John “Jake” Casale Sr., Cresson, 98, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 7, 2023 at home surrounded by family. Born January 11, 1925 in Portage, PA son of Carmelo and Giuseppina “Josephine” (Moschella) Casale. Preceded in death by parents; wife of 48 years Emma (Pingtella) Casale; grandson Francis Paul Casale; brothers Dr. Lawrence (Nellie), Sam (Shirley), Paul; and step-granddaughter Rachel Sheehan. Jake is survived by: Brother, Jim of Cresson; Sons, John and Terri (Eckenrode) of Loretto, Carmen and Sharon (Wright) of Cresson; Daughter, Jacquelyn and Skip Moerschbacher of State College. Seven grandchildren: Josh and Jaime (Pritts), Johnna and Colin Casale and Miranda Sheehan (Dan McConnell) all of Cresson; Kara Casale (Randy Harris) of Hollidaysburg; Evan Moerschbacher of Grand Rapids, MI and Drew Moerschbacher of State College. Six great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; cousins; two beloved pets, Kitty and Champ. Jake was a proud WWll veteran assigned in 1943 to the 1346th Army Air Force Base Unit at Texagon Air Field, India as an aircraft engine mechanic. While there he achieved rank of Corporal and received numerous medals. Once discharged in 1948 Jake continued to serve his country in the Reserves. In 1952 Jake started a forty-five year career as an auto repair co-owner in Cresson until the business passed on to his son. In retirement, Jake continued visits to the garage as late as a few days prior to his passing, his wit and wisdom with customers and staff will be missed. Jake had a lifelong love for fishing which started as a young boy at his favorite spot, the Wilmore Dam. He enjoyed the family tradition of seasonal hunting at the family’s former Christmas tree farm in Portage Township. An all around gardener particularly tending to his tomatoes, a fan of Pittsburgh sports teams and Penn State football but more than anything Jake especially cherished time with his children and grandchildren and seldom missed the opportunity to attend their activities. A private service was held on Tuesday, April 11th with Father Byrnes presiding at the Serenko-Claar Funeral Home, PC, Portage. Burial was in St. Bartholomew Cemetery, Wilmore, where military honors were held by Portage Ritual Team. To friends of Jake, his life can be celebrated with a toast of an Italian red wine for a life well lived. The family would like to thank Interim Hospice and the VA Gold Team staff for their compassionate care. Online Condolences may be made at serenkoclaarfuneralhome.com.
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