and then playing collegiately at ECC before his career was cut short by injuries sustained in an automobile accident. However, he continued with his passion for sports and competion throughout years of men’s softball, bowling, fishing, golfing, hunting, poker playing, and “12 oz. curling” with his buddies in the Chautauqua County area, and of course, cheering for the Buffalo Bills and his beloved Indians.
If there was a game to be played, a story to be told, laughter or arguments to be had, or a chance for camaraderie or bonding, then Carl was there. Clam bakes, turkey raffles, fireman’s conventions, game dinners, softball parties & tournaments, and visiting the Legion, Moose, VFW & Con Clubs to play tickets and sign the book were his favorite activities, as he always had a knack for hitting the big one. He was also a regular at the three-card poker and blackjack tables at the local casinos, always reporting on his exploits with his signature line, “I lost within my means.”
Carl passed his love for sports to his three boys, and once they were hooked, his biggest passion and source of pride became his involvement in their lives and athletic pursuits. He spent countless hours and shared countless cherished moments with them as a coach, cheerleader, heckler, motivator, perpetually late taxi driver, equipment financer, and oftentimes a frustrated dad who couldn’t help but love and yell at them at the same time. But there was always a stop for ice cream after the game, win or lose, and he was always laughed at for the ice cream in his moustache. It took years to pay off his credit card bills from all the hockey tournaments, equipment purchases, travel expenses, meals, and hotels. But he never said no.
He always had time for a game, no venue was ever too far away, and most importantly, with three boys always pining for his attention, he never said no to a game of catch. He was, and will always be to them, their biggest fan. He was always there, at every game, and wouldn’t have missed a moment for the world.
Later in life, regardless of the circumstances or his own failing health, Carl continued to be a loving supporter of his extended family. If somebody was short, had a rough go, had a late bill to pay, had car trouble, or just needed a helping hand or a break, he always opened his pocket book. He never said no. Although oftentimes misunderstood and opinionated, as Carl was being Carl, he had a huge heart and would give anything for the people he loved.
Carl is survived by his brother, Terry (Susan) Presto of Brocton; and his sons Kevin (Michelle) Presto of Ripley, Shawn Presto of Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Brandon Presto of Westfield. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren Morgan, Brittany, Sydnie, Tyler, Nicholas, Austin, Benjamin, Cheyenne, and Arianna, as well as his great granddaughter Rylee, his nieces Stephanie and Ashleigh Presto of Fredonia, and his nephew Josh Cheverez of Brocton.
A memorial and celebration of life will be held at a later date due to Covid 19 restrictions. Please direct all gifts or donations to the John W Dill Post 434 American Legion in Brocton or the Brocton Volunteer Fire Department.
Funeral arrangements are being cared for by the MORSE Funeral Home, 51 Highland Avenue, Brocton, NY 14716.
To leave Carl’s family a message of sympathy or to share a remembrance, log on to; www.themorsefuneralhome .com