I got to know Nick Cassesi, a wonderful man and dedicated volunteer, perhaps 16 years when I was The Record's bureau chief in Lodi. Nick was retired, volunteering for the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, full of good cheer and energy. It was impossible not to like Nick Casessi. Sadly, Nick passed away; this tribute to him from Ray Crow of the chamber captures a man of unique spirit.
The Lodi Chamber of Commerce lost a valued member of our "family", Nick Cassesi. Nick passed away recently after a long battle with cancer, but was upbeat and a fighter to the end, worried about others problems and not wanting to be a burden on his family and friends. That is what struck me most about Nick, his concern for other people. He loved to volunteer in the classroom, reading to children and encouraging them to continue their education. Nick was also a world traveler, going to such exotic locations as the Galapagos Islands, African Safari's and China to name but a few. There was many a lunch where Nick would talk about his travels and his experiences in these exotic locations, making you want to run out and book a trip immediately.
Nick was also an excellent "life coach", I remember many walks together with Nick, where we would discuss various challenges that I had on both a personal and professional level, and his advice was always spot on. Nick came to the chamber day in and day out, helping throughout the years, as proofreader, business consultant, letter stuffer, and confidant, but Nick did not want any recognition. He hated the spotlight, especially around his birthday. He always let us know if we were going out to eat around his birthday, if he even heard the "Happy Birthday" song he was getting up and leaving, and he did.
It is always sad to lose a friend and loved one, and the sense of loss and hurt is equal to the amount of love and friendship you received. Nick you will be greatly missed, but I know I am a better person for knowing you, will remember your words of wisdom and try live up to your expectations.
Bon Voyage on your latest trip, may it be filled with peace and happiness.