This website is dedicated to John Peter Casey.
It was John Casey who started the entire project of tracking the Casey Family History. We would spend many nights at his dinning room table trying to determine who belonged who. He would also spend numerous hours at libraries and geneological organizations tracking down information. We would have a great time when he discovered something we had been searching for for many years. He and his wife Marian were extremely helpful in planning and helping at family reunions. The eulogy that is son, John Patirck, delivered at his funeral captures what a great man John Casey is.
Eulogy for Dad
John Patrick Casey
"Once a Marine, always a Marine." Does that describe my Dad or what. A lot of words get tossed around in the Marine Corps like honor, courage, commitment, duty, country and faithfulness. This aura of the Few the Proud and of course "Semper Fidelis" are used to describe what a Marine is. My Dad was all of these, larger than life, one tough Marine.
But let's look at the man inside the Marine:
An Irish Poem:
May those who love us, love us and those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts; And if He doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles, so we know them by their limping.
Not too many limped passed my Dad in his lifetime. He was loved by his friends and he loved his friends. Many will miss as he made his rounds in down town Carbondale. He waved to everyone and I mean everyone. He was above all the racism and prejudies that people may have; once telling me: That all Marines are green, not black or white. He was non-judgemental and I don't think I ever heard him talk bad about anyone.
His generosity was second to none and will never be forgotten. You could not buy dinner or a drink for him because he would always beat you to the punch. He was especially fond of St. Jude foundation.
If you could hear all the laughter when he and his buddies or family got together, you would swear they were celebrating like there was no tomorrow. And sometimes there was no tomorrow! Good times were to be had!
Born and brought up in Carbondale in a Irish Catholic family, he was on of four brothers and three sisters. He was very protectie of his siblings especially his kid-sister Kate who you didn't mess with unless you wanted to deal with this crazy Marine. He was very much into family andour Irish heredity as he dug deep into our family roots going back to Irland He pluaed football, ran track and even boxed in a coupleof fights during his earlier years.
Dad joined the Marine Corps at 18 and served 22 years ending as a Master Sergeant or Top. He inspired us all by his exploits in Korea and Vietanam receiving two Purple Hearts one in each campaign. He was a Marine's Marine. Just take a look at his chest-full of medals and accommodations. He loved being a Marine! The pride that sets serving in the Corps apart is not tangible but overwhelming. Call it esprit de corps, call it what you will but he was all of that and more. He was an "American Hero."
Dad loved my Mom more than I could ever have imagined. He married that cute littlespit-fire redhead 54 years ago. Their love has endured a lifetime and was the most precious aspect of his life. He adored my Mom, signing every card or letter to her "Allmy Love, Always." His last words were: "Monya I love you, you are so beautiful."
Then there were his three sons and his most precious daughter who he treated like a princess. Yes, we lived through buzzed haircuts and making our beds so that a coin could bounce off it. But we loved being Marine Corps "brats." One of his greatest gifts wsa teachng us the gift of respect. He respected everyone and expected us to do the same, especially our Mom. If he ever heard us call her "she" he would well lets put it this way, it was not a good thing. From football and baseball games to swim meets to school work to helping at my grandfather's farm, he was very very proud of each and everyone of usas we went through life.
And his grand-kids are the pride and joy of his life. He bacame a fixture at almost every sporting or family function they were involved in. Dad was always very supportive giving them his unconditinal love.
Yes, Dad was a fearless warrior, but he also was a gentle, caring and considerate man. He instilled confidence and pride in me in a quiet way. I felt OK knowing Dad was there for me. Growing up, I did try very hard to follow in my Dad's footsteps. He was one hard act to follow. In my life I made choices to make Dad proud of me. Whether it be football, running, school work and hes being a Marine (like I has gonna tell him I joined the Army or Navy, yeah right). But I made them because Dad is my hero. He was always, always there for me.
I'm gonna steal the last verse of the Marine Corps Hymn.
"Here's health to and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many s strife we're found for life.
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines."
Semper Fi Dad Semper Fi.