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Manuel L. Casagrande

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Manuel L. Casagrande Obituary
Manuel L. Casagrande

Manuel "Cass" Casagrande passed away peacefully in Alamo in the comfort of his home and his family's love. Cass was born in Colma, California to Luigi and Maria Luigia Casagrande and was raised and educated in San Mateo where he attended San Mateo Junior College.

He served valiantly in World War II in the Army Air Corps where he flew P51's in combat over Normandy, France, and Germany, earning amongst other medals the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Returning from the European theater, he married his sweetheart, Gloria Galli of San Francisco and they settled in San Mateo, where they founded Galli Produce, a wholesale company which still thrives today. Cass retired in 1980 and Cass and Gloria moved to Contra Costa County, establishing residence in Alamo, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. His showcase flower garden was his pride and joy, and his vegetable garden fed many in the neighborhood.

Cass's interests and curiosities were many, including "Windows for Remy", a non-profit foundation he co-chaired. The foundation raised funds from around the US to replace stained glass windows in a church in the small town of Remy, France, forever earning the gratitude of the townspeople. The windows had been destroyed when Cass's fighter squadron strafed a train nearby that was loaded with rocket fuel munitions.

Cass always enjoyed a full and independent life, dividing his time between Alamo, Palm Springs, and Florence, Italy. He was a loving man from the "Old School"; a quiet man whose word and handshake were his bond. He loved to work with his hands and loved his jeans, especially with holes in them.

In addition to Gloria, his devoted wife of 68 years, Cass is survived by his son, Dennis Casagrande and daughter-in-law Connie of Alamo; his daughter, Denise, and son-in-law Luca Signorini of Florence, Italy; granddaughter DeAnne Garrehy (Shane); grandson Adam Casagrande (MacKenzie); grandchildren Tommaso and Veronica Signorini; and his beloved great-grandchildren, Makena, Tyler, Caden, Cole, and Chase.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial in celebration of his life on Thursday November 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM at Saint Isidore Catholic Church, 440 La Gonda Way, Danville. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Manuel's name to Children's Hospital Oakland, 2201 Broadway, Ste. 600, Oakland, CA 94612, Atten. Gift Processing, or a .


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Nov. 6, 2013
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