Leon “Lee” Edward Casey, age 97 of Appleton, WI joined his heavenly Father on December 24, 2022. He was born to Clarence and Irene (Hoier) Casey on August 11, 1925 in Ellington, WI. Lee graduated from Union Free High School, Shiocton, WI with the class of ’43. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and served on the USS Wichita in the Pacific fleet. Lee was honorably discharged as a Seaman First Class, earning several ribbons of recognition. He was also invited as an honored veteran on the 2010 Old Glory Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Lee met the love of his life and married Georgiana “Georgie” Schommer in February of 1950 and together, they raised 9 wonderful children. Lee was a journeyman carpenter and a proud union member of Carpenters Local 955 for 71 years, changing the landscape of the Fox Valley and surrounding area with several contractors, but working mostly for Boldt and Miron Construction companies. Lee's skills moved him up the ranks to Job Foreman and Superintendent where over the years he shared his knowledge with many young carpenters and construction workers.
Lee was a talented builder. In fact, as a young man, he designed his own house, drew up the blueprints, and built it from the ground up. Lee could fix anything broken – so much so that he earned the title “the Leonizer”. Lee and Georgie had a passion for gardening. For decades, they tended a large vegetable garden with the help of their children and taught them the value of working together. He also enjoyed bowling, wine-making, hunting, and fishing during his free time. Faith was a very important aspect of Lee’s life. He was a founding member of St. Pius X Parish and a devoted church attendee for his whole life. Lee volunteered for the Veterans Affairs and the Disabled American Veterans transportation system, driving veterans to and from Madison, Milwaukee, and anywhere else they needed to go. More than anything, though, Lee was a family man, a proud father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to a big, beloved family, including his adored companion and best dog, Barney.
Lee is survived by his children, Michael Casey, Patricia Casey (Robin Groose), Pamela Van Ryzin, Mark (Peggy) Casey, Tierney Casey, Kate (Bryan) Teschendorf, and Peg (Jerry) Ziglinski; his grandchildren, Aaron (Kelly) Barger, Nic (Danielle) Barger, Evan (Ashley) Groose, Anna Groose, Courtney (David) Gagnon, Meghan (Adam) Krause, Kyle (Amanda) Casey, Kimberly (fiancé Daniel Rydberg) Van Ryzin, Andrew (Amy) Van Ryzin, Benjamin (Jessika) Van Ryzin, Brooke (Taylor) Knowles, and Zachary Ziglinski; 15 great-grandchildren; his sister, Mary (Wayne) Kaim; as well as many nieces, nephews, other extended relatives, and dear friends.
Lee is preceded in death by his wife of 71 ½ years, Georgie Casey; his sons, Matthew and James Casey; his parents, Clarence and Irene Casey; his son-in-law, Gary Van Ryzin; his sister, Virginia (Marlin) Gorges; his in-laws, Sr. George Ann Schommer, Florian “Buck” (Lorraine) Schommer, Russell (Betty) Schommer, and Lorraine (Lloyd) Hagen; and his step-mother, Dolores Casey.
A funeral visitation will take place from 10:00 – 11:30 AM on January 7, 2023 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 500 W. Marquette St, Appleton, WI 54911 with a mass of Christian burial to follow at 11:30 AM. Lee will be laid to rest at Highland Memorial Park in Appleton at 1:00 PM following the service.
Lee’s family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Stephen Fuller and Nurse Lacey of Primary Care Associates, the staff at Thedacare At Home Hospice, especially Nurse Amber, and The Renaissance, especially Kelly Davies and her staff for all their care and compassion shown to Lee. We are also grateful to Bob Hietpas for his friendship and assisting our father in his short stay there.