Obituary of Thomas Edward Rastrelli
Thomas Edward Rastrelli, 73, of Stevenson, Washington, died at home Feb. 12, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born May 23, 1947, in Clinton, Iowa, to Peter and Ida (Baldacci) Rastrelli, Tom grew up working in the family business, Rastrelli’s Restaurant. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1965. He earned a degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from Iowa State University in 1969. He then served in the National Guard. In 1969, Tom met Jill Figgins of State Center, Iowa. They were married Sept. 12, 1970. Over the next 52 years, their love grew into a widespread network of family, friends and professional colleagues that were the pride and joy of Tom’s life. Tom and Jill made their home in Clinton and began a family while he worked at Rastrelli’s with Ida and brothers Jim and Mike. Over the next 22 years, he managed family restaurants in Clinton, Davenport and Coralville, Iowa. After surviving cancer in 1971–72, Tom was a charter member of I Can Cope where he assisted people with cancer. He was a member of Kiwanis Club, the St. Irenaeus parish council president and a board member for Clinton’s American Cancer Society and L’Arche. He did a perfect Fr. Guido Sarducci impersonation and appeared on local television as “The Healthy Heart Priest” to share recipes. In 1992, Tom joined Vector Marketing as a Cutco sales representative and quickly became a leading sales rep. He went on to serve as branch manager in Dubuque and Davenport, Iowa, and district manager of Iowa and Nebraska. He was the first person in company history to achieve double Hall of Fame honors for both management and personal sales. He built two national programs, first as Vector’s national consultant for fairs and shows and then as national consultant for the service call program. He mentored thousands who affectionately called him “the Cutco Godfather.” He was a father first and loved attending his children and grandchildren’s concerts, plays and sports. With them, he carved jack-o-lanterns, painted bedroom murals, decorated birthday cakes and built sand castles. He enjoyed drawing, golfing, wine tasting, rooting for the ISU Cyclones, and traveling to visit loved ones. He was happiest in the kitchen cooking and passing on his recipes, especially “Papa’s spaghetti sauce.” From Clinton to Urbandale, Iowa, Plano, Texas, and Stevenson, he built many communities and circles of friends. He measured his life in love, family, faith, relationships, optimism and compassion. Tom is survived by his wife Jill; four children: Jenny (Mike) Seymour of Garland, Texas, Tom Mayhall Rastrelli (Bruce) of Salem, Oregon, Maria (Gabe) Spencer of Stevenson, Washington, and Jeff Rastrelli of Poway, California; seven grandchildren: Isabella, Sofia, Tosca and Rowan Spencer and Lukas, Markus and Matthew Seymour; and three siblings: Carol (Gary) Long of Paradise Valley, Arizona, Jim (Karen) Rastrelli of North Fort Myers, Florida, and Mike (Jackie) Rastrelli of Clinton. He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws Rita and Dale Figgins, and his brother Robert. His funeral and burial will be in Clinton after the pandemic. Family and friends will gather locally when it is safe. Memorials may be sent to the American Cancer Society, Unbound (formerly Christian Foundation for Children and Aging) or to the charity of your choice. Gardner Funeral Home of White Salmon, Washington, is handling arrangements.
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