Jesse Casso, Sr.

Date of Birth

October 26, 1925

Date of Death

March 31, 2022

City of Death

Santa Barbara

After living a remarkable and distinguished life of 96 years, on March 31, 2022, Jesse Casso, Sr., peacefully passed away surrounded by his family.

Jesse was born on October 26, 1925, in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. His parents, Marjil and Consuelo Casso, had migrated from northern Mexico to Minnesota to pick sugarbeets. Jesse was raised in San Antonio, Texas and Detroit, Michigan before moving to Santa Barbara in 1943.

He joined the United States Army on May 6, 1944 during the height of World War II, served in the European Theater with the 468th AAA Battalion. Notably, he survived the sinking of the SS Leopoldville on December 24, 1944. The Leopoldville was transporting approximately 2,250 U.S. Troops from Southampton, England to Cherbourg, France, and was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine. As a result, nearly 800 soldiers died. He was honorably discharged on July 8, 1946. Following his discharge, Jesse returned to Santa Barbara where he worked in various jobs until he started his 35 year career at Southern California Edison.

At Edison, Jesse rose to the position of a journeyman electrician, retiring on November 1, 1985. He was a proud member of IBEW Local 47, where he served as a shop steward.

On June 1, 1952, Jesse married the love of his life and life-long Santa Barbara native, Barbara A. McCormick. They had five children, Barbara, Mary Ann (deceased, 1954), Jesse (Cheryl Marino), Anna (Michael Cloonan), and Jamie (Selina), 11 grandchildren, Teddi (Reggie), Jamie (Natalie), Lucas, Isabel, Liliana, Akela (David), Marina (Jordan), Shayne (Jonathan), Xavier, Nazaria, and Diego, and eight great grandchildren, Reggi, Boston, Bobbi, Ford, Nicolas, Adrian, Nani, and Poppy.

He was one of the original members of the Santa Barbara Men’s Club, having played golf at the Santa Barbara Community Golf Course from 1958 until he suffered a stroke in August 2006.

He was an accomplished gardener, or as he liked to think of himself a “farmer,” raising fruits and vegetables year round at their expansive yard in San Roque.

In retirement, in addition to tending to his garden and playing golf twice a week, Jesse enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s basketball and baseball games, he was a fierce sports fan and supporter of local athletics, renovating residential properties with his brother, Phil, and following local, state and national politics.

He was the eldest of eight children; he was pre-deceased by his parents, his brothers Marjil, Ray, Rudy, and Phil as well as his sister Elvira (Goena). He is survived by his sisters Aurora Cervantes and Erlinda Gomez.

Graveside services will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 11:00 a.m., at Calvary Cemetery in Santa Barbara.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to VNA Health of Santa Barbara.


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