Our Father


Our father
Irreplaceable…Speaking for my immediate family… We have been extremely fortunate to have not had to go through this experience earlier in our lives. Losing someone this close to us… Someone that had such a major impact on our lives.  For myself, wife Tania, sons Matthew, Christian, and Jayden, my dad was more than just a father, father-in-law, Pop Pop. He IS so ingrained in the very fabric of our lives, that he has become such a major part of who we are… Right now it feels as if we’ve lost a significant component that was used to build the foundation for our family happiness! How do you replace that?????? YOU CAN’T. But, WE can try our hardest to make sure the CORE values that were so important to my father live on in our family unit, and slowly try to fill the gapping void that has been created.

SELFLESSNESS…On the longest drive I’ve ever made up to Wildwood it seemed I had an eternity to reflect upon the devastating news of dads passing… Why then could I only muster up a few sentences in what I inevitably knew had to become a eulogy… Somehow… Someway… I had to try to put into words what this man has meant to my family and I. What I was feeling. Hours of staring at a mostly blank screen with not much but a couple of sentences… My mind was numb!
       Selfless…  The first word I wrote. Of the handful of sentences I did manage to come up with on that first day only one word really had any meaning…. Selfless,
Day 2 began as I awoke with the heaviest weight on my chest… Where was I… Strange bed and smell in the air… What’s this wall doing next to my side of the bed? Oh yeah I’m in a “stinkin” hotel room midway through the longest journey of my life!  And then it really hit me for the first time as that one word kept going through my head… Selfless! To be honest with you I wasn’t even really sure this word had a strong enough meaning to describe what I believe to be the best quality my dad possessed. In fact I had to look up the definition up on my phone as we continued our dreaded journey….
Selfless : Having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.; unselfish.
After a couple of days’ time to reflect, and with the idea of pouring my creative energies into building that online tribute to Dad… I believe I had understood what I needed to convey to you all here today. My father was hands down the most SELFLESS person I will ever know. He always put everyone’s interest in front of his own. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the very first word that popped in my head about dad was Selfless. I would like to believe that he guided me to focus on that, and set a challenge for me to try to live up to the extremely lofty bar he has set.

Army Core Values (GoArmy.com)

Taken directly from go army website:
Many people know what the words Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage mean. But how often do you see someone actually live up to them? Soldiers learn these values in detail during Basic Combat Training (BCT), from then on they live them every day in everything they do — whether they’re on the job or off. In short, the Seven Core Army Values are what being a Soldier is all about.
The army value of SELFLESS SERVICE is to:  Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.

Family…Family meant the world to my father, and it is becoming clearer to me that everyone that knew him knew that. Watching my boys grow up around him was something I will cherish forever. He was always quick with a joke, smile, tickle, laugh, advice, story, and just being there… his presence made everyone feel better.  

Thoughtful…Sending Cards for every occasion EVERY TIME – NEVER  MISSED ANYTHING NOT ONCE. The stories I am hearing far and wide from the people that knew my father continue to amaze me. Hallmark has just lost their number one customer for sure.

Dawgs…A cool wet October 7th evening in 2000: Watching the big ugly orange of Tennessee along with goal posts fall in Sanford Stadium (breaking a 7 year drought against them). We both cried with the level of emotion that was in that stadium that night… Too proud to look each other in the eye to let the other know they were losing it… But we both knew, and felt the enormity of the moment. I could have recounted any of a hundred other moments in Sanford Stadium, but this one really stood out.


  Island Time…The yearly trip out to Crab Island and the hours of sunburned salty good times we had in the crystal clear pool in Destin’s backyard!
  The Magic Man… Pop Pop’s magic tricks. Not sure how many of you knew my Dad was a master magician. The disappearing thumb, Stealing the boys noses, pulling quarters out of their ears, Some trick with a small rope – I can’t fully remember – His magic skills were infamous in our Casey household. Must have come from growing up in the Casey’s Magic Rest
Family…I feel selfish for the anger sadness, and shock that I have been going through these past couple of days.  My anger at the timing of this… With Dad soo excited for next month’s trip to Yankee stadium to watch the annual pounding of the Red Sox – Thanks Jim.  Anger, and sadness for him at not being able to live out his plans of enjoying retirement… Traveling, going to Dawg / Tiger games, driving across country, flying across the planet, and just continuing his role as the best Pop Pop in the world. You see I do not possess a fraction of the Selflessness trait that was so much a part of Dad…. But that is going to change!

 Jim / Dillon…I love you guys, and commit today that we WILL keep dad’s presence alive, and continue to weave the strong family fabric he started. 
     Jim –Thanks for leading us and being here so quickly in this time of need. I know you were going through a lot and having to deal with being the first son to arrive. You have been amazing.
     Dillon– I am sorry that we have not had as much time together as Dad would have liked. Sorry for maybe not always thinking of you right away, and not having enough photos of you to share at this time. The age difference, the distance…. I want to work on strengthening our relationship… Please help me with this.
     Tania– My Dad loved you like a daughter, and he told me many many times how much he admired you as a person, and how happy he was for me. I know he recognized that you have many of the same good qualities / values that he believed to be so important. Your selfless nature reminds me a lot of him… I love you and know that Dad saw that in you…
Matthew, Christian, Jayden… I know you know Pop Pop loved you, and cherished the time he spent with you. Promise me you will never forget what a great person he was, and try to honor him by keeping his spirit with you in your lives. I will try my best to live up to being as good of a person / father that he was.

In the End…In his final act of selflessness Dad decided to forego all of his immense worldly relationships… The enjoyment he got from serving and pleasing his family and friends. He decided to forego all of the great retirement and travel plans he worked so hard his whole life for only because someone EXTREAMLY IMPORTANT to him needed his presence. I believe on Sunday Dad decided he would go spend mother’s day with his mom who missed him so much.

 I will love you forever Dad, and hope I can try to touch as many lives as deeply as you have…