Joan Cassaro

JOAN MARIE (OWENS) CASSARO, 73 WINNEBAGO - Joan Marie (Owens) Cassaro, 73, of Winnebago, died at 5:37 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at Provena St. Joseph's Center, Freeport, with her family by her side, after a lengthy illness. Born Sept. 6, 1939, in Rockford; the only child of John Lester and Genevieve (Rielly) Owens. She grew up in Pecatonica, later moving to Rockford. Graduate of Muldoon High School in 1958. While working at Sears, she met James Eytalis; they married on Nov. 25, 1961; he died Nov. 29, 1982. At the age of 43, she was not only a widow, but continued to raise her four children, while maintaining a nurturing and loving home life. Throughout her life was very spiritual. She worked as a telecommunications operator for SwedishAmerican Hospital. Met Frank Allen Cassaro, and they married Jan. 18, 1989. She had a very deep love for her husband, and enjoyed spending time with him vacationing in Northern Wisconsin and going to Las Vegas. Being Irish, Joan always looked for a "good" laugh. We could go to the "ends of the earth" and never find a more loving, compassionate mother. At the end of the day, as long as others were happy, Joan was happy. Survivors include husband, Frank of Winnebago; children, John (Mary Bivens) Eytalis of Rockford, Linda (Tod) Binkley and Amy (Bob) Meyers, both of Forreston, and Greg (Megan Foley) of German Valley; stepdaughters, Laura Cassaro of Machesney Park and Ann (Curt Bauman) Grinde of Minnesota; grandchildren, Mitchell (Paige) Binkley and Matthew Binkley, Christopher and Gregory Eytalis, Julia and Sarah Meyers; step-grandchildren, Evan and Eric Grinde, and Vanessa Bye; and several cousins. Predeceased also by her parents and granddaughter, Jamie Eytalis. Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at St. Mary Church, 126 W. Fifth St., Pecatonica, with Monsignor Robert J. Sweeney officiating. Burial in Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Visitation from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 3910 N. Rockton Ave., Rockford, with a rosary recited at 4 p.m. Memorials to be established at a later date. To express condolences online, please visit

Published in Rockford Register Star from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7, 2012