Remembering Bill Kashetta

Many Westporters knew Bill Kashetta as a great and generous carpenter, always willing to help with his expertise and a smile. He always charged his friends less than the going rate — and everyone was his friend.

Many Westporters also knew Bill Kashetta as an avid fisherman and golfer.

Generations of Westporters knew him as a coach. He helped start the Westport PAL basketball program, and was a member of the Staples High School boys basketball staff for several years.

But unless you were a native Westporter, you probably did not know that Bill Kashetta was one of Staples’ greatest all-time athletes. He starred in 3 sports — football, basketball and baseball — as a member of the Class of 1970.

Big, fast and talented, he thrilled Wrecker fans with his athleticism, competitive spirit and toughness.

Bill Kashetta died last week at Connecticut Hospice, after a 2-year battle with lung cancer. He was 67.

Bill Kashetta, at Staples High School’s Class of 1970 35th reunion. (Photo/Mark Smollin)

Tributes to his fun, outgoing personality and indomitable spirit poured in on social media.

He is survived by his wife Deirdre; sons David and Daniel; daughter-in-law Sarah; 3 grandchildren; his father Charles; brothers, Chuck, Mike and Tom, and a niece and nephew. He was predeceased by his mother, Jean.

A memorial mass will be held at a later date.

Former teammate Steve Baumann sends this newspaper clipping of Bill Kashetta, leaping high to grab a rebound.

28 responses to “Remembering Bill Kashetta

  1. Chip Stephens

    Billy was a kind loyal and loving father friend and local citizen. I knew Bill from high school sports when we went to Staples together, from high school sports when our kids play together and just around town. Bill always had a kind thing to say a big smile and will be sorely missed by all of his friends specially myself.

  2. Arline Gertzoff

    I was deeply saddened by the news as Bill was a close friend of my late brother’s and did so many repairs at my house. Bill was a gregarious guy and a master carpenter. He loved my mother’s chicken soup. Rest In Peace and my heartfelt sympathy to his family

  3. Dan, thanks the remembrance of Bill. We worked together at Mario’s for years and had a lot of good laughs. He even brought me on as a carpenters’s helper for his business when I was in-between other jobs. I can remember getting coffee and egg sandwiches at Junior’s every day before we started work. I’m not sure he ever let me pay. Bill was definitely a big personality in a town of big personalities and packed a lot into his life. Unfortunately, I hadn’t seen Bill in years as I’ve been living on the West coast. I didn’t know he had been sick.
    My condolences to Deirdre, her sons, grandchildren, and Bill’s father and brothers.

  4. David Schaffer

    I didn’t know Bill but I knew his brother Tom. We were both class of 1978 at Staples. Very sorry for the loss and sympathies to all the family.

  5. Vivianne Pommier

    Bill will always be remembered as an athletic, friendly, spirited part of the class of 70. He was a leader and his engaging and large personality will always be a part of Westport life.
    He fought his illness and are sad to hear this news, and we all send our prayers to his family

  6. William Bellock

    I was fortunate enough to have played with Bill on the Staples 1970 basketball team. Big personality, always with a smile on his face. Purely from a basketball standpoint he had the absolute best bank shot I have ever seen!

  7. We lost a good one 😑 what a great dude and freaky athlete, RIP big boy, love ya!

  8. No cheerier Westport presence. And, inevitably, best closing line:
    “Nice seeing me.”

  9. Steve Baumann

    Bill was a mountain of a teenager with a heart and personality that were special. He had a gentle jump shot from far beyond today’s 3-point arc and a fear inducing fastball. Bill’s laugh was infectious and his smile lit up the court, diamond, and locker room. We were teammates for 2 seasons a year for 3 years and I was a better performer having him by my side. I was so much looking forward to seeing him again at our 50th Staples Reunion. So blessed to have the memories from the many hours we spent together.

    • Reno: wonderful tribute. And you reminded me that I can remember seeing him launch shots—at least in shooting practice—from Steph Curry range (and that he made it seem almost effortless)

  10. Tom Kashetta

    Hi Dan, I want to thank you for writing this. I also want to thank everyone for their kind words, it really means a lot .

    • David Schaffer

      Tom, it occurs to me a lot of these descriptions of your brother, whom I did not know, could apply equally to you. Hope you are doing well.

  11. Pegeen Gaherin

    Having grown up with Bill, it is hard to describe how magical he was in high school.

    He was my first love, Although he never knew. It was an infatuation only a sophomore could have for a handsome senior.

    Who happened to be the most dynamic athlete and personality at Staples High School.

    I think one or two of my younger sisters also were secretly in love with him.

    Rest In Peace Bill.

  12. Robert Stalling

    I was very saddened to hear this news. My sympathies to you and your family…a truly great Westport family

  13. Philip Gambaccini

    So sorry to hear this. I met Bill at Greens Farms Elementary and he was a good and kind friend. I ran into Bill at Stop & Shop in 2011 when I was back in Westport for my mother’s funeral. I hadn’t seen Bill for decades but when I told him why I was back in town he shared 45 year old memories of my mom and had nice things to say about her. He even remembered my grandmother’s Italian cooking. He being very thoughtful and comforting to me at a difficult time. Bill was a classy guy. My sympathies to his family.

  14. Rest In Peace Bill… You will be missed.. 🏌

  15. Thank you Dan for your eloquent tribute to Billy. He was a Great Father & Family man!
    Feel very lucky to have had him as a dear Friend & Staples teammate. What a true Natural athlete who possessed brute strength
    & awesome flexibility. I’m sure you will always remember those jump shots he took in front of your Scorers table from almost half court. God bless Billy, Deidre & his special Family 🙏. RIP Billy❤️🇱🇷🌈

  16. Michael Elliot

    Billy was a mountain of man. Always with a quick quip that would make you laugh out loud. Always generous, caring and helpful. A mentor to many. He loved his family, friends and his faithful companion Ellie-Goose. He loved to cook and shared his best meals with others. My heart breaks for Deidre, David and Daniel. His old pick up truck belongs in the Smithsonian! As mentioned above “it was always nice seeing me……him!” Loved him lots, Rest In Peace, strength to his family.

  17. Michael Elliot

    Billy was a mountain of a man. Generous, caring, always helpful. He loved and was so proud of his family. A mentor to many. Always with a quick quip that would be laugh out loud funny. Man could he hit a golf ball, a long way, sometimes the wrong way which made it all the more fun! My heart breaks for Deidre, David, Daniel and his sidekick Ellie-Goose. He loved to cook and was always sharing his favorite dishes with others. His work truck belongs in the Smithsonian! As mentioned above “it was always nice seeing me…..him”. Someday I will see him again. Rest In Peace. Loved you lots. Strength to the Kashetta family.

  18. I had the pleasure of seeing Dierdre and Bill a few years ago. He was as friendly and personable as ever. I remember his great athletism. He was a shining jewel for Westport till the end. Strength & prayers to Dierdre and family.

  19. Phil Casparius

    Very sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. Really good man with a kind soul and genuine authenticity.

  20. K.F. Spearen

    Bill was one of the Good Guys , who left this world too soon .. Rest Easy old Friend “”

  21. Have known Bill for many years. The funniest, nicest guy I ever met. Will miss him, his black lab companions and his (recently retired) truck that only he could make look so good! Cheers to Billy! Best to the Kashetta family.

  22. Patty Kondub

    I want to share that Bill made the best stuffed cabbage (or he claimed he made it) and delivered it many, many times to my Mom. She was thrilled and and loved it when his big white truck stopped by!

    I hope it brings a smile and comfort to Bill’s family to read all these wonderful memories.

  23. Clark Thiemann

    He was my Little League coach and a wonderful guy. He always made everyone seem like a key member on the team even when some of us were not star players and the only time he would get mad is when we weren’t treating our teammates or the other team with respect.

    I ran into him a couple years ago when he was doing some work on a neighbors house and he was the same kind, fun man I remembered. All the best to Dave and the rest of the family.

  24. Dan thank you for this tribute to Bill. Very saddened to hear of his passing. Always a smile, a hello, and fun chat whenever we crossed paths. To the whole Kashetta, my deepest sympathy to all of you. Bill will never be forgotten by any of us fortunate to have known him.

  25. David Squires

    Saddened to hear of Bill’s passing, but happy to have known him thru the years. How fortunate he was to have been raised in town, and not only managed to stay, but to have worked and raised his family here, as well as send his children to the same high school he went to. Condolences to the Family, and i will always remember his Warm Smile.
    Say Hey to Hoover for me Bill…

  26. It was a pure privilege to have have known Bill. He was a friend to all. He had all of the attributes a person could want; a great personality, sense of humor, good looks, stellar athleticism and best of all, he was a kind soul and had an ability to relate to anyone. I cherish the memories of being a friend of his.