John V. Casanova

1925 - 2010


John was my pilot mentor in the late 1970's.  He encouraged me to take flying lessons, and I was ultimately able to get my Commercial Pilot's License with an Airplane Instrument rating.


John V. Casanova, age 85, passed away Oct 3, 2010 at his home in Racine, WI, surrounded by his loving family. John was born in Watertown, WI, July 5, 1925, and was son of the late Dr. John R. and Verna (Nee: LaClair) Casanova. At 3 years old, his mother died. John was raised by his loving stepmother, Leanore (White) Casanova. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn Casanova, his four adult children and six grandchildren.

John proudly served in the United States Navy during WW II. He received a baccalaureate degree (B.S.M.E.) in mechanical engineering in 1946 from Marquette University and earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) in law from Marquette University in 1949. Early in his career, John was affiliated with Time, Inc., New York, NY, (1957-76) and became the head of a subsidiary of Time Inc., PDI, with plants on the East Coast and in Wisconsin. After settling in Connecticut for several years, John sought a better environment to raise his family, and he and Marilyn returned to Racine where they lived for the next 53 years. John became a frequent business flyer between the Midwest and Manhattan for a number of years. John was a member of the Wisconsin Bar and, in the 1970’s, he practiced corporate, estate planning, contracts, and real estate law in Racine, with the firm of Knuteson, Powers & Quinn SC. He retired in 2009.

John is a Licensed Professional Engineer (WI) and was a long-standing member of the Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts. John served as president of the Village of Wind Point from 1962 to 1968. He also served on the board of directors of the Racine County Planning Council (1982-90) and many other company boards in WI. He was active as a board member of the Siena Center for many years. John was a long-standing member of Rotary International and became involved in many charitable activities associated with Rotary. He is a member of Pi Tau Sigma.

His pastimes included reading, golf, tennis, scuba diving, building Heathkit radios and stereos, cheering for the Packers and traveling with his wife and family to many ports of call around the world. John had a great love of aviation and achieved many advanced levels of pilot certification. He earned certification as a licensed Airline Transport Pilot. He owned an airplane for over 40 years. He often flew his wife and family on vacations to various parts of the country and enjoyed flying his grandchildren to Oshkosh for the Experimental Aircraft Show or just taking someone up and flying over Racine. He used his plane to help many to travel to hospitals and medical centers who were in need of special care.

More than anything he cherished his family. John and Marilyn met at Marquette and were married July 2, 1949 in Augusta, KS. Surviving family members include his loving wife of 61 years, Marilyn, and his 4 adult children: Susan (Tim) Derning of Sonoma, CA; Diane (Tom) Augustine of Milwaukee, WI; Karen Casanova of Delafield, WI; and John (Linda) Casanova of Fort Collins, CO. John took great delight in each of his grandchildren who deeply loved being with their “granddaddy”: Sean Derning, JT Casanova, Jennifer Casanova, Jessica Casanova, Caitlin Augustine, and Daniel Augustine. Surviving brothers Robert (Ellen) Casanova of Waukesha, WI; William (Susan) Casanova of FL, James (Jean) Casanova, Elm Grove, WI , and sister Claire (Ed) Brissette of King, WI. His sister, Betty Casanova, Milwaukee, WI preceded him in death. He will be deeply missed by all.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, October 9th, 2010, 10:00 am at the Siena Center Chapel, 5635 Erie Street, Racine, WI, with Fr. Stephen Stradinger officiating. Private internment with full military honors will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery for the immediate family only. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Friday evening at Maresh-Meredith & Acklam funeral home from 4-7 pm, and at the Siena Center Saturday, from 9:30 am until 10 am.

The family wishes to thank Wheaton Franciscan Hospice for their guidance and devoted family caregivers Chinzo D. and Helen Clark.