Joseph C. Casagrande
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AGE: 80 • Toms River
Joseph C. Casagrande, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at his home in Toms River. Mr. Casagrande was born in Dover, NJ to the late Dr. Annibale C. Casagrande, and Letiziz DePaolo-Casagrande, and brother to the late Ann Casagrande. While attending the University of Miami, he joined the U.S. Army and served during the Korean War. Upon discharging from the service, he enrolled at the School of Medicine at the University of Bologna, Italy. Later, Mr. Casagrande continued to serve his country by joining the U.S. Coast Guard in Fort Lauderdale, FL and served with the 81st Flotilla blockade during the Cuban Crisis. Mr. Casagrande became very active in politics during his lifetime. In 1960, he ran for councilman in East Orange. From 1961-1965, Mr. Casagrande served as the Essex County Constable, with the County Sheriff's Office. He began his business career by opening NJ Collections and Controls, a collection agency, in Newark, with his friend Louis Garson.
In late 1965, he moved to Hollywood, CA, where he met and married the late Ethel Karlton, and he established himself as a very successful real estate developer geared toward the building of convalescent hospitals. In 1967, he opened the Casagrande Convalescent Hospital in Anaheim, later followed by three other hospitals in Buena Park, Tuscan, and Fullerton, CA. In 1971, Mr. Casagrande returned to New Jersey. In partnership with his friend, former welterweight boxer, Charlie Fusari, who fought for the world title in Chicago, and with other associates, he opened "Ocean 4 Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge" in Asbury Park, on the corner of Ocean Ave and 4th Avenue.
Joe always loved automobiles and was an avid car collector. His love for cars, enticed him to the opening of an automobile dealership, "Renault-Peugeot" in Bloomfield, NJ, which was later sold to David Renault. Joe lived in Irvington, NJ for many years, as well as in Hallandale, FL, and finally Toms River, NJ since 1997.
During his lifetime, Joe was very active in many organizations. In 1950, Joe was awarded "Man of the Year" by the Boys Town of Italy, for all of his efforts organizing a very successful dinner-dance fundraiser. He was an active member of the New Jersey State Opera Guild in Florham Park, NJ since the early 1950's to his passing. Joe became a Mason of the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite in 1967. Late that year, he became a Shriner, and he remained a life-long member of these organizations.
Joe is survived by his cousins, Connie Ferrace-Pizzillo, her husband, Rosolino Pizzillo; his cousin, Josephine Ferrace-Giorgio, her husband, Joseph Giorgio, and their sons, Anthony and Michael, as well as other cousins, relatives, and many close friends.
Visitation will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 8 at the Silverton Memorial Funeral Home, 2482 Church Road, Toms River. Graveside Military Service to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9 at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Boys Town of America, Boys Town National Headquarters, 200 Flanagan Boulevard, PO Box 8000, Boys Town, NE 68010 or Boys Town of Italy, 250 East 63rd St., Suite 204, New York, NY 10065. www.silvertonmemorial.com.
Silverton Memorial Funeral Home
2482 Church Rd. Toms River, NJ 08753
Published in Asbury Park Press on Mar. 6, 2013