Raffaele Cassala, 92, husband of the late Maria Rosa (Papandrea) Cassala, passed away on Friday, February 28, 2020.
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Born in Cambruso, Contrada di Grotteria, Provincia di Reggio Calabria, Italy, on March 9, 1927, he was the son of the late Gottardo Salvatore Cassala and Teresa Papaluca. He immigrated to the United States with his spouse and daughter in 1966 and settled in Meriden. Raffaele worked for International Silver Company, the Napier Company, Walmart in Wallingford, and lastly, Stop & Shop, Broad Street, Meriden. He was a parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Meriden.
Raffaele was proud of his service as an Alpine Sentinel in Italy. He lived in Milan for about 20 years where he started his own street-food business vending chestnuts and ice cream. In Meriden, Raffaele sold novelties of the sort from car-dashboard bobble-head dogs to Elvis Presley tapestries, and was sought after for garden tilling, and for pruning grapevines and fruit trees. His pastimes included playing cards at The Bocci Club, sitting at his front lawn with a glass of wine and smoking Winstons, playing slot machines at the casino, and especially, playing scratch games. Raffaele was devoted to Saint Anthony and his family, who remembers him as a gentleman and a good provider, and who has admired him for his strength and dedication.
Raffaele is survived by his daughter, Maria T. Volo and her husband, Anthony; his son, Antonio Cassala; five grandchildren, Daniela Volo-Nunes, Marisa Volo-Robison, Jadalize Erika Grimes, Bianca Shay Grimes, and Isa Mercedes Cassala; two great-grandchildren, Joseph Antonio Nunes and Ava Lucia Nunes; one sister, Vincenzina (Cassala) Letteri of Grotteria; one brother, Salvatore Cassala, and his spouse, Maria (Femia), of Milan. He is also survived by a close cousin, Frank Papaluca of Meriden, and two other sisters-in-law, Maria (Papandrea) Fazzolari of Meriden, and Rosa (Papaluca) Cassala of Italy. Raffaele was predeceased by three brothers and one sister in Italy, and one sister locally, Rosa (Cassala) Carabetta of Wallingford. He is welcomed into heaven by his daughter-in-law, Jaida E. Diaz-Cassala.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, March 5, at 9:15 a.m. from the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main Street, Meriden CT 06450, and at 10 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Campus, for a Mass of Christian Burial. Entombment will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery Mausoleum. Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Wednesday, March 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. For online condolences and directions, please visit www.jferryfh.com.