Joseph Messina Cascio passed away unexpectedly at Good Samaritan Hospital on February 4th.
Born to Sicilian immigrants, Pietro and Beatrice Cascio, Joseph was the youngest of three children. He was predeceased by his adoring sisters, Ann and Jeanne.
Joseph was born and raised in Santa Clara and spent most of his life in the family home in Willow Glen, graduating from Willow Glen High School in 1957. After graduating, he took classes at San Jose City College while working as a bank teller. Adventure called his name, however, and in 1962 he enlisted in the navy.
As an aviation storekeeper on the USS Constellation, Fighter Squadron 143 was assigned to duty in the Pacific Rim, traveling to places such as Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, and Hawaii with home ports in San Diego and San Francisco. Joe’s penchant for fine clothing gave him the opportunity to purchase hand tailored suits and fine overcoats in Japan and to send his sister’s and his Mom fine china and silverware. He always brought “exotic gifts” home for his nieces and nephews. He had fond memories of the places and people he was able to visit while he served his time in the Navy.
After his discharge, Joe came home to Willow Glen and settled into a life in building supply sales. He spent most of his career at Heick supply where he retired at the age of 65. He lived with and helped to support his mother, as his father died when he was only 9. Together with his sisters and mother, the family formed a tight bond, working hard to support each other after losing their father so early in life.
Joe married in 1967 and became a loving step-father to his three daughters. After his divorce, he continued in a supportive fatherly role, maintaining a relationship with his step-daughters throughout the years. As an attestation to his loving character, Joe always remained close friends with the women in his life but stayed single after his one and only marriage.
Joe will be remembered for being a bit of a clotheshorse, for always dressing impeccably and for choosing the right accessories to go with his outfits – you should see his watch collection! Always ready for a night out, he dressed suitably for every occasion! He loved to have fun, never turned down an adventure and was loved by all who crossed his path. An avid sports fan, he loved sports of all kinds but was a particular fan of the 49er’s. His clothing collection included many 49er sweaters and jackets and he had a baseball cap collection that rivaled any.
True to his family bonds, Joe remained in the Willow Glen family home until his passing. When prompted by his nieces and nephews to consider an assisted living arrangement he would reply, “There are too many memories in my home. I choose to stay here.” He joined in every family gathering and was always present as his family grew to include great nieces and nephews and great, great nieces. They all knew him lovingly as Uncle Joe. He is survived by all generations of his nieces and nephews as well as by his brother-in-law, Dick, who made sure Joe joined him at weekly senior center lunches and his brother -in-law John who resides in Washington.
A Celebration of Joe’s life will be held on Friday, March 9th at 3:00 at the San Jose Clubhouse, 15480 Union Ave, San Jose. Please bring your memories to share. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Heart Association in Joe’s name.