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Donald James Casina, 86, of Lombard, Illinois, and Ely, Minnesota, passed away unexpectedly on December 26, 2022, at his lake cabin.
Donald was born on August 15, 1936, at home in Cicero, Illinois, to James and Helen (Pawelczyk) Casina. He graduated from Morton East High School and went on to graduate from Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in Electrical Engineering. During his school years he worked at Western Electric, Hawthorn Works. After graduation, Donald proudly served in the United States Air Force. He went on to work for the Department of Defense. His work brought him to Topeka, Kansas, working on intercontinental ballistic missile silos, which surrounded Forbes Airforce Base during the Cold War. His work also included working out of Great Lakes Naval Ordinance Plant. He designed torpedo guidance and high frequency jamming systems. He retired as a Contracting Officer, after a 36-year career with the Federal Government.
He married the love of his life, Carole Slezak, on July 8th, 1961, at St. Dionysius Catholic Church in Cicero, Illinois. Together they celebrated 35 years of marriage. Donald is survived by his three children, Douglas, (Special Friend Reene) Cassandra (Glenn) Luckinbill, and Cheryl (Eric) Helms. Grandchildren Ryan (Katie), Brittny and Chad Luckinbill and Matthew, Nathan and Nicholas Helms and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Carole and her parents, Matthew and Margaret Slezak, and his sister Carole Casina.
Donald enjoyed time spent with his family and would travel many miles to be with them for birthdays and special occasions. His hobbies included solving crossword puzzles, playing pinochle, bridge, golfing, and fishing. Donald was an avid World War history buff. He loved watching and cheering on his grandchildren at various sporting events and dance recitals.
Donald was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church in Lombard, IL where he also faithfully served as an Usher for over 45 years.
A private family service will be held, and a Memorial Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Honor Flight or Animal Allies Humane Society of Duluth, Minnesota.
Dad, you were a wonderful father and inspiration to all who have met you. Our hearts are heavy with your loss. We love you… until we meet again, we will always remember your miles and smiles.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.