John B. Casale Jr., a former East Hampton resident, died peacefully with his beloved wife Francoise at his side in their home in Manchester, VT on April 8. He lived a wonderful, full, and active life, passing away just three weeks short of his 100th birthday.
Casale was born April 27, 1920 in Newark, NJ to Dr. John B. Casale Sr. and Angela Modica Casale. He attended The Kingsley School in Essex Fells, NJ and Camp Kingsley in Maine. He studied medicine at Cornell University in Ithaca, and was a member of the Phi Theta fraternity.
In 1941, as part of the war effort, Casale joined the U.S. Army during his junior year of college. He served as a captain in the Medical Corps, stationed in Germany. At the end of World War II, he emained in Europe to assist in post-war efforts in Romania and Austria, at which time he received a certificate of surgery from the University of Vienna in pathology. In 1948, Casale returned home to New York City and continued his education at New York Medical College. During his residency at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, he met Ann Grimshaw.
They married in 1952 and moved to Westchester, raising their 10 children in Bronxville. He enjoyed leisure time at the Bronxville Field Club and Siwanoy Golf Club. The Casales spent their summers in Wainscott and Casale Jr. became co-owner of the Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club. He and his family enjoyed tennis, the beach, and visiting friends.
They also enjoyed winters skiing at Bromley Mountain in Peru, VT. Travel was an important part of Casale’s life. He was a partner in Hemisphere Educational Travel on 57th Street in New York City, and saw the world, even visiting family in Italy. For 45 years, Casale had a distinguished medical practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He was recognized as an active member of the New York Surgical Society, specializing in general surgery and affiliated with Flower-Fifth Avenue Hospital and Doctors Hospital. In 1987, Casale married Francoise Hertoghe DeSpirlet. They resided between Manhattan and East Hampton, eventually retiring to Vero Beach, FL and Dorset, VT.
Casale and Francoise enjoyed music, travel, golf, and boating. They had an active social life while being members of the Moorings Yacht & Country Club in Vero Beach, the Dorset Field Club, and the Ekwanok Golf Club in Manchester, VT. In addition to supporting local charities, Casale and Francoise volunteered with other friends in Vero Beach for Habitat for Humanity.
When he retired, he dedicated his time to gardens and artwork. He spent years taking painting classes during the summer months at Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester and at the Vero Beach Museum of Art in winter. Primarily interested in painting portraits and landscapes, he was passionate about recreating the many scenes and colors of his fortunate and well-lived life. Casale inspired many with his quick wit and sense of humor. He and Françoise were longtime parishioners of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Vero Beach and St. Paul Catholic Church in Manchester. The couple moved to Manchester permanently in the summer of 2016.
Casale was predeceased by his eldest daughter, Wanda Casale, and brother, Giac Casale. He is survived by his wife Francoise of 33 years, children Anastasia Casale of Baiting Hollow, John B. Casale III, Charles Casale, Mary Novak, Christine Krouse, Dorothy Casale, Donna Durkin, Andrew Casale, and Catherine Fantini; as well as stepchildren Ginette McCloskey, Marie Beebe, Dianne DeSpirlet, and Andre DeSpirlet. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren four great-grandchildren.
Services will be held this summer in Manchester. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested in Casale’s memory to Hildene-The Lincoln Family Home or the Southern Vermont Art Center.