SKOWHEGAN Ralph Edward LaCasse, a lifelong resident of Skowhegan passed away peacefully Dec. 20, 2002. He was 91 and was born at 92 East Maple St., in the room in which he died.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lucienne; seven children, Constance Craven and her husband, Richard, of Corinna, John LaCasse and his wife, Susan, of Augusta, Nancy Gallant and her husband, Walter, of Glenburn, David LaCasse and his wife, Pandora, of Portland, Richard LaCasse of East Madison, William LaCasse and his wife, Lucy, of Scarborough, and Thomas LaCasse of Skowhegan. Ralph is also survived by 17 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by six sisters and two brothers.
Ralph left school after eighth-grade at the age of 14 and began work at Norwock Shoe to support his mother, Delina Boivin upon the death of his father, John Desiree LaCasse. At the age of 35 he purchased a shoe repair shop on Water Street which he ran until his retirement in 1979. He was widely known as a kind, honest and highly skilled craftsman, often performing work for free and providing shoes at low cost or no cost to people in need. LaCasse Shoe Repair is still an institution on Water Street in Skowhegan, now operated by his son, Richard.
Ralph with his wife was an ardent supporter of all Skowhegan High School activities including Indian Football, all other sports, theater and music productions. For years LaCasse Shoe closed only on Sundays, and on Saturday due to Football Fever. Ralph especially loved spending time with his family, camping, fishing, skiing at Eaton Mountain, annual Thanksgiving touch football, corn roasts and hiking in the woods to cut the Christmas tree. Ralph had a great sense of humor. Often at the end of a 10-hour workday, Ralph entertained his children nightly with bedtime stories of featherbeds, Queenie the dog, and Pinto the horse. Ralph was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and will be missed.
He was an honorary member of the Knights of Columbus.
There will be visiting hours Sunday, Dec. 22, from 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan. A Mass of Christian burial will take place Monday, Dec. 23, at 10 a.m. at Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Skowhegan. Interment will be in the spring at Calvary Cemetery.
Those who wish may make a donation in his memory to the American Cancer Society, New England Division Inc., 1 Main St., Suite 300, Topsham 04086-1246, or to HealthReach Home Care and Hospice, 251 North Ave., Skowhegan 04976.