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CASANOVA, William Anthony

November 15, 1930 – August 9, 2011

William Anthony Casanova, beloved husband of fifty-six years and best friend of Connie, passed away suddenly at home on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, at age 80.

Bill was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He was an exceptional talent whose athletic prowess was renowned throughout Essex County. In high school, ‘Willie’ excelled at baseball, football, basketball and track and field. In 1951-53, Bill pursued a career as a professional baseball player in the New York Yankee AAA Organization. In 1954, he played Senior Inter County Professional Baseball in St. Thomas. It was there that he met his future bride Connie – his “21 Balaclava Girl”. Bill completed U of Western Ont., B.A. He played UWO Mustangs football ’54-58: drafted by B.C. Lions, traded to Calgary Stampeders ’58. He completed U of C, B. Ed. Played Calgary Dodgers semi-pro baseball until 1962.

Bill was Athletic Director and Head Coach at St. Mary’s Boys’ High School ’59-63 winning two city championships in four undefeated regular seasons. His track and field teams won three consecutive titles. Bill coached Mount Royal Jr. College football ’60-63 and was assistant football coach U of C ’65-67. Bill accepted a position with the Alberta Teachers’ Association from ’68-91 as an Executive Assistant.

In 1997, Bill was inducted into the Windsor Essex County Sports Hall of Fame. He was a playing member of Willow Park Golf and Country Club from 1972 – 2011. Handicap: 7. Trophies for ‘Hole in One’: 6.

Besides his loving wife Connie, Bill is survived by daughters Patti Rose and Anne Marie (Rob); only granddaughter Bonnie Girl; sister Lillian (Casanova) Fairhurst (Joe); sister-in-law Irene Kerhoulas; and many loved nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by parents Erminio and Rosa Casanova; infant daughter Rose Ann; beloved brother Bruno Casanova (Audrey); mother-in-law Demitrula Kerhoulas; sister-in-law Vivian Kerhoulas; and by brothers-in-law John Borovilos (Alexandra) and George Kerhoulas (Norma). He was also predeceased by his much adored nephew, “Joey” Fairhurst, an exceptional Windsor, ON athlete, equally talented in baseball, basketball, football and track and field.

Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Fish Creek Chapel (14441 Bannister Road S.E.) on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church (1600 Acadia Drive S.E.) on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta.

In living memory of William Casanova, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Jan Griffin and family :

    We never met but we have had the greatest pleasure of meeting both your daughter Patti and grand daughter Bonnie.
    With out your kindness, love and support we may never have met Bonnie.
    I send condolences to Your family with love and regards.
    Our thoughts are with you all at this sad time

    Jan, Bren, Robert and Laura England UK

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  2. Franca DeGusti (Vok) :

    I have very fond memories of Mr. Casanova. He was my grade six teacher 1966/67 at St. Anne School in Calgary. He was very passionate when he taught us Mathematics and had a great sense of humour. We met up again when he inducted me into the ATA association over thirty years ago. He will be greatly missed and will always be in my thoughts and prayers. My condolences to the family.

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  3. Bernadette & Gerald Manuel :

    Dear Connie, Patti, & Anne Marie,
    we are so very sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this very sad time. I have such warm memories of Bill from when I was a young child and all the kindness he showed me. I will always remember him as a warm hearted, kind man who was always smiling. I learned much about what I know about golf from him, from the times he used to practice at Acadia School. May God bless you all with his love and strength at this very difficult time. Holding you close in my heart.

    Love Bernadette

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  4. Johnene Anderson :

    Dearest Anne Marie, Patty Rose, and Mrs. Casanova: please accept our sincerest condolences on the sudden passing of your dear father, husband, and grandfather. My early childhood memories of Mr. Casanova, were of a dear patience and understanding man, who loved football almost as much as he loved his wife and daughters and granddaughter. We often think of you especially when we are in Calgary visiting my family. We want to send our love and warm thoughts to you all at the trying time.

    Gary and I are now living in the small community of Lac du Bonnet, MB. and deeply regret we are unable to attend the service for Mr. Casanova, but we will be thinking of you all.

    Love
    Johnene & Gary Anderson

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  5. Brenda Ann Taylor :

    I was Captain of the Cheerleaders at St. Mary’s Girls School during the time Mr. Casanova was football coach. His dedication to the boys and kindness to us has remained with me over the years. Deepest sympathy and prayers for his family. Sincerely, Brenda Ann Runions,Taylor.

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  6. Deepest sympathy and prayers to the family. Now there is a new star in heaven to watch over us. Mr casanova was a guiding light and mentor to all the boys he coached at St. Mary’s. I am proud to say that I was one of the team he coached.
    Barry Stotts

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  7. Barb O'Reilly :

    Connie & Family. It was of great sadness to hear of Bill’s passing. I was so fortunate over the years to have had the opportunity of seeing him in our office for his check-up’s with Jim Hansen. We always had such great chats and he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    Sincerely,

    Barb O’Reilly (Dr. Jim Hansen’s Nurse)

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  8. Karla Piper Ryckborst :

    Dear Anne Marie, my deepest condolences to you and all of your family. Thinking of you, Karla.

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  9. Dear Connie,

    We met only once, back about 1971. Bill and I worked together in 1970 -71 in ATA bargaining. I will always remember Bill with great fondness. He was, as you said in the newspaper, a good, good man.

    Sincere condolences.

    Russ and Marj Purdy

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  10. Lyle Cartwright :

    I express my deepest sympathy to the family. I played baseball against Willie when he played for the Windsor Nationals and I pitched for the Chatham Shermans in 1950.
    Sincerely,
    Lyle Cartwright, Wheatley, Ontario

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  11. Stan Schwartz :

    August 17, 2011

    Mrs. Connie Casanova and the Casanova Family

    Dear Connie,

    On behalf of the Calgary Stampeder Football Club’s Ownership Group; Chairman, John Forzani; Governor, Doug Mitchell; President and Chief Operating Officer, Lyle Bauer; Head Coach and General Manager, John Hufnagel; management; coaches; players; and the entire Calgary Stampeder family, we are deeply saddened by the loss of your husband Bill.

    The Casanova family will be faced with enormous and profound adjustments. These adjustments will be such that they affect the whole being. The path of grief, hurt and finally acceptance will take time and is one that each member of the family must travel alone. You are fortunate that your family and friends are close and each in their own special way will help others.

    I, like so many, was fortunate to have Bill Casanova as a coach, a mentor and most importantly as a friend. Bill is one of those special people who helped me see the value of sports and the importance of sports in society. He helped shape my life.

    While serving as my coach at Mount Royal College, he quickly showed his love for the game and commitment to his players. We learned to work hard and appreciate how much preparation it takes to win. He taught the right values in the right way to his players. To him, everyone on the team was important. His consistent philosophy gave shape and meaning to sports and life. He disciplined the players when they deserved to be disciplined, he encouraged the players when they were down and pushed them to improve. He cared about his athletes on and off the playing field. The people that he coached were more important than the athletes he coached. He “earned the respect that is embodied in the hallowed name – COACH.”

    Bill Casanova touched my life and my future by helping me become who I am. I will always remember his ongoing support, wisdom and most importantly the friendship that he provided me from Mount Royal College to and through the ranks of professional football. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my family and people like my friend, Bill Casanova.

    I found Bill to be a true gentleman and a person who found time to show a genuine interest in the people that he met. However, a more important statement about Bill and the kind of person he was is what he left behind. Bill is such a lucky person to have a caring family and friends. He is so proud of you; his daughters Patti Rose and Anne Marie; his granddaughter Bonnie; his nieces and nephews; his family and friends. What greater satisfaction is there in life? People are better off today for knowing Bill Casanova.

    Knowing all to well the tough times that lie ahead, empathy for the Casanova family is strong. Remember the good times that will always be there to remind you, for they will help you through the many hurtful moments. Hold these memories fast. Soon they will help you remember with a smile. Bill lives on in you life and the lives of others who knew him.

    Our sympathy and prayers are with you and your family.

    Your friend,
    Calgary Stampeder Football Club

    Stan J. Schwartz
    Executive Vice-President/
    Consultant to the Executive Committee

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  12. Dan & Judy Pettypiece :

    Our deepest sympathies to the Casanova family. Seeing “Willie’s picture in the paper brought back many fond memories of his brother Bruno to my family and I. He was a legend and we will never forget what he did for me personally and for the Town of Amherstburg in general. Bruno and Willie are together now probably arguing who will bat first. Two legends gone but never forgotten. Rest in peace boys and try to get along.

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