Wellsville, NY - Joan M. Casagrande, remembered as a loving mother, grandmother and friend, died Saturday, Feb. 11, at Manor Hills in Wellsville. She had lived in the Wellsville area for more than 60 years.
Born Dec. 18, 1928, the daughter of the late James Robb and Grace M. Loomis Littlefair, Joan married Norman R. Casagrande on May 1, 1948. They moved to "diaper hill" in Alfred so that he could attend school at Alfred State College.
After he graduated and took at job at Air Preheater - now Alstom Power - the family moved to Wellsville. As their children were growing up, Norm and Joan were very involved in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and other youth activities. As a family, they enjoyed camping and trips to the Maryland shore to visit family.
Joan was an accomplished seamstress and tailor, who enjoyed making clothes for her children and grandchildren, including special outfits for holidays. She turned her talents to quilting, and made several heirloom-quality quilts for her family. Joan also enjoyed crocheting.
She loved to play bridge and was a mainstay of the "card club" at the Wellsville Community Building for several years. "Grandma Joan" taught several area youngsters to enjoy card games. She was also known for volunteering to read to elementary school classes, particularly for her annual reading of "The Polar Express," and she was also a tutor for the Literacy Volunteer program, helping adults learn to read.
Joan loved to travel and enjoyed visiting her brother and his family in Los Angeles, and her father's family in England.
Joan worked at Argentieri Brothers Drycleaning for more than 20 years until her retirement in 1990.
The first resident manager of Wellsville Woods Apartments on Merriam Heights, Joan is credited with making the facility into a home for its residents, with community meals, card nights, and daily coffee klatches. She was missed by residents when ill health forced her to moved Manor Hills in July 2010.
She was predeceased by her husband Norman, who died March 29, 1979, and by her youngest child, their son Steven, who died July 9, 1983. She was also predeceased by her only brother, Ronald Littlefair.
Joan is survived by a son, Mark and his wife Louise (Chick) Casagrande of Wellsville; daughter Gail and her husband Gary Goetschius of Wellsville; and daughter Lisa and her husband Edward Chapman of Rochester.
She is also survived by two grandsons Christopher Casagrande of Wellsville, and his son Sebastian; and Brian (Nikki) Casagrande of Cortland, Ohio and their three children: Jakob, Ella and Sophie; and by three granddaughters: Kira Goetschius and her husband Erskin Cherry of Silver Spring, MD; Elissa Goetschius of Washington, DC; Abigail Chapman Desjardins and her husband Amos Desjardins of Old Town Alexandria, VA; James Chapman, his wife Jennifer, and their children Theo and Roxanna; and Rob and Tara Chapman.
She is also survived by four sisters-in-law, Laura Casagrande of Flemington, NJ; Mary Casagrande and Evelyn Casagrande, both of Salisbury, MD, and Marian Littlefair of Newport Beach, CA, and several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the J.W. Sons Funeral Home on 34 W. State St., where funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Allegany County SPCA or charity of the donor's choice.
To leave condolences visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.