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James R. Casserly

1920 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
James R. Casserly Obituary

James R. Casserly, 93, beloved husband and best friend of Jane D. Casserly, passed from earthly life on April 28, 2014. Born October 6, 1920, in Cleveland, OH, he was the son of James F. and Myrtle G. Casserly. He grew up in Akron, OH, graduated from Buchtel High School, and went on to earn his BA from The College of Wooster in OH and his BS in Engineering from MIT. After graduating from MIT, he joined the U.S. Navy. At the end of WWII he left the Navy and relocated to St. Louis, MO, where he worked for Bemis Brothers. In 1950 he married his first wife, Patricia Lund. Shortly thereafter, he was called back into the Navy for the Korean conflict and assigned to the Norfolk, VA shipyard, in charge of ship repair. His first son was born in Norfolk. At the end of the war Jim took a position with Johnson & Johnson and the family moved to Princeton, NJ, where his daughter and younger son were born. After fifteen years, the marriage ended in 1965. Shortly thereafter, Jim joined the former United Aircraft (now UTC) Pratt & Whitney Div. in East Hartford, CT, and settled in Glastonbury, but remained a very loving and involved father to his children, making many weekend trips to visit them in NJ. He later moved to the UTC Fuel Cell Division in South Windsor, from which he retired in 1982. After his retirement, Jim agreed to drive a school bus for 1 year, which became 7 years, as he was a favorite bus driver for so many Glastonbury children-and their parents! At age 70 he felt his reflexes were declining and decided to stop driving the school bus. But not one to sit idle, he then worked at Manchester Community College, where he was a much-admired staff member of the IT Department for over 10 years, until health issues caused him to retire. Always interested in art, music, and dance, Jim became a member of the Glastonbury Art Guild, serving a term as President and has volunteered every year at the annual "On The Green" art show. He also served on the Glastonbury Fine Arts Commission. It was at the Art Guild in 1972 that he met Jane Kaiser and after several years of dating, they married in 1980 and Jim became a very loving and involved father to Jane's five children and eventually a beloved "Pop-Pop" to all of his ten grandchildren. Diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1999, Jim joined the East of the River Support Group and after Jane retired in 2001, they both continued to be active members. Jim and Jane also were members of the Glastonbury Square Dance Club for many years. They began making a yearly trip to FL for a few weeks in the winter and enjoyed visiting family and friends as they made their way down and back. Jim's Parkinson's was well-controlled for many years and only slightly interfered with their active lifestyle in the last year or so. But with cane, walker or wheelchair, they continued to enjoy the HSO and other concerts at The Bushnell, the Talcott Mountain Music Festival, activities and exhibits at the Wadsworth Atheneum and New Britain Museum of Art, etc. Jim's kind and gentle personality endeared him to so many people. The phrase "to know him is to love him" certainly applied to Jim. One of his beliefs was that if you don't have something good to say about someone or something, don't say anything at all. His faith was also a great part of him, and as members of Concordia Lutheran Church, he and Jane have enjoyed the activities and friendships made there. In addition to his parents, Jim was pre-deceased by his sister and her husband, Jane and Hal Headley of OH, a sister, Mary, who died before he was born, two grandsons, Sloan Critchfield and Mark Albert, his Mother-in-Law, Dorothy Kicza, and his Son-in-Law, Earl Morse, who all are waiting to welcome him to their presence. Survivors, in addition to Jane, include his children - James L. Casserly and his wife, Kathy Flynn, of Washington, DC; Patricia and David Critchfield of South Portland, ME; Michael Casserly of Princeton, NJ; his stepchildren - Karen Miller and her partner, Taso Dionisopoulos, of Amston, CT; Deborah Morse of Athens, TN; Frederick Kaiser and John Canali of Woodbridge, CT; Lisa and Seth Matteson of Glastonbury; David and Linda Kaiser of Northboro, MA; and grandchildren - Laura Casserly of DC; Betsy Critchfield of Portland, ME; Jason and Cindy Albert, of San Juan, PR; Heather and Andrew Marques of Glastonbury; T.J. Roberson of South Windsor; Jeffrey Kaiser of Westboro, MA; step-grandchildren - Seth Matteson, Jr. of Wethersfield and Crystal Matteson of Springfield, MA. A service to celebrate Jim's life will be held at Concordia Lutheran Church, 40 Pitkin St., Manchester, on Sunday, May 11, at 5:00 pm. Friends can greet the family at Concordia prior to the service at 4:00 or following the service at a light supper in the Church hall. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in Jim's memory may do so to Concordia's Memorial Fund or to the American Parkinson Disease Association or to a . But most of all always remember the remarkable man he was and do a kind deed in his memory. The family would like to thank The Rev. JoAnn Post, the Hartford Health Care VNA and Hospice nurses and daughter, Lisa, for all they did to make Jim's last days at home as peaceful and comfortable as possible and Mulryan Funeral Home for helping with funeral arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.mulryanfh.com

Published in The Hartford Courant on May 4, 2014
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