Neil G. Shastri didn’t have much time on Earth but his impact on his friends and family will be felt for decades to come. His sense of humor, cultivated during his high school years was a hallmark of his personality.
Though he was only twenty-five, he was wise beyond his years. He naturally connected with people of all ages and from all walks of life; he was able to adeptly engage in play with a toddler and have a meaningful conversation with a colleague who was nearing retirement.
To say that sports were an important part of Neil’s life would be an understatement. He was raised in Western Pennsylvania and grew into the black and gold culture of Pittsburgh, PA. Rooting for the Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers and later for his beloved Rutgers basketball was not merely a pastime, but a way of life. He surely would say that some of his most precious moments were spent with his friends and brothers watching his Steelers or Rutgers teams.
Of course, being a fan of professional teams was not Neil’s only association with sports. He grew up on little league baseball, basketball, and tennis and by his teens was hooked on the virtues of golf, even before the Tiger Woods phenomenon swept the nation. Neil's leadership, passion, and selfless attitude were felt by all his teammates, including his professional colleagues on the intramural basketball teams he captained.
Neil was a good sport and gracious in defeat, be he did hold one grudge – After pitching his little league team in a playoff game to a 7-0 lead, he turned the game over to his brother Jay to close it out. Jay, proceeded to quickly lose the shutout (but did close the game) which allowed Neil to have fun at Jay’s expense for the next 14 years!
Neil was taken from his wife, parents, brothers, and friends much too early and left a void that will never be filled. Through the Neil G. Shastri Foundation, Neil’s family and friends hope that they are honoring his memory by touching a few lives and doing some good in ways that Neil was never able to do.
Board of Trustees
Robert M. Gilmartin