June 18, 1924 – May 17, 2019
Born in Schenectady, NY
Resided in Lincoln, NE

William Mario Cascini

William Mario Cascini, of Lincoln, died May 17 2019. Born June 18, 1924 in Schenectady, NY. His parents, Nicola and Giovanna (di Bartolomeo) Cascini were immigrants from Italy in the early 1900’s. Graduate of Mont Pleasant High School where he earned letters in football. He was proud of his senior season as his team was both unbeaten and unscored upon. He graduated with a BS in sociology from Asbury College in Wilmore, KY in 1948.

He accepted a United Methodist Church 2-point charge (Gary-Clear Lake) in South Dakota. While serving those churches as their pastor, he met his future wife, Edythe Peden, a member of the Gary Church and a senior at Hamline University (St. Paul, MN). They were married in 1949 and celebrated their 69th anniversary in 2018. They moved to Denver, CO in 1951 where Bill attended the Iliff School of Theology, earning an M.Th degree in 1953 and a Th.D in 1955.

Awarded both the Elizabeth Iliff Warren Fellowship and Dempster Graduate Scholarship enabled him to do further studies in Sociology of Religion at New York University in NYC. There he taught sociology classes as a graduate assistant. Bill took a faculty position at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE in 1957 with the intent not only to teach Sociology classes (which were part of the Political Science Dept. at the time), but to establish a Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. This was accomplished followed by accreditation for the social work major as well as introducing criminal justice courses into the curriculum. Dr. Cascini remained at NWU for 38 years, serving as chair of his department for 35 of those years.

In addition to his professorship at NWU, he did part-time marriage, family and supportive therapy counseling in conjunction with a psychiatric practice in Lincoln for over 25 years. On campus he served as law advisor, guiding many students into that profession through his encouragement and confidence in their abilities. He counseled countless young adults as they struggled with personal problems, both on and off campus, while as students, or years later. He was also the faculty advisor to the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity for 15 years.

Retired in 1995 at the age of 70 after having touched the lives of over 11,000 students he’d had in his classes over the span of his years. He and his wife established a scholarship which is awarded each year to an NWU student in the social sciences. In retirement, he and Edythe worked with teachers of English and Social Services in Ostuni, Italy in the Global Volunteer Program. He also participated in an ElderHostel archeological dig in restoring a presidio in San Diego. They moved from their home on Wedgewood Lake to Eastmont Retirement Community in 2004.

A 71-year member of the SD annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, 60-year member of the American Sociological Association, an associate member of First United Methodist Church. Because Bill was so heavily invested in education, he took great comfort in his three children’s accomplishments: all graduates of NWU with advanced degrees in their chosen fields of study.

The family wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation to the nurses and aides of the Eastmont Lifebrook Memory Care Center and the Tabitha Hospice Services for their patience, understanding, love and kindness while caring for Bill.

The family wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation to the nurses and aides of the Eastmont Lifebrook Memory Care Center and the Tabitha Hospice Services for their patience, understanding, love and kindness while caring for Bill. Bill is survived by wife Edythe, son Wade (Marcella) of Sammamish, WA, daughter Janelle Herres (Michael) of Lincoln and daughter-in-law Mary (Lundy) Cascini of Lincoln. Grandchildren Jillian Cascini of Wausau WI, Zane Cascini, Alex Zappala, Macrae Zappala Kate Edwards, Will (Jessica) Herres all of Lincoln, Great grandchildren; Paxon and Blaire Schneider, Nola Edwards, and Mabel Herres. Preceded in death by his son Brett, his parents, brother Anthony, sister Eva and her husband Gene Brandt of Clear Lake, SD.

He requested no visitation or services.

Cremation with inurnment at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be given to the William and Edythe Peden Cascini Endowed Scholarship at Nebraska Wesleyan University, 50th and St. Paul, Lincoln, NE 68504, or William and Edythe Cascini Scholarship at Iliff School of Theology, 2204 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210, or Eastmont Towers Benevolent Fund, 6315 O Street, Lincoln, NE 68510 or to donor’s choice.

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