Joseph R. Cascio, age 95, of Milwaukee, passed away on Saturday, October 26, 2019. In 2015, Joe moved to Island Shores in Neenah, where his daughters were able to visit him often and continue the family tradition of frequent spaghetti dinners. His last years were spent having many four-generation lunches and visits where he would regale his loved ones with stories of his youth.
Joe was surrounded by his family throughout his short illness, passed peacefully with his children by his side and was led by the angels to our loving Father’s embrace.
Born in Milwaukee on August 22, 1924 to the late Rosario and Concetta (Spera) Cascio, Joe’s love for Milwaukee ran deep. He was a proud, life-long fan of the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers and was a walking encyclopedia of stats. He was also an avid fan of all Wisconsin sports teams and rooted especially hard for Badger football in the fall.
Joe’s other favorite pastimes included dancing and listening to big band and old-time crooner music and eating ice cream.
It was that craving for ice cream that led him to meet the love of his life, Marilyn, as she served him ice cream sundaes at Dutchland Dairy after he returned from serving our country in World War II. Joe was a member of General Clarks 5th Army who was among those who liberated Rome on June 5, 1944.
His Catholic faith was strong and saw him through many rough periods including his active service time during WWII.
Joe and Marilyn were married on January 14, 1950 and together, they raised five children, who were the pride of his life. He was a kind and loving father who most enjoyed being with his family. As a family of eight – which included Joe’s Ma, Concetta – happy memories revolved around Sunday spaghetti lunches after mass, gatherings with all the Italian relatives and teaching his children the rules of baseball, football, wrestling and more. Sports were a way of life for the Cascio family.
Throughout his life, Joe developed a love for traveling to Las Vegas. The energy and lure for hitting it big was the motivation that kept him coming back. After nearly 20 trips, his favorite memories included a limo ride with his grandsons, seeing Celine Dion perform at Caesar’s Palace with his daughters, and he was especially thrilled when he put three quarters in a slot machine and won $1,000. That story was one he retold with great excitement many times throughout his life.
Joe spoke often about how proud he was of all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and while his modest demeanor led him to express that he never thought he was anything special, he sure believed the family he and Marilyn created was something incredibly special. The pride he had for his family, his kindness and vibrant sense of humor were felt by all who knew him.
Joe attributed his health and longevity to the grace of God, rarely drinking, never smoking, short walks, salting food before tasting it, eating dessert every night and laughing every day. We will all miss Joe and feel blessed for the gift of his 95 years.
Joe is survived by his children: Russell (Sue) Cascio, Dawn (Paul) Roth, Jeffrey (Joni) Cascio, Charlotte (Kevin) Scott, Kenneth (Shelly) Cascio; his grandchildren: Christine (Tom) Simmers, Katie Cascio, Brandon (Jessica) Roth, Brett (Erin) Roth, BryAnn (Tyler) Naumoff, Lisa (Joe) Towers, Lynn (Matt) Kiscellus, Angie (Jeff) Yochum, Christopher Cascio, Joseph (Angela) Scott, Kimberly (Ethan) Brundidge, Taylor (Megan) Himes, Will Cascio, 14 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, parents and siblings.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 900 Geiger St., Neenah with Fr. Bob Kollath officiating. Visitation will be at the church from 9:00AM until 10:00AM Eulogy at 10:15AM Military Honors will be conducted following the mass by the Neenah-Menasha Funeral Honors Team. A private burial will immediately follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.
The family would like to thank the compassionate staff at Island Shores and the Theda Care fifth floor nursing staff and Hospice team for treating their dad and grandfather with respect, dignity and great care. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to any of the charities Joe supported: Special Olympics of Wisconsin, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospitals for Children.
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