BATAVIA - Emery J. Casper, 103, of Batavia passed away after a recent illness on Sunday evening (Oct. 13, 2019) at United Memorial Medical Center, in Batavia. Emery was a resident at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation since 2018.
He was born July 5, 1916 a son of Anthony and Marie (Kirsch) Casper in the Town of Herman (near Ada), Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. His family were dairy farmers, and later moved to Meeme (near St. Nazianz), Manitowoc County. Emery’s mother died when he was young and his father later married Florence (Slade) Casper. Together there were 13 children. The family eventually relocated to Oakfield in 1941.
Emery attended the Salvatorian and also the St. Lawrence Capuchin Seminary in Wisconsin until he joined his family in New York in 1940. In 1941 he enlisted in the Army and joined the 86th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion. His WWII stories and history of the 86th Engineers are on file at the Army Heritage Center Foundation in Carlisle, Penn. in a book titled “Bridging to Victory”. Emery and his battalion received five battle stars for serving in five WWII European Campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland, and Central Europe. His unit was the first WWII US Army ponton bridging battalion to bridge the Rhine (near Remagen) during the invasion of Germany, after the Army captured the only remaining German bridge on the Rhine on 3/7/1945 (Ludendorff Bridge), which fell 10 days later.
Emery met his wife, Blanche (Walker) Casper in 1943 when he was stationed in Stroud, England. They were married in Woodchester, England in 1945. After WWII Emery returned to the United States and studied watchmaking in Memphis, Tenn. He was a watchmaker at Brenner’s Jewelers in Batavia for 20 yrs. Blanche joined Emery in the United States in 1946 and they established their home in Batavia where they raised a family of six children. Later, Emery returned to school to study drafting and was employed as a draftsman with Lightning Mixing Company in Rochester for 15 yrs. After retiring, Emery and Blanche returned to England many times to visit relatives, and Emery also revisited Normandy in 1999. Blanche passed away on Oct. 28, 2018.
They were long-time members of St. Joseph’s Church in Batavia and received the 2006 “Lay Award of St. Joseph”. Emery was an avid gardener and altar server for novenas at St. Joseph’s, and he and Blanche led a daily rosary there for over 20 yrs. Emery was also a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Also, Emery thoroughly enjoyed the first Muckdogs ballgame that he ever attended (with the Premier Genesee residents) several months ago on June 18, 2019.
Emery is survived by his children, Monica Casper of Batavia, Valerie (Kenneth) Foxx of Romulus, Maurice Casper of Florida, and Roy Casper of Clifton Park; a brother, Paul Casper of Batavia; sisters, Zita (late Vic) Stornelli of Georgia, Cecelia (Merril) Mabon of Castile, and Joyce (late Reggie) Blackwell of Houston, Texas; a sister-in-law, Marianne Casper of Wisconsin. 7 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews also survive.
He is preceded in death by a son, Jerome (late Barbara) Casper; a daughter, Aileen Casper; brothers, Hyacinth Casper, Rev. B. Robert Casper, Casimir Casper, Anthony Casper, Charles Gibney, and Robert “Bob” Casper; sisters, Helen Ludwig, and Shirley Gibney.
Family and friends are invited to call on Saturday morning from 11 to 12:30 p.m. at the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 E. Main St., Batavia, where prayers will be recited at 12:30. Emery’s Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 p.m. in St. Joseph’s Church, 303 E. Main St., Batavia. Burial, with military honors will be in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Batavia. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Resurrection Parish, 303 E. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.
His family is grateful to the ER and ICU medical staff for their excellent care, and also Fr. Matthew, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, LeRoy for his quick response in administering the last blessings.
To leave a message of condolence, share a story, or light a candle in memory of Emery, please visit www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.