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Bernard L. Kasha

September 27, 1925 ~ December 8, 2021 (age 96)

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Obituary

 

 St. Johnsville - Bernard L. Kasha, 96, of St. Johnsville passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at home with his devoted family by his side.

He was born on September 27, 1925, in Carteret, New Jersey, the son of the late Louis and Ruth Kasha. Bernie was a graduate of Carteret High School.

His marriage to Dorothea M. Cortelyou took place on August 12, 1950, in Staten Island, NY. Bernie met Dot on the ferry he skippered between Carteret and Staten Island. The couple shared a blessed union of 71 years, until the passing of Dorothea on August 8, 2021.

Bernie served in the Merchant Marines in World War 2. He survived the sinking of the steamship he was on when it was sunk off the New Jersey coast by a German U-Boat. In addition, he was drafted into the Army afterwards. As a newlywed, he was deployed on August 31, 1950. After maintaining the motor pool fleet of military vehicles, Bernie was honorably discharged on July 25, 1952, with the rank of Sergeant.

Bernie was a talented man of all trades. He built his family a home in Sewaren, NJ by himself. In his garage he maintained his own machinery, as well as building numerous boats for Mechanics Illustrated, a 31-foot trimaran, and finally an experimental airplane called the Acey Duecy. He began his seaplane flight instructing in his 40’s, but scuba diving, camping and RVing around the United States, cruising his boats through the inland waterways, and motorcycle riding, were hobbies he enjoyed throughout his life with family and friends alike. Bernie flew charter flights with amazing people, including movie stars, and was loved by all of them. He also skippered a yacht in New York Harbor that enabled scenes in movies such as Splash to be filmed and was included in a cameo role as the skipper of the boat in the movie. In his spare time,

Bernie would help his daughter Nancy run her 150-cow dairy “health” farm. He enjoyed the challenge of disking and plowing fields, as well as feeding and caring for his favorite animals. You can still find his initials “BLK” in the concrete work he did on the farm- as a perfectionist, he was proud to sign his work. Bernie was always ready to lend a hand to family and neighbors alike. He began his working career as a journeyman construction worker, including construction on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn.

Bernie was employed by the City of New York as a maintenance supervisor for the last two decades of his career, utilizing his talents as a welder, boat operator, and mechanic, until he retired.

His surviving family includes his children: Joanne Taylor of Port Tobacco, MD; Debra Peters and her husband Frederic of Swanzey, NH; Nancy Downing and her partner Shane of St. Johnsville, NY; and Carol Ciallella and her husband Kenneth of Sunbury, OH. Bernie was predeceased by his son Richard Kasha, a U.S. Army Warrant Officer, in a helicopter accident at age 24 (his wife Mona Lisa). His grandchildren include James Taylor and his wife Sabrina; Jay Taylor and his wife Shelby; Rebecca (Peters) Ezequelle and her husband Jeff; Jonathan Peters and his wife Jessica; Dawn (Downing) Dinca and her husband Lawrence; and Kenneth Ciallella, Jr. His great- grandchildren include Elizabeth and Rachel Taylor; Chloe, Jay Ryan and Halle Taylor; Brynleigh and Kalea Ezequelle; Hailey and Addison Peters; and Dorothea Dinca.

In keeping with Bernie’s wishes, there will be no funeral services at this time. Arrangements are under the caring guidance of the Vincent A. Enea Funeral Service, (next to the Masonic Lodge), 20 Bridge St.. St. Johnsville, NY.

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