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The original item was published from 9/24/2015 8:38:00 AM to 9/25/2015 1:25:43 PM.

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Posted on: September 22, 2015

[ARCHIVED] John P. Musante Obituary


John Peter Musante, 53, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday morning, Sept. 20, 2015. He was born in Northampton on Dec. 19, 1961, the son of David B. Musante and the late Claire Musante. John was the fifth child of six in a very close-knit family. Growing up in Florence in the 1960s and 70s, John spent every Sunday with both sets of much-loved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and every other day of the week playing with his brothers and sisters and their many neighborhood friends, while also honing his skills as the family math whiz. John benefitted greatly from the civic-minded coaches and volunteers in the Northampton Recreation Department, as well as his teammates in baseball, basketball, and soccer. Through these experiences, he developed his skills as a quiet leader who never took credit for team or personal accomplishments. He was a graduate of Northampton High School and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, earning his bachelor’s degree from the Isenberg School of Management. John spent his college summers working for Huntley Associates, Surveyors and interning with State Representative Bill Nagle. After earning his undergraduate degree, he worked for the State Department of Revenue in Boston as a local government specialist. He went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Upon entering graduate school, John married the love of his life, Marlene, on August 1, 1987, and over the next several years they had two beautiful children, Matthew and Rachel. Together, John and Marlene instilled in their children the family, neighborly, and civic values that were so important in shaping who John was. John was ever present in his children’s lives and an active role model. No matter how demanding his work schedule, he could be found on the sports field patiently and enthusiastically coaching his children’s teams and joyfully attending their innumerable games, performances, and productions. He enjoyed every minute he had with Marlene and his children, and never took that time for granted. He had a profound influence, not only on Matthew and Rachel, but many other young people that were fortunate enough to have known him. Although extended family members were scattered across the country, John and Marlene prioritized spending Christmas holidays and summer vacations with parents, siblings, and their families, and John relished their glowing reviews of his carefully crafted clam chowder, always the first treat to go. Not only was John the consummate family man, he was also a model citizen and public servant. He began his public career in earnest by interning as a graduate student in the office of former Amherst Town Manager, Barry Del Castilho. While there, he confided to Marlene that his dream job would be the Town Manager of Amherst. After earning his MPA, John served as the Finance Director and then the Chief of Staff to Mayor Bullard in the city of New Bedford. In 1992, John became the first Town Manager of Lenox, and then returned to Northampton in 1996 with his young family to assume the position of Finance Director under Mayors Mary Ford and Mary Claire Higgins. In 2004, John became the Finance Director of Amherst. In 2010, John landed his dream job when he was unanimously appointed as the Amherst Town Manager. In this role, he set out to improve the quality of life for Amherst residents and the greater community by focusing on sustainable economic development and fostering closer relationships with the local university and colleges. Two of his most beloved projects include the planting of 2,000 shade trees as part of the greening of Amherst project and successfully planning and negotiating the establishment of a new satellite community health center. Throughout his tenure, John was an excellent problem solver and active listener. Known to his colleagues as incredibly warm and passionate, John worked effectively and carefully with everyone who had a stake in the matter at hand. His confidence and self-assuredness was quiet but strong and manifested itself in the humblest of ways. John is survived by his loving wife, Marlene, and his beloved children, Matthew, 23, and Rachel, 19. He also leaves behind his siblings Donna Nosofsky and her husband Robert of Bloomington, Indiana; Lisa Musante and her husband Fred Bartmon of Amherst; Patricia Musante and her husband August Carbonella of Northampton; Tom Musante and his wife Donna of Charlotte, North Carolina; and David Musante and his wife Anne of Hatfield, as well as many cherished nephews and nieces. John will be greatly missed, and his legacy will endure through the lives of his wife, children, extended family and through his many contributions to his community. His family is thankful for the incredible support that they have received from family, friends, Amherst officials, and the greater community in this time of mourning, and they know that John would be humbled and enormously grateful. Calling hours will be Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Ahearn Funeral Home of Northampton. A funeral ceremony celebrating his life will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church of Amherst. John was proudly spearheading the effort to bring a community health center to Amherst to make medical and dental care available to all. To help carry John’s work forward, donations to this project can be made in his memory. Checks payable to the HCHC/PVHC Capital Campaign can be sent to PVHC, PO Box 2541, Amherst MA 01002.

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