Cover photo for Joel Rasco's Obituary
Joel Rasco Profile Photo
1972 Joel 2022

Joel Rasco

September 20, 1972 — December 18, 2022

SOUTH HERO – With grace, courage and love Joel Thomas Rasco said goodbye to his Earthly existence on the evening of December 18, 2022 with his mother and siblings by his side, and his entire extended family with him in spirit. Joel was born on September 20, 1972 in Plattsburgh, NY into the loving family of Thomas, Sandra, Shannon, Tracy, and Jason. He was quickly the adored baby brother. The family moved to Milton, VT in 1975 where he went to school until he graduated in 1990. During that time he built amazing and strong life long friendships.

Then he ventured to Clinton Community College and SUNY Cortland where he added even more friends to his huge social circle. His world became brighter as he created many lasting friendships and his family grew, blessing him with many nieces and nephews. He started his 22 year career at Hiawatha Elementary School in 1996 and he added his Essex Junction school family to his circle of life long friendships.

Then one crazy night in Richford, VT during the 1997 deer season he met the love of his life, or so she thinks, Lesha Gates. Ten plus years later she became a Rasco and their world was blessed with their beautiful daughter Emeri in 2008 and their larger than life son Luc in 2010. Joel was graciously welcomed and embraced by the Gates, Demers and Plouff clan.

Joel was blessed with so many amazing people in his world or rather, we were all blessed to be part of his world. Joel’s ability to be present and in the moment was a gift to anyone who came in contact with him. Joel was a lover. He loved his family, being with people, talking, storytelling, creating and maintaining relationships. Watching sports; his kids' games, the Yankees, Bills, and Islanders. Playing and coaching soccer, hockey and baseball. Teaching and creating learning opportunities. Hunting in Holland, Westford, Ontario, South Hero and Bakersfield. Celebrating Fridays, and enjoying live music, some of his favorite concerts include T-Hip, Judas Priest, Metallica, John Hiatt, Luke Bryan, P!NK, Brantley Gilbert, ACDC, Allman Brothers and Ozzy. Spending time being silly with all his nieces and nephews, annual events such as the Luc Gates golf tournament and Fishmas, spending time at camp on the Saranac River and any beach with family. Christmas lights and holiday decorations. Being outdoors, the cabin on the hill in Westford, cutting wood, sitting by a fire, pets; Zzar, Grover, Jozie, Wags, Pepper, Miss Cleo, Lucy and Moose.

Things Joel was not fond of was a short list; cancer, unnecessary conflict and being on time. The family’s final request is that you all fight cancer in any way you can and take time to be present today with those you love. Be inspired by Joel’s legacy of faith, strength and a fierce embrace of life and use it to continue to teach the importance of friendship and love.

Joel was predeceased by Frederick and Yvonne Rasco & Vernon and Kathryn Macy. 

Eternal rest grant unto Joel, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Friends & family are invited to Joel’s life celebration to include visitation from 4-7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 27, 2022 at the Goss Life Celebration Home, 89 Grand Ave., Swanton, VT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, December 28, 2022 at St. Francis Xavier Church, 3 Saint Peter Street, Winooski, VT.

In lieu of flowers anyone wishing to make a donation in Joel’s honor may contribute to a fund for his children, Emeri and Luc, through Jenifer Hardy. Donations can be made in person, mailed to 33 Goodrich Hill Rd., Georgia, VT 05454 or Venmo @Jenifer-H-25

Goss Life Celebration Homes is the area’s exclusive provider of Life Celebration events. Please visit our website to share condolences, photos and favorite memories at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joel Rasco, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, December 27, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Goss Life Celebration Home

89 Grand Ave, Swanton, VT 05488

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

3 St. Peter Street, Winooski, VT 05404

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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