RAMSEY, N.J. -- Louis A. Cassella -- a longtime teacher at Don Bosco Prep and Pascack Hills High School -- died on Sunday, Feb. 12. He was 85.
"The Don Bosco Prep community mourns the loss of veteran social studies teacher Louis A. Cassella," the school said in an email to alumni.
Born in Passaic, Cassella grew up in Passaic and Union. He graduated from Seton Hall Prep, then Villanova University, with an economics degree. He served in the Army, from 1955-1957, then earned a master's degree in social studies from Montclair University.
Cassella began his career in education as a social studies teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth. But he spent the majority of this career at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale and Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey. He was at Don Bosco from 1987 until he retired, in 2016.
Don Bosco noted that Cassella had retired from full-time teaching in 2011 but continued as a substitute teacher for another half-decade. He had been a chair of the Social Studies Department and a moderator of the Debate Team, Model UN Team and Mock Trial Team.
Cassella is survived by his wife of 56 years, Geri (Rinaldi) Cassella; children Margaret Heisey and Jim Rose of Scotch Plains, Gregory and Angela Cassella of Manalapan, Nanette Cassella and Christopher Dukes of New York; and son in-law Dave Heisey of Scotch Plains.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Leighton, Cameron and Cooper Heisey, Alexandra, Anthony and Vincent Cassella, and Haley and Cullen Dukes; a niece and four nephews; and many cousins and their families, close friends and colleagues.
Casella was preceded by his parents, Anna and Roland Cassella, and his sister, Rita Cassella Jones.
The funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 200 Wyckoff Ave., in Ramsey. Vander Plaat Funeral Home, in Wyckoff, is assisting with arrangements.