Robert Cassella

Obituary of Robert Cassella

Robert Louis Cassella, 91, of McDonough, NY passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. He was born on December 27, 1926 in Parsipanny-Troy Hill, NJ and resided in NJ until retiring and moving to McDonough in 1989. Robert joined the Navy during World War II, while he was still a high school student. While in the Navy, he trained as a medic at the naval base in Oakland, California. He attended to the wounded service men, traveling with them by train to the hospitals nearest their homes. Robert received his high school diploma from East Rutherford High School in NJ. After the war, he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in NJ.

Robert is survived by his wife Marion Moskowitz Cassella of McDonough, his children and their spouses Amy and Mark Hill of New Berlin, NY, Elizabeth and Salvatore Penna Sr. of Carlstadt, NJ, Deanna and Tom Picone of Plympton, MA, Mary Ann and Carl Fuardo of Freehold, NJ, Carl and Barbara Cassella of Carlstadt, NJ, and Robert and Francine Cassella of Carlstadt, NJ. He was a grandfather to Owen and Phalen Hill, Joseph, Lorenzo, Gianna Marie and Salvatore Penna Jr., Shannon and Erin Picone, Dana Fuardo, Joseph and John Cassella, Nathan and Megan Cassella and Dagney and Scott Rodburg, as well as a great-grandfather.

In addition, Robert is survived by his sister-in-law, Rosemary Cassella of Medway, ME and his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Edward and Arlene Cheselka of Saddle Brook, NJ. He leaves behind his nephews and nieces Stefan and Kathy Cassella, Jeff and Debbie Cassella, Nancy Cassella, Kathleen and Richard Shanahan and Jennifer and Dylan Gadino, and their children and grandchildren. He also leaves behind his latest rescue dog, Buddy.

Robert was predeceased by his daughter Melissa Cassella on December 3, 2017, his parents, Dante and Anna Cassella and his brother Norman Cassella, as well as his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joseph and Marie Moskowitz, his brother-in-law, Robert Moskowitz, and his dogs, Skeeter and Squirt.

In his younger years, Robert worked in the family business, Cassella Brothers Barber and Beauty Supply in Carlstadt, NJ. He loved photography and had his own business, Cass Photo in Elmwood Park, NJ. Cooking was another favorite past-time for Robert and he will be remembered for his stuffed mushrooms, chicken parmesan, homemade tomato sauce and sugar and spritz cookies. He pursued his love of cooking by being a chef at the Red Coach Inn in Saddle Brook, NJ, which led to a career as a restaurant manager in NYC. In his younger years, Robert volunteered his cooking expertise at St. Joseph's Church in Oxford at their monthly fish dinners. He started the fundraiser with fellow parishioners, Dan Dalmer and Joanne Post, when he moved to NY but had to turn over the reins to fellow parishioner, John Franco when his health started to decline. At home, he did the cooking for holiday celebrations and dinner every night. Working in the health field intrigued Robert and he enjoyed his time working in the histology department at Hackensack Hospital in Hackensack, NJ. His last employment before retirement was at Teterboro Aircraft Service in Teterboro, NJ.

Robert was a talented woodworker who created many beautiful pieces of furniture for his home. He and his daughter, Amy constructed a wonderful screened porch where he enjoyed evening dinners overlooking his fish pond. His greatest pleasure was being outdoors building stone walls from fieldstone and working on his property. He also enjoyed gardening, flea markets, creating and purchasing Native American items, collecting coins and playing the slot machines at Tioga Downs. Robert looked forward to his daily trips to Greene to have coffee with his friends and enjoyed Tuesday breakfast at the Rod and Gun Club. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to family and friends.

Thanks to heart by-pass surgeries in 1982, 1992 and many stents, Robert was able to lead a very productive life. His family is very grateful to advances in medicine that allowed this to happen.

Robert was a history buff and a proud veteran who passed away on the original date of Memorial Day, May 30th. He was also a member of the VFW and the American Legion.

Robert had a great personality and a wonderful smile. He enjoyed going out to eat, especially at diners. Age never prevented Robert from pursuing what he wanted to do. He always said that age was just a number.

He was grateful to be living a productive, independent life and to be still driving. However, he recently agreed to trade in his GMC Sierra truck for a Jeep. This made his family very happy.

Although we will miss Robert dearly, we take comfort in knowing that he is at peace and he was welcomed into heaven by his daughter, Melissa and beloved dog, Squirt and is safe in the arms of the Blessed Mother.

Family and friends are invited to attend a period of visitation on Saturday, June 9th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at St. Joseph's Church in Oxford, NY. A mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Joseph's Church, P.O. Box 352, Oxford, NY, 13830 or a mass card in memory of Robert. Friends and family may share their memories and condolences by visiting www.behefuneralhome.com