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Services to be Held for Three-war Veteran and
Former Town of Lincoln Board Member
Charles Robert “Bob” Cassaday
1926 - 2023
Charles Robert “Bob” Cassaday was no ordinary man, and he lived a remarkable life. He was born on March 1, 1926, in Hammond, Indiana, and little did he know, the love of his life, his wife Joan, was born nine months earlier just a few, short miles away in Chicago. They would later meet on a military flight to Florida.
Bob was a three-war veteran and career Naval officer, who reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander before his retirement in 1970. He served in World War II and, at 18-years of age, was coxswain on a light boat that delivered battle-ready soldiers onto Omaha Beach when the Allied Forces liberated France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
During the Korean War, he was aboard the USS Virgo which supplied powder and munitions to other ships in the region, and when the Vietnam Conflict began, he volunteered for active duty and served with the Office of Communication, Southeast Asia Mainland.
It is also worth noting that Bob circumvented the globe in 1964 on the USS Bainbridge during Operation Sea Orbit—the very first all-nuclear-powered unit of vessels to steam unfettered around the world.
He and Joan, his wife of 70 years, had eight children, and Bob’s tenure with the U.S. Navy meant a life of travel and adventure. During his 27-year career, and following retirement, he and his family lived in California, Japan, South Carolina, Maryland, Illinois, Nebraska, and again, California. In 2003, Bob and Joan relocated to Marshfield, Wisconsin, to be close to their grandchildren.
At 86, Bob had no plans to start a career in town government, but after a chance meeting and a little persuasion, he became a member of the board of supervisors for the Town of Lincoln where he served for nearly 10 years. Current Chairman, David Rogers, recently said, “Bob is a man of the highest integrity and a classy person who is a pleasure to be around. He is always thinking of ways to improve our operations and to make us more efficient. Bob puts the interests of the community at the top of his list.” Bob retired from his seat in April 2022.
It wasn’t just his colleagues in the Town of Lincoln, everyone loved Bob. He was gregarious, engaging and still quite handsome well into his tenth decade. He made people feel important and was always ready to entertain by reciting a poem, telling a good (but maybe not-always-clean) joke, or singing a song—all from his astonishing memory. It wasn’t long between “hello” and an inevitable hug with Bob because everyone fell for his charms.
His interests ran the gamut from his love of symphonic music and opera to his hobby as an amateur paleontologist, which led him to the site of many excavations in South Dakota and his dear friends at the Black Hills Institute. Bob dug dinosaurs, figuratively and literally, and has many fossils in his collection to show for the hours he spent carefully brushing away the remnants of Earth’s layers when a dinosaur was discovered.
Bob was a frequent visitor to the Marshfield Library. He was a voracious reader who would often be deep into several books at one time. He was intrigued by historical subjects and read everything, including mysteries, war novels, biographies and the classics.
A devout Catholic who always carried a rosary in his pocket, Bob was just days shy of 97 when he died at his home on Friday, February 24, 2023, with his family by his side. He was preceded in death by his son, David Jonathan, and is survived by his wife, Joan Cassaday (nee, Clark), and seven children, Kathleen Cassaday; Elizabeth Schlinsog; Charles Robert Cassaday, Jr.; Mary Deeney Cassaday; Annette Siegel; Theresa Cassaday; and Molly Gruttemeyer, six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Services for Bob will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2023, 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Marshfield. Visitation begins at 9:00 a.m. and lunch will follow. Interment and military honors will commence on Monday, May 8 at 2:00 p.m. at Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King, Wisconsin.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Brooklyn Community Kitchen, an organization providing meals to people in need through food rescue projects and run entirely through volunteerism. Visit brooklyncommunitykitchen.org.