John F. Casinelli, age 93, of Conshohocken, died Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Regina Nursing Home of Norristown. Husband of the late Frances B. (Tornetta) Casinelli.
Born in Schenectady, N.Y., on Dec. 2, 1920, he was the son of the late Florence (Polsinelli) and Dominic Casinelli. John lived in Conshohocken most of his life. He was named the Oldest Living Marine by the Marine Corps League for the past two years.
John served as a corporal in the US Marine Corps
during World War II
. He served in Okinawa, where he received the Good Conduct Medal. He also participated in action in the Palau Islands in the Pacific, where he was awarded the Purple Heart
John was a well-known boxer in his young years and continued boxing in the Marine Corps. After the war John came home and eventually opened Big John's Tavern in Conshohocken at Seventh & Maple streets in 1951. Due to his popularity and generosity, Big John's became a regular gathering place for neighbors who lived near and far. Countless people came to him for assistance and advice. John was always ready and available and somehow found a way to fix everything.
As a business owner in Conshohocken, John supported many individual and community projects such as Conshohocken Midget Football, and SS. Cosmas and Damian Catholic Church. As president of the Conshohocken Little League in 1959, he led the fundraising for and construction of the Little League baseball fields that are still in use today.
Big John was and an avid golfer and a longtime member of Plymouth Country Club, where he was honored to be the captain of the golf team. He retired in 1985 and moved with his wife, Frances, to Florida, where they enjoyed eight very memorable years together. In 1993 they moved back home to be closer to their family.
John's life was measured by how many lives and hearts he touched and by the many people he helped throughout his long life. Just like the time he put all of the Conshohocken Little League teams on a bus, took them to the Phillies game and treated them to a hot dog and a soda. By his life, John taught us that the secret to a blessed and healthy life is to always do the right thing and everything that you need will come to you. Rest in peace John. God knows you lived a great life!
John is survived by his children, Barbara (& Charles) Cooper of Norristown, John D. (& Helene) Casinelli of East Norriton, Bruce Casinelli of Devon and Maria (& David) Richardson of Harleysville; a brother, Anthony Casinelli of Limerick; and a sister, Angie Palermo of Jeffersonville. Also survived by eight grandchildren & 17 great-grandchildren.
Along with his wife and parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Jeano Casinelli.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, March 31, 2014, at 11:30 a.m. from the SS. Cosmas & Damian RC Church, 209 West Fifth Ave. & Maple St., Conshohocken. Clergy: Fr. Andrew Brownholtz officiating.
Friends may call Sunday evening from 6:30 – 9 p.m. and Monday morning from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Moore, Snear & Ruggiero Funeral Home, 300 Fayette St., Conshohocken. Interment St. Patrick's Cemetery, East Norriton.
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Regina Nursing Center, 550 East Fornance St., Norristown, PA 19401.