Mario Casali, 95

Mario Casali of Braintree, died peacefully at his home surrounded by family on July 16, 2022, at the age of 95. Born in Quincy on December 20, 1926, he was the son of the late Bernardina and Erminio Casali. Married on June 3, 1950, he was the devoted husband to Norma (Gullicksen) Casali.

Mario Casali

During Mario’s junior year at Quincy High School, he was called to serve and joined the Navy. When World War II ended a year later, he returned to QHS and graduated in 1946. It was there that he met the love of his life, Norma. Theirs was a love story for the ages. Mario often said that Norma was “the best thing that ever happened to me.” They lived in Newport, RI, and eventually settled in Braintree, MA, where they raised their family of three daughters and a son. Mario enjoyed spending summers with his family at the camp he built on Rattlesnake Island, Lake Winnipesaukee. Mario and Norma were devoted to one another throughout their 72 years of marriage.

The GI Bill gave Mario the opportunity to attend Boston University where he played hockey for the Terriers, who made it to the NCAA finals. He graduated with a degree in education in 1950 and began his teaching career in Quincy in 1952. For the next 30 years, he taught physical education and coached football, basketball, and baseball at Central Junior High School. He retired in 1995 after spending 15 more years as a guidance counselor for the Quincy School System. Mario also volunteered his time as a referee for youth hockey in Braintree and Quincy. After retirement, he was voted into the Quincy High School Football Hall of Fame and served on the Hall of Fame’s board. He was also active in the Quincy Retired Teachers Association. In his later years, he enjoyed jigsaw puzzles and treasured spending time with his great-grandchildren.

Mario was an extraordinary person who touched the lives of everyone he met with his smile and charisma. His positive outlook and counseling were invaluable to all the people in his life. Mario loved telling stories, and he was good at it. One of his favorite phrases was, “just one more, this will be the last one.” How lucky his family and friends are that he kept going!

Whether you knew him as Mario, Mike, “Mud”, or Coach, The Quincy Sun put it best: “If you define a great coach as one who has made a positive influence on the lives of others, then Mike Casali is among the greatest this city has ever had.” As a coach, winning was less important to him than his relationships with his students. Mario cared deeply about his students, and for some, he changed the course of their lives. Because of his influence, many became teachers and coaches themselves. They continued life-long relationships with him, right up to his last days.

In addition to his wife, Mario was the devoted father of Joan Casali of Braintree, Marilyn Endicott and her husband, Bill, of Laconia, NH, Nancy Carey and her husband, Dave, of Foxborough, and Jack Casali and his wife, Cathy, of Norfolk. He was also the proud grandfather of Joey Sico, Michael Sico, Brian Curran and Jamie Richardson, Katie and Steven Kummer, Daniel Casali, Jonathan and Deanna Casali, and Sarah Casali, and the loving great-grandfather of Abigail Rose Kummer and Anthony Mario Casali. Mario was the brother of the late Mary Conroy and her husband Michael Conroy and the loving uncle of Michael Conroy, Cathy Stachowski, Terry O’Connor, Mary Meany, and Paul Gardiner.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visiting hours which will be held on Thursday, July 21, 2022, from 4-7 PM at the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock Street, QUINCY.  A private burial will be held at a later date at Mt. Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Quincy Retired Teachers Association, 34 Coddington Street, Quincy, MA, 02169.

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