Donald G LaCasse passed away on July 9, 2020 to reunite with his beloved wife Anne. The son of Napoleon Charles and Josephine (Ripton) LaCasse, he was born on September 9, 1930.
A graduate of The Most Holy Rosary high school, he then earned a degree in Industrial Relations from LeMoyne College in 1953. He was also commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy in 1953 after successfully completing their Officer Candidate Program in Newport, Rhode Island. However, his most significant accomplishment in 1953 was meeting his future wife, Anne McLaughlin, while on a trip to Fourth Lake in the Adirondacks on Labor Day weekend. They were married at St. Charles Church in 1954, honeymooned in New York City, and embarked on the rest of their lives together.
This journey would take him to the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School in Pensacola, Florida, where his son Michael was born, and then to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he served as a Lieutenant responsible for all special services for naval base personnel. After completing his naval assignments, he joined General Electric's Human Resource Program in NYC and Schenectady New York where his daughter Kathleen was born. His career with General Electric would take him back to Syracuse in 1960 where he served in various management positions in their Defense Systems Department, Radio Guidance Operations, and finally as manager of their Home Entertainment Division. His final tour with GE brought him back to Schenectady where he retired in 1991 as Manager of Human Resources for the Industrial and Power Systems Sales Organization after 35 years with the company. After his formal retirement, he served as a global consultant for GE which afforded he and Anne the opportunity to travel around the globe.
Don and Anne then returned to Syracuse to be closer to their grandchildren where they taught them card games, golf and most importantly how to have a good sense of humor. They were fixtures in bleachers across Central New York, cheering and supporting the grandchildren at their various sports endeavors including basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, track and football. They also continued to travel, including trips to Vero Beach in Florida, Europe, and a cruise with the family to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. It was on the cruise where Don first received the nickname 'Old School', a moniker which stuck with him for the rest of his life.
Over the years, Don served and worked with many charitable and community organizations. He was a Trustee of the St. Ann's Institute Foundation, a member of the the Board of Governors for Wolferts Roost Golf Club, member of the LeMoyne College Alumni Board of Governors, Vice-Chairman for the Board of Regents for LeMoyne College and served as Secretary for the LeMoyne College Board of Trustees. In his later years, he was a driving force behind the Syracuse SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Golf Tournament fundraiser and he volunteered at the Francis House in Syracuse. In their "spare" time, Don and Anne developed many friendships and maintained a 55 year tradition of celebrating with their "New Years Eve Group." Don was passionate about golf and over the years belonged to Tuscarora Golf Club, Wolferts Roost Golf Club (where he joined their hole-in-one club) and Onondaga Golf and Country Club (where he won the Senior Club Championship in 2010).
Don was predeceased by Anne, his wife of 64 years, his brother (Charles), and his parents. He is survived by his son Michael (Barbara), and daughter Kathleen (Michael) Wiese. He was extremely proud of his five grandchildren: Matthew (Sarah), Brian (Milene), Patrick (Allison), and Michelle Wiese, and Kathryn LaCasse.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, July 12, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Burns Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 East Genesee St., Syracuse, N.Y. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Family Church in Fairmount at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, July 13. NYS guidelines of mask-wearing and social distancing will be enforced. Don's family understands these are unprecedented times, so for those uncomfortable attending the services, the funeral mass will also be live streamed on holyfamilysyr.org
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Don's memory can be made to the Patrick Wiese Foundation
, Christian Brothers Academy
or LeMoyne College