1952 - 2018
Thomas Chestaro passed away July 6, 2018 surrounded by his family. He died as he lived, peacefully, and without fear. His year and a half battle with stage 4 brain cancer (Glioblastoma) was finally over, and the grace in which he accepted his illness will never be forgotten. Tom fought and never gave up hope. From 3 brain surgeries, six weeks of chemo, radiation and two clinical trials, this was a man who would accept whatever God had in store for him. For the last clinical trial he was told it would most likely do nothing for him. He agreed to do it for science and for any future patients. That's the kind of man he was.
Tom was born on July 18, 1952 to Thomas and Frances Chestaro of Corona, New York. He loved books, read everything he could get his hands on, from psychology to theology and everything in between. He was self-educated, attended City College and could hold his own in conversations with renowned economists, the clergy, and experts in the legal field. One prominent lawyer who loved to debate with Tom told him, "You'd have been a great lawyer."
He enjoyed a successful career in the film and music industries, as a respected personal manager and producer. His earliest clients were wife, Mercedes Hall, son, actor Anthony Michael Hall, and daughter, Mary C; also launching the careers of some well known actors. Tom was unique because he didn't just talk, he listened. Whether you were the head of a studio, or a member of the crew, you knew that you mattered to Tom. He was genuinely interested in what you had to say.
Tom was recruited a few years back as Director of Security in Crisis Management at the Edison Hotel in Manhattan. He then moved on to a less hectic pace at the Archer Hotel, continuing to do the same, until his diagnosis December 1, 2016. If you met Tom only once, you never forgot him. In the late 70's he worked for Amtrak by day, and by night worked at the world famous Copacabana, where he met the love of his life, his wife of 39 years.
Tom gave 110% in everything he did, but family always came first. His legacy is one of faith, hope, charity and love. He was a humble and strong man…strong in his faith in God. The Mass was very important to him in his life. Fittingly his wish was cremation, with a "beautiful mass." On Saturday, 7/21 at 12 noon, a Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated at The Basilica of St Patrick's Old Cathedral, the corner of Mott and Prince Streets. Interment immediately following in the catacombs below the Cathedral.
Tom is survived by wife Catherine, aka Mercedes Hall, son Michael Chestaro, aka Anthony Michael Hall, daughter Mary, husband William Coss, granddaughter Mila Rose, mother Frances, sister Frances Manzi, niece Michele Sullivan, husband John, daughter Reyna, nephew Ricky, sons Zachary and Michael, and numerous family members.