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One picture brings back thousands of memories for John Murphy.
“When I think of Carmine, he just brings a smile to your face,” said Murphy. “Everybody was his friend. He treated everybody like that.”
Murphy is just one of thousands here in Youngstown mourning the loss of Carmine Cassese, owner of Cassese’s MVR.
Cassese died after a nearly five month-long battle with pancreatic cancer. The 57-year-old was also Youngstown State University’s equipment manager for more than two decades and part of all four national football championships.
“He spent everyday, all day long, full days, making other people’s lives better,” said Jim Tressel.
“He loved Youngstown State and Youngstown State football, and Youngstown State loved him back. He was just a great human being,” said Bob Hannon, YSU football play-by-play announcer.
His giving spirit touched everyone who walked through the doors at the MVR. No matter what the circumstance, Cassese was always stopping at a table to see how the day was going.
“The Cassese family and Carm, they’re what Youngstown is all about. Hard working people that came over here to start a life. Italian Americans that now have a great place in the city because of their hard work, because they care about people,” said State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Canfield.
“He was a great friend and tremendous family man. He was someone who touched a lot of people’s lives,” said Bo Pelini.
“We’ve all been touched by him. We’ll all try to see if we can be half the man he was,” said Tressel.
Schiavoni added, “But I’ll tell you there won’t be a day that goes by where somebody is not telling a story about him or telling a story about something he did to help someone else.”
The annual bocce tournament at MVR will still take place as scheduled. It’s set to start at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Calling hours for Cassese are scheduled for Monday from 1 to 7 p.m., at Rossi-Santucci Funeral Home, 4700 Market Street in Boardman. The funeral will take place Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Dominic Church, 77 E. Lucius Avenue, Youngstown.