Family and friends gathered Tuesday to pay their respects and say good-bye to Carmine Cassese.
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As a testament to his character, hundreds of mourners on Tuesday filled the pews at St. Dominic’s Church as a funeral Mass was celebrated for the beloved family man, business owner and community supporter.
Cassese lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Saturday.
His two sons held back tears as they talked about some of their fondest memories and the last days with their father.
Liching Linkous met Cassese three years ago. She and her husband, Clovis, would come to the MVR restaurant Cassese owned to eat and play bocce. She says he treated them like family from day one.
“He immediately welcomed us like long-time friends. It would just feel like home, like we’ve just known each other for many years,” said Linkous.
Talking to friends and those who didn’t know him personally, the consensus was the same. Everyone was family.
“I really do believe he represents so much of what is really great in Youngstown,” said Sandra Cika. “It’s shown all day today by the tributes that have been given to him.”
“I knew Carmine since he was a little boy,” said Irene Santon. “They lived across the street from me. I watched him grow up into a fine man, a great man.”
Cassese leaves behind his wife Patty and two sons Frank and Joseph. He was 57 years old.
“He showed us what passion he had for life and what love he had for friends and family and love for the Lord,” said Linkous.
The Cassese family will continue to manage the popular MVR restaurant where many came to know Carmine Cassese.