Casimer (Casey) J. Celske, 98, of Aledo, Illinois, passed away on April 20, 2019 at Hope Creek Care Center in Moline, IL. A funeral mass is planned at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4th at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Aledo with a brunch and celebration of life to follow in the parish hall. Casey’s remains will be buried at Forest Hill Memorial Park Cemetery in Oak Creek, WI. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Catherine’s Catholic Church.

Casimer (Casey) J. Celske, 98, of Aledo, Illinois, passed away on April 20, 2019 at Hope Creek Care Center in Moline, IL.

Casey was born in Conrath, WI on March 4, 1921, as the first of Albert and Jessie Celske’s fourteen children. Casey proudly served his nation in WWII, initially as a mechanic in the Army. Later, Casey volunteered to join an elite American-Canadian commando unit known as the First Special Service Force (FSSF) where he served as a radio operator and a gunner. The FSSF stormed the beaches at Anzio and liberated Rome. For his valor, he earned two purple hearts and a bronze star. In 2015, Casey’s unit received a Congressional Gold Medal—the highest medal awarded by the US Congress—for their bravery and service to our nation.

Post war, he worked as a head mechanic at Bucyrus Erie in South Milwaukee, WI, maintaining the foundry equipment that manufactured large draglines (such as the “Big Muskie”) used to expand America’s infrastructure.

He married the love of his life, Helen Olga Ward on August 7, 1948 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in South Milwaukee. Casey and Helen raised eleven children in Oak Creek, WI. Upon retiring, Casey moved to Ladysmith, WI, and in 2006 moved to Aledo, IL to be near his sons.

Family left to cherish his memory include Carey Celske, Ladysmith, WI; Larry Celske, Milwaukee, WI; Christine Frieboth, South Milwaukee, WI ; Lynda & Tom Edwards, South Milwaukee, WI; Lee & Cindi Celske, Cape Coral, FL; Curtis Celske, Cudahy, WI; Laura & Duane Paul, Holcombe, WI; Craig & Chantal Celske, Aledo, IL; and Lyle Celske, Ft. Myers, FL; 16 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchildren.

Casey was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Celske; his daughter, Cynthia (Cindy) Celske; his son, Lenny Celske; and a granddaughter, Rebecca Nelson.

A funeral mass is planned at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4th at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Aledo with a brunch and celebration of life to follow in the parish hall. Casey’s remains will be buried at Forest Hill Memorial Park Cemetery in Oak Creek, WI.  In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Catherine’s Catholic Church.  

Casey was one of the oldest WWII veterans in Mercer County and it gave him great joy to serve as the bell ringer during the Memorial Day service in Aledo. This year, the bell will be rung in honor of his service to our nation.