My condolences to all his family!
Mr. Casini was an amazing counselor and role model.
My fondest memory is after I got into some trouble one summer and prior to having to appear in court, he spoke to the judge on my behalf.
I can still remember him tell the judge,
"In all my years of teaching and counseling, I have never met a student like Norma."
"Norma isn't one to follow tradition or carry a chip on her shoulder. She breaks the mold and follows her heart."
"She marches to the beat of her own drum and they separates her from all the rest."
"Norma strives to be unique and she has spunk."
"She has heart and spirit."
Had it not been for Mr.Casini, I don't think I would be here now.
For that I am truly grateful.
Thank you Mr. Casini!!
You will be greatly missed and forever remembered!!
RASMO 'ROCKY' CASINI
MUSCATINE, Iowa - Rasmo 'Rocky' L. Casini, 78, of Muscatine, passed away suddenly on Sunday, September 10, 2017, at Unity Point Hospital - Muscatine.
Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at St. Mathias Church. A time of food and fellowship will follow the mass at Gannon Hall. Private burial will be held in St. Mary's Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, at the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Muscatine County Conservation. Online condolences: www.wittichfuneralhome.com
Rocky was born on November 10, 1938, in Fornaci di Barga, Italy, the son of Mario Casini and Ada Da Prato Casini. His family came to the United States after World War II, arriving at Ellis Island in July 1948. He lived in Chicago until 1958. He married Kathleen 'Kitty' A. Maher on September 3, 1966, in Muscatine.
He was a sergeant in the US Army and served as a military police officer.
Rocky received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from St. Ambrose University in Davenport in 1967, a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling and Guidance from Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville, Missouri in 1970 and a Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1996. A lifelong and devoted educator, Rocky was a teacher at Muscatine High School from 1967 to 1986 and later served as Dean of Students (1986-1993) and Associate Principal (1993-1995) at MHS. He later served as Principal of both Hayes Catholic Elementary School (1995-1996) and West Liberty Middle School (1996-2002) and as an Adjunct Instructor at Muscatine Community College (2000-2017).
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Kitty Casini of Muscatine; one son, Jason M. Casini and his wife, Karina, of Des Moines; one daughter, Susan Morford and her husband, John, of Muscatine; four grandchildren, Gabrielle, Max, and Isabella Casini, and Joseph Morford; one brother, Victor Casini and wife, Joanne, of Itaska, Illinois; many nieces and nephews; and countless friends and former students.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister and brother-in-law, Lucy and Sergio Cheloni; and one brother and sister-in-law, Lucien and Grace Casini.
My condolences to all his family!
So sorry to hear of Mr. Casini's passing. He was the very best teacher I have ever had. I moved to Muscatine halfway through sophomore year and he was the absolute best part of my new home. Not only did he fuel my passion for science, he helped me learn a song in Italian and was also my first boss with the Iowa Youth Corps. He was a powerful example of loving encouragement in all he did.
I just wanted to tell the family that I loved Mr. Casini. I was blessed to have him as my biology teacher my sophomore and senior years as well as my supervisor during the summer with Youth Conservation Corp. I speak about him often to young people. He was a great teacher. If he was behind the desk , he was speaking as the teacher if he was in front of the desk he was a man of faith , who loved his wife and 2 children and he would share his personal views. I am so glad I got to see him thru the years.... He will be missed. Becky Ernst
My condolences to this sweet family. I wasn't a great student but I will always remember how Mr. Casini's patience and encouragement made me feel like I mattered. It was known not to ever call him Rasmo but outside of class it was that name that was fondly shared among friends to describe one of the best teachers ever. God bless.
I met Rocky when he was a summer time supervisor at GPC quality control labs. He was always a great supervisor, firm but fun when it was called for. He encouraged everyone to get more education! Sorry for your loss.
I had the good fortune to be one of Mr. Cassini's students at MHS in 1978. I was one of the quiet kids at the back of the class, but he never failed to reach out to all of us with his love of science. Like several others here, I went on to have a career in science education myself and thank him greatly for that. I also thank the strong women in his life - never once did he suggest that gender might hinder anyone's ability or success.
Just read all the comments and you will get a sense of who Rocky was and what he meant to, literally, everyone he met. I don't think I could summarize his passion for the many students' lives he touched. Never, not once, did he not greet me with a smile and his infectious personality. Thank you Rocky for touching my life. I think heaven has a new greeter at the gates.
I took Mr. Casini's AP Biology class, one of the first Advanced Placement classes offered at MHS. Thirty-plus years later, I still have the annotated and highlighted text, because his class was so memorable. I got the highest score possible on the AP exam and loads of college credit for it. More importantly, I knew after Mr. Casini's class that I could have a career in science. I did not choose that path, but I knew I had the option thanks to the gifted instruction of Mr. Casini. He truly was a blessing to all his students.
Rocky loved the Lord, his family, his country and food. He was very down to earth and could talk to anyone about most anything. He was my principal, but more so, my friend. We spent many hours talking about Chicago, where we both grew up. I will always remember the night when Rocky said he'd feed West Liberty to a catfish dinner. Rocky and I made more catfish and what a mess we made in the school's kitchen! He thought for sure the head cook would shoot him, but Rocky being Rocky, talked his way out of it. Thanks "Boss" for all you did for so many. You will be deeply missed. Peace be with you.
Good Bye Uncle Rocky from One of your Munchkin's
If it wasn't for You. Introducing my Parents My Brother or I Would not have been. You were a Great Friend for my father to grow up with . And a Great Role Model for me
Mr. Casini was a friend of both of my parents, both teachers in the district. When I became his student I sort of knew him from both sides. He inspired me to become a science teacher and as a matter of fact, what I learned in anatomy and physiology and his parasitology class served me well as my undergrad studies did little to expand on his education of me. He did that thorough a job. I taught high school science and have been an Associate Professor for 22 years including a stint as professor of anatomy and physiology. In NO small part due to him.
Lane Levine '80
Professor, Iowa Wesleyan Univeraity
My heart goes out to the family during this sad time. What an interesting man he was. His passion for Italy always shined through in his lessons. He even shared his favorite cooking recipes with us.
He taught several classes I took at MCC. I asked him once how long he was going to teach them. He said, "As long as they will have me young lady." He told me his stroke slowed him down a bit but he still had his brain working.
He will be deeply missed!
So sorry for your loss, Kitty. You and your family are in my prayers. Remember Rocky back in high school. He was a great teacher and mentor.
Mr.Casini was a great principal at West Liberty Middle School. Always was nice and happy person! Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time. Have a great day!
As an administrator and fellow teacher Rocky was a great aid to me. Always a friendly greeting. I feel privileged to work with him.
very sorry to hear of Rocky's passing. Like many educators he launched the positive lives of hundreds and likely thousands of people. I have never met a more positive and genuinely caring individual. Take peace in knowing his was a life well lived and one to be emulated. Condolences to Jay, Kitty and the entire family.
My condolences on your loss. Mr. Casini was truly an excellent teacher. I will forever remember him as an inspiration, even if he had to wake me up in class occasionally!! Loved his class and pushed me on to study biology at Iowa and become a physician.
I'm sorry for your loss. Rocky will be miss by others.
Mr. Casini touched my life in a special way. A devoted educator always displaying care for us students. Thank you Rockie for teaching me biology, making it fun and important. Say hi to John Watson in heaven. I am sure he will greet you. He always adored you. Love to you and your family. Cheers to a beautiful life.
Mr. Casino was my favorite teacher! He was my inspiration to become a teacher. Several years ago in an inservice, they suggested that we send a "thank you" to that teacher who meant a lot to us. So I did, his response was very humble. He made Biology- "beautiful "! He will be missed.
Mr. Casini was the consummate teacher- he taught the mind and the heart. I remember watching his son in the summer of 1974 when he called home to make sure I had Jason watch TV as Richard Nixon resigned. Mr. Casini said "he probably won't remember it, but it's history and I don't want him to miss it." The world was a far better place with Mr. Casini in it.
I had the privilege to get to know Rocky as a teacher, counselor and friend of Rocky's son Jason. Rocky was devoted to family, a soft and steady counselor, and a teacher who cared deeply about educating all in his classroom. I know how much Rocky craved and enjoyed seeing all of his students learn and excel in life. I also had the good fortune to partake in eating at the Casini house over the years and it has always been the best Italian food I have ever eaten. Rocky, thank you for looking the other way and smiling and laughing at innumerable high school boys antics.
With deepest sympathies to the entire Casini family.
David and Jill Grossklaus
Here's Rocky helping me with my science fair project in 79. There aren't enough words in either English or Italian to describe this incredible man. He's the main reason I became a doctor, and his impact on this world has been huge. I think about the thousands of students he inspired to be more than they thought they could be, and who carry around a little of Rocky's goodness in their hearts. Kitty, you and your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers.
I am truly sorry for the Casini's family loss. Mr. Casini was an absolute treasure to Muscatine schools and gift to all of us fortunate enough to have him in class or work with him in YCC. I can still hear his voice singing "amoebas abound in your kisses" as he walked through the biology lab. I am a better person for knowing him.
Mr. Casini was always one of my favorite teachers. For a sturdy shoulder to cry on and someone who would also just tell you like it is, he never had anything but your best interests at heart. Thank you for reminding me as a young girl I had so much more to offer than I was accomplishing and even though I didn't go to the college he suggested (which I always later regretted) I did follow many of my dreams because of his inspiring words.
May your family and friends find peace in knowing you've recieved your Heavenly Reward.
Kitty, Jason, and Susan,
My condolences to all of you. Rocky was a great teacher and person. He always cared about the kids in school, and I know he cared about many of the kids even after they left high school. I will always remember stopping by your place just to talk after I graduated and he would provide me guidance and advise on things that I was facing. My love for biology and science was cultivated by him and I still carry and apply that information in my career today. I even used him as a model for how I teach my college kids.
He will be missed, but not forgotten. He leaves behind a legacy that will live forever in the hearts and minds of us who knew him. May God watch over all of you.
Susan and Family,
I am sorry for the loss of your Father may he RIP. What a wonderful man he was and will be remembered by many. May God wrap his arms around you all.
What a wonderful man. When I was going to study in Italy, he used to stop me in Hy-Vee while I was working and quiz me on my Italian. I'm going to Italy in a few days, and will raise a glass of vino in his honor. My condolences to his family. Riposa in pace, Mr. Cassini
I just finished reading the many notes honoring Mr. Casini. What a legacy! What a devoted educator! From my first class at Central Junior High with this new young, enthusiastic science teacher, through Muscatine High School biology classes, Mr Casini made science challenging and fun. After my high school graduation and further education he continued to be my supportive mentor.
His friendship over the years I will cherish!
I will miss you very much Mr Casini!
Joyce Hahn Sedlacek MD
Kitty, My heart is breaking. I am in Italy right now. My next glass of vino will be in honor of Rocky. Love to you and the kids. Deb Pallischeck Hasty
Mr. Casini was my absolute favorite teacher! He was extremely engaging and enthusiastic about biology and an inspiration for me in choosing my career path to becoming a research scientist. My sincere condolences to Jay and family. Your Dad was an outstanding, influential teacher and wonderful human being. I am very grateful to have had his influence on my life.
(Anyone else remember when Mr. Casini had a hernia and we would hold our breath every time he sneezed or coughed while he held his fingers over the hernia?! Not sure why that is such a vivid memory... I think because it showed that his students genuinely cared about and respected him :)
Tammy (Mann) Nowling, class of 1986
One of the great teachers and human beings I've ever met.
Mr. Casini was the best teacher I ever had. One day he gave us the recipe for ravioli - it was so much fun. It was clear that he cared about his students and we could go to him to discuss any topic! I am a lucky person to have had him as my biology teacher and luckier to have had in my life!
Mr. Casini was so much more than just a teacher. He got to know his students and cared about what was going on in our lives. He once helped me through a difficult time in my life. He is loved and will be missed very much. God bless his family.
Mr. Casini, thank you for helping me. Thank you for your patience, your concern and your advise. I will carry this with me always. Again, thank you.
Kitty my condolences to you and your family thoughts and prayers
I had the pleasure of being in two of his biology classes, and worked with him the summer after senior year in the YCC Camp at the fish hatchery. His enthusiasm for teaching science was exceeded only by his love of Italian cooking! When he said he was available to us to discuss any problems in our lives, one could tell it was sincere. Such energy, such joie de vivre. The world is a poorer place for Mr Cassini no longer being in it.
Mr. Casini was my favorite teacher in high school. He had a vibrant, fun personality and a great sense of humor...never a dull, boring moment in his class! He truly had a gift for connecting with everyone and inspiring an interest in learning. I'll always fondly remember him with a smile. My thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and friends. RIP Mr. Casini.
He was such a great man. He truly loved teaching and all his students.You could talk to him about everything and anything he always had time. Rest In Peace Mr. C
Mr. Casini was my counselor, but he was so much more than that. He was a friend when you needed a friend, and a counselor when you needed a counselor. Truly a great man. Thank you for your advice, and forgive me for my stubbornness. May you Rest In Peace.
Rocky was amazing. He was my guidance counselor and without him I would not be who I am today. He helped give me direction and really cared. Even after graduation, when I saw him, we would talk. Gonna miss ya Rocky.
Mr. Casini was an amazing teacher and one I will never forget. Loved my senior year AP Bio class with him. It inspired me to become a Biomedical Engineer. I learned so much about the science of life and how to live a good life from him. So sorry to learn of his passing but he has left a legacy of students with a passion for learning.
I worked under Rocky at West Liberty schools. What a character! Always a big smile and a belly laughing story. He always put a positive spin on everything. He loved his wife and family, loved good food, laughing, and living everyday big. He always told me I was the best art teacher he ever had. Well, he was the best principal and friend that any teacher could ever want. Such a wonderful, kind, sincere man.
Mr. Casini was our favorite teacher. He called us his kids. Truly we were all his kids. He came to reunions and kept track of us after high school, coming into our store to see us. He was there for our son and daughter in high school too. So sorry for the loss of a great man. RIP
Mr. Casino was the best and most devoted teacher I ever had. If you didn't have an interest in science in some form, you did after taking one of his classes. Your passing is a great loss to future scientists. May the good lord comfort your wonderful family in this time of sadness.
Rocky was a legend. I had the privilege of getting to know him at MHS and we have been friends ever since. He always remembered names - the greatest compliment he could have given anyone. He will be missed but we all have been blessed by his presence.
Mr Casini a great teacher. He made me want to do good. I learned so much from him. RIP
Condolences to one of MHS's finest teachers and examples for how to be a compassionate, kind and caring human being. Very sorry for your loss, Kitty and heartfelt thanks for the positive influence you both had on my life back in the 1970's.
Mr. Casini was my high school biology teacher and I not only loved his class, I loved him. He was a great teacher, had a great sense of humor, and I knew he cared about us, his students. I mourn with you.
He was my counselor in high school he was awesome R.I.P. you are dearly missed
One of my favorite people and teachers he called me out right away in that first class earning my respect from that day forward.
Mr. Casini was the best, so passionate about teaching & his students! I loved his classes & he encouraged all students regardless of their abilities! He will be missed, my thought & prayers to you!
He was one of the biggest influences in my life during my time at MHS. A fantastic educator and an even better human being. God's speed Mr. Casini...
Rocky was one of the best teachers at MHS. He had his students welfare at heart. He was always a fair and easy going teacher. He will be surely missed by a lot of people. May you rest in peace Rocky.
Im so sorry to hear this! He was one of our favorite teachers
And when I had knee replacement we were seeing and visiting back and forth while we did physical therapy. It is a great loss to our community. God bless his family. Cindy and Joe Brinson
Was probably the most easy going fair teacher I ever had. I also got to work with him one summer with the Iowa Youth Corp. as my boss. Wish every boss I have had could've been half the man he was.
He was a legend. Central Jr. High school biology teacher. Students loved him. Very trusting, kind, patient, fair person. He could call most by first name, even after 50 years of being my favorite teacher. A wonderful memory forever. Truly sad he's gone.
He touched a lot of lives...he will be missed !!!
Mr. Casino was my counselor, he new I came from a crazy home, he seen past that and always have me kind words of encouragement, have me sound advisadvise and he always kept me straight. Thank you for always being a wonderful man. You will be missed by all
Always my favorite teacher, he made the world a better place.
He was one of my favorite teachers he made learning fun.He was my biology teacher in highschool.He will be missed.So sorry for your loss Itty.
My sincere sympathy goes to the family of Rocky. Rocky and I were colleagues at MHS for many years. He never failed to greet me with a smile, a conversation and/or a story. He will be missed by those whose lives he touched.
Heartbroken. I will miss his stories and jokes....and the lessons that canes from them.
I will always remember Mr.Casini as my favorite teacher and all the fun, as well as hard work, for the Youth Conservation Corp. I learned so much from him. The few times I ran into him in Muscatine in later years impressed me because after all those years he still remembered me! What a guy!
Our condolences to his family.
Terri Leatherman Wiese, husband Greg & family
One of my all time favorite teachers. He was always there to support his students.
My sincere condolences to the family and the many lifelong friends you have made throughout your amazing life. I have so enjoyed working for you and participating in your numerous classes. I am so very glad that I was able to attend your class this past summer. Heaven has gained a very special angel! I will miss you greatly and remember you always. Rest in peace my dear friend and outstanding mentor. Thinking of you and your family.
He was an amazing educator. Very privileged to have know him.
So sorry for your loss. Our sons loved having Rocky for a teacher. He was funny, kind , and deeply interested in his students. God bless-Leo and Joann Askam
Mr Casini was a wonderful teacher, always taking the time to explain the why, until you could understand the how.
Mr. Casini was at the very top of the list with MHS Class of 71! He taught us, inspired us, loved us and stayed connected to us. We were, are and always will be extremely fortunate he came into our lives.
Thank you Mr. C!
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. We know his deep belief carries him to a better place after a full life with all of us.
Loved him as a teacher! He was one of my favorites! I remembered him buying me breakfast when I got a good grade on a test!!
He was an amazing teacher! Biology class was one of my favorite classes in high school because of Mr. Casini! My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Kitty, so very sorry for your loss.
Such a great person inside and out. Always made you feel like you were important. God has gained another Angel. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Mr. Casini taught more than biology! He made learning fun and he challenged us to push ourselves. I learned to expect more from myself and to never give up. I wish I had contacted him to thank him for his part in my doctoral degree. I have very fond memories of AP Bio in 1984-85 and I have told my kids all about Rocky Casini. What an incredible teacher and man. My condolences to his family. I am so sorry for your loss. There will never be another one quite like him.
One of my favorite teachers, RIP
I am so sorry for your loss.
Diana (Ogier Lewis) Stout
So sorry for your loss! He was a kind and gentle soul. I let him when I was a freshman in high school.
Rocky touched so many lives in so many ways! He will truly be missed. My condolences.
So sorry for your loss. Mr. Casini was my favorite teacher. He's the reason I was a biology major in college. He made everything fun!! I so enjoyed seeing him every week at church. I will miss him and the kind words we shared at Mass.
Sorry for your loss, he was an awesome teacher and will be missed by many.
So sorry for your loss. A great teacher. He truly made biology fun.
We are so very sorry for your loss. We always enjoyed taking Rocky's classes. He was a great man and a wonderful educator. He will truly be missed by family, friends and the many students whose lives he touched over the years. We feel blessed to have known him. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Mr. Casini was an absoultely amazing teacher. I one day only hope to be as great as he was. My biggest memory of him was when i was at MCC and i was pregnant with my son. He was always so concerned about me being comfortable in the desk. He was a great story teller and they always had a life lesson that has always helped me in some way. He truly was a inspiration to many. May he rest in peace and my condolences go out to his Wife, children and family.
May memories comfort your grieving heart(s). Rocky was a an excellent educator and man of values. May God bless the entire family.
Kitty and family,
You have my deepest sympathy. Mr. C. was by far my favorite teacher. He will be deeply missed by many of his students and friends. My prayers are with you all during your time of mourning.
So sorry for your loss. Mr Casini was my favorite teacher. He never forgot his students.
Sorry to hear of Mr. Casino's death. One of the best teachers I ever had!
My dear teacher and friend. You are already missed. Your wise words are forever impeded in my memory.
So very sorry for your loss. What a wonderful teacher and friend Mr. Casini was....he will be missed.
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