He loved to dance and everyone knew when he was on the dance floor. Stomping his feet, a big smile on his face, moving around the dance floor with his favorite partner, Terrie. They shared their last dance on May 15th, 2021 at the Black Tie, Blue Jean event in Whitehall.
Whitehall – Robert Edward Casagrande, age 74, passed away peacefully on the evening of June 24, 2021, at his home in Whitehall. He was born to the late Emma (Salvagni) Casagrande and Julius Casagrande on April 18, 1947 in Butte, Montana.
Cas was raised in Butte and graduated from Butte High School in 1964. After high school, he attended college at Western Montana College, in Dillon, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1969. During that same year, he moved to Whitehall and in the years that followed, had two sons.
In the fall of 1969, Cas created the Creative Problem Solving Program at the Emerson Elementary school in Butte and helped students with special learning needs until 1977. For the remaining 18 years of his teaching career, Cas taught 4th, 5th & 6th grades, but primary spent most of those years in the 5th grade classroom. Beloved by many, Cas’s most faithful students were those who were part of his original Creative Problem Solving Program. Countless students stayed in contact with “Mr. Casagrande” and often reminisced about their time in his classroom. They told stories about animals in the classroom, fun times on the playground, or memorable fieldtrips to the ranch in Whitehall. Only a select few were able to share their unique experiences with Mr. Casagrande & “Freddie”.
Cas married the love of his life, Terrie Doran, on November 22, 1981 and they raised 4 children on the family ranch, east of Whitehall. Cas cherished his family and devoted his life to the ranch. He could often be found, fixing fence, irrigating, tending to his crops or taking care of his cattle. Serving the community was also of paramount importance to Cas. Knights of Columbus, volunteering or helping countless friends, family & neighbors was a weekly, sometimes daily activity, that he loved and was honored to do. He never turned down a chance to lend a hand. When he was not puttering around the ranch or helping someone, he could be found at a car show with his car buddies, hunting deer & elk with his boys, or chasing big fish with lifelong friends from Butte. He loved his classic cars, cherished time spent hunting on the mountain and relished the chance to catch steelhead on the Salmon or Clearwater Rivers in Idaho.
Cas was preceded in death by his parents, Emma & Julius Casagrande, and granddaughter, Zoe Casagrande. Survivors include his wife, Terrie Casagrande of Whitehall; son, Robert Casagrande and his wife, Julie, and granddaughters, Katie, Bailey and Shay, all of Missoula; son, Cory Casagrande and his wife, Heather, and grandsons, Mason and Boady all of Helena; daughter Carrie Heaphy and her husband, Ike, and grandchildren Luke & Addy, all of Missoula; daughter Callie McIntosh and her husband, Ryan, of Bozeman; sister, Connie Powers and her husband, Rich and nephew, Mark, and niece, Shelly, all of Butte.
Funeral services will be held on July 7th at St. Teresa’s Church in Whitehall. Visitation will begin at 9:30a, Mass at 11:00a and a luncheon to follow at the Parish Hall. Interment of ashes will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations may be made in Bob’s name to a local food bank, the Whitehall Museum, Jefferson Valley Hospice (Whitehall) or Senior Solutions Hospice (Butte).
Goodbye Papa, god bless.