John David Basto, 76, of Sullivans Island, passed away on Friday, May 15, 2020 in Charleston, SC. David was born on March 7, 1944, in Harrisonburg, VA, while his father served at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. He was the son of Helen Bowers and John William Basto. David spent his early years in Bridgewater, VA where his father was a professor of romance languages at Bridgewater College. After moving to Richmond, VA at age 8 and attending Ginter Park Elementary School, he graduated from John Marshall High School in 1962. David graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from The Citadel in Charleston, SC, class of 1966. It was during college that he met Marion Graham Culler, from Orangeburg, SC. Graham and David were married in 1967 and initially resided in Charleston, SC. After living in Charleston, they moved to Richmond, VA where David worked for 14 years for Reynolds Metals Company. It was during this time that he earned a Masters of Commerce degree from the University of Richmond. After leaving Reynolds, David continued working in the building products industry in New York City, commuting from Richmond. In 1985, he founded James River Steel, Inc., and served as its President until his death. David and Graham lived in Richmond until 2017 when they returned to Charleston to live near their children and grandchildren, taking residence on Sullivan’s Island. David was a member of the Country Club of Virginia, St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Richmond, and the Carolina Yacht Club in Charleston. David loved his family, friends and the outdoors. His love of the outdoors included waterfowl and upland game hunting, field shooting, and fresh and saltwater fishing. His most recent passion was big game hunting in Africa – which Graham would tell you was unfortunate because he was a good shot – and their home became filled with trophies from his expeditions. David was fortunate to have friends all over from many chapters of his life including his brothers from The Citadel, and friends from his long career in the building products industry, and from his years spent living in Virginia and South Carolina. What will be missed most about David by his family and friends was his larger-than-life personality. He loved nothing more than socializing and recounting stories from his days at The Citadel, hunting trips and any of his many (often off-color) jokes. A man of average physical stature, he loved telling friends that he “actually was very tall, but he just had short legs.” David certainly could give, but also could take, a joke – including the time his employees at James River Steel baited him into unwittingly starring in a live-radio prank call show involving his nemesis, city leaf pile removal. David had a zest for life and chased after it with a contagious humor and energy. David is survived by his wife of 52 years Graham, of Sullivan’s Island SC; son, J. David Basto, Jr. of Sullivan’s Island, SC; daughter, Marion Basto Stephens of Mount Pleasant, SC; and five grandchildren: Jay, Charles, Olivia, Harper and Graham. A celebration of David’s life will be held in the fall. Memorials may be made to The Citadel Foundation ( Moultrie Street, Charleston SC 29409 Arrangements by J Henry Stuhr, Inc., Downtown Chapel, Charleston, SC. Visit our guestbook at charleston

Posted in: Post and Courier

Posted on: 2020-05-18

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