Niccola "Nick" Luigi Cesarini
October 17, 1934 – June 5, 2019
Italian immigrant Niccola Luigi Cesarini, “Nick” to his American family left this earthly world quietly just before noon on June 5, 2019. Nick was 84 years old. He was a resident of Brazosport for 66 years, having lived in Freeport, Clute and Lake Jackson after immigrating to the United States from Scarparia (Florence), Italy. Nick passed peacefully just after receiving his last rites with Father Jim of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church. At his side was life-long friend Deacon Gary Forse, Elena - his wife of 60 years, and his children. Nick arrived in our community in October, 1953, after setting his goals to immigrate to America after receiving a kind gesture of food from an unknown American GI during the German occupation of Italy. He was in awe that a soldier sent to war could illustrate such kindness to an innocent child and immediately decided he wanted to live in the country of such good people, the United States of America. Nick was one of the last groups of immigrants to enter the United States via an ocean liner through Ellis Island, New York, where his immigration is forever registered. Upon his arrival he quickly engaged in his community as an active community advocate and leader, even enlisting as an American soldier himself for many years.
Nick was born on October 17, 1934, to his parents Ugo and Pierina Cesarini of Scarparia, Italy. He was the baby of the family following his two sisters Luciana Farrar (deceased) and Mirella Sherman (89), also Italian immigrants to Brazosport – each of which has been of service to our community in multiple ways. Nick credited Luciana’s spouse, D. J. Farrar (deceased) of Clute for making his dream come true as D.J. fell in love and married Luciana after meeting during the war. A simple exchange of washing uniforms in return for food was the nucleus of the transcontinental journey to a new world for the Cesarini Family. One-by-one they all settled at the corner of Main and Luciana Street (named after D.J.’s bride as a wedding present) in Clute.
Nick is survived by his wife Elena (82) and was in the 60th year of their marriage. They were married on May 9, 1959, in the Parrocchia Pieve Di S. Maria A Fagna Catholic Church in their hometown of Scarparia, a Catholic Parrish that was established in 1249. He is also survived by his three children and their families, James (58) and Ginger of League City, Janet Cesarini – Melchor (52) and Chris Melchor of Georgetown, and Julie (49) of Lake Jackson, as well as grandchildren Maggie Cesarini (24), Joey Cesarini (20), Jake Simpson (16) and Max Simpson (12). Nick is also survived by his nieces and nephews Danny Farrar and Jenny of Tallahassee, Florida, Theresa Maier of Santa Fe, Texas, Steve Farrar, Mark Farrar and Suzanne, and Cindy Williams of Lake Jackson, along with their children and grandchildren.
Nick proudly served in the U.S. Army before he was even a U.S. Citizen as a tank operator/gunner in the 35th Tank Battalion. Following basic and artillery training at Fort Carson he was sent to Manheim, Germany, as part of the Seventh Army. He was assigned to Sullivan Barracks, next door to the Coleman Barracks where Elvis Presley was stationed. After healing from a grenade injury, Nick was sent to serve in Lebanon in 1958. He was discharged from duty on June 18, 1959, at Fort Sheridan and became an active reservist until his Army service ended in 1964.
Upon his return to Clute, Nick applied for U.S. Citizenship which was granted on August 3, 1959. He immediately applied for his fiancé’s Visa which was granted November 23, 1959. Nick returned to Italy to marry Elena and after a six month honeymoon touring their native country of Italy on a Vespa motor scooter, returned to the United States to begin their life and start a family.
Nick began a career at Dow Chemical Company in Freeport as a fireman. He transferred and was promoted to many other jobs from Foreman in the Mag Cells to Safety to Plant Resource Group (PRG) where he was responsible for the hiring and training of over 500 personnel. His motto to his direct reports was a knockoff quote from his favorite president, John F. Kennedy, which was “Ask not what Dow can do for you, but what you can do for Dow.” He retired in January, 1995, after the birth of his first grandchild, Maggie, and 34 years of excellence and faithful service.
Nick found time for many interests and many people. He wanted to be all things to all people – except maybe throwing the newspaper. During his time in the community, Nick volunteered in both the Clute and Lake Jackson Fire Departments and served as Secretary and Treasurer. The right to vote was incredibly important to Nick, and he honored that right by serving as an Assistant Election Judge for 15 years in Precinct 45. He coached girls Little League Softball and was a past officer in Lake Jackson Little League Baseball. He was proud to bring his country’s national sport of soccer to the community, having spearheaded the local program where he became the first General Manager of the Brazosport Soccer League. He coached clinics, youth and men’s teams for 16 years, and refereed for 12.
He loved being a Catholic and serving his church, St. Michael the Archangel. His service included being a member of the first Pastoral Council, a Board Member of the Catholic Christian Doctrine, a Eucharistic Minister, a CCD teacher to high school seniors, and helping to create the Sick and Homebound Ministry. One notable contribution he really enjoyed was serving as the emcee for St. Michael’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. A 20-year bell ringer for the Salvation Army, Nick was also active in the United Way of Brazoria County. There he served five years on the Budget and Admittance Committee, as a Loan Executive, trainer and chairman. He helped establish and served on the Board of the Memorial Child Care Center. He was recognized by his community as the 1996 William D. Cosgrove Volunteer of the Year by the United Way of Brazoria County and as the 2002 Brazosport Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Man of the Year. The legacies he wished to leave was to be recognized as a decent man, that he had educated and raised good children that would serve their fellow man and their communities, and that everyone he had met agreed with him that his wife Elena raised an exceptional family.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 11, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Dignity Memorial Funeral Home, 1038 W. Plantation Drive in Clute, and beginning with a Christian Vigil Service by Deacon Gary Forse. A funeral Mass will be conducted at 10:30 AM, Wednesday, June 12, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 100 Oak Drive South in Lake Jackson. The celebrant will be Mssgr. Leo Wleczyk. Committal will follow immediately at the Dignity Memorial Park mausoleum in Clute. Lunch will be provided at the Parrish Hall after the commitment, courtesy of the ministry of St. Michael’s. Let us rejoice and be glad.
Serving as Pallbearers will be relatives Mark and Steve Farrar, Cullen and Cody Williams, Brett, Jake and Max Simpson and Chris Melchor.
Serving as Honorary Pallbearers are family and friends Charlie Hickle, Don Hockett, Donald Kubala, Larry Parrett, Don Blaschke and Dan J. Farrar. The family wishes to extend the Honorary Pallbearers to include the Men of the No Name Club and the Men of the Wednesday Wild Bunch.
The family also wishes to recognize the grace and kindness of the dozens of people in this great community that loved Nick and his family and came to help, visit, offer guidance, reassurance and more. This list includes but cannot be limited to those mentioned above; there are many more than we may not even know. Please accept our gratitude for your support and prayers these last seven years. In lieu of flowers the family asks that a charitable donation be made to the ministry that feeds the hungry – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, C/O St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 100 Oak Drive South, Lake Jackson, Texas, 77566.
- Nick is survived by his wife Elena (82) and was in the 60th year of their marriage. They were married on May 9, 1959, in the Parrocchia Pieve Di S. Maria A Fagna Catholic Church in their hometown of Scarparia, a Catholic Parrish that was established in 1249. He is also survived by his three children and their families, James (58) and Ginger of League City, Janet Cesarini – Melchor (52) and Chris Melchor of Georgetown, and Julie (49) of Lake Jackson, as well as grandchildren Maggie Cesarini (24), Joey Cesarini (20), Jake Simpson (16) and Max Simpson (12). Nick is also survived by his nieces and nephews Danny Farrar and Jenny of Tallahassee, Florida, Theresa Maier of Santa Fe, Texas, Steve Farrar, Mark Farrar and Suzanne, and Cindy Williams of Lake Jackson, along with their children and grandchildren.
- Mark Farrar, Active Pallbearer
- Steve Farrar, Active Pallbearer
- Cullen Williams, Active Pallbearer
- Cody Williams, Active Pallbearer
- Brett Simpson, Active Pallbearer
- Jake Simpson, Active Pallbearer
- Max Simpson, Active Pallbearer
- Chris Melchor, Active Pallbearer
- Charlie Hickle, Honorary Pallbearer
- Don Hockett, Honorary Pallbearer
- Donald Kubala, Honorary Pallbearer
- Larry Parrett, Honorary Pallbearer
- Don Blaschke , Honorary Pallbearer
- Dan J. Farrar, Honorary Pallbearer
- A Gathering to Share Memories Tuesday, June 11, 2019
- A Celebration of Nick's Life Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Niccola "Nick" Luigi Cesarini
June 9, 2019
We were neighbors on Birch Street in Lake Jackson for 10 years. Nick, Elena, James, Janet and Julie were all dear friends to the members of our family. Any time there was a need in the community you could count on the Cesarini family to do their part to help. I particularly remember Nick playing in the yard with Janet and Marty helping them hone their skills in soccer. His love for the game was contagious!
Your family feels like "family" to us and we share in your sadness in saying farewell to this wonderful man.
The Shannon Spears Family (Shannon, Wanda, Marty, Angela and Stephen)
Jim and Schelli Martin
June 7, 2019
Jim and I absolutely loved and adored Nick. He worked with Jim’s Dad, L.D. Martin in the fire dept. at Dow years ago. He represented Jim during his confirmation at St. Mary’s Catholic Church when he was a boy. They formed a bond that lasted all these years built on respect. When Jim was Mayor of LJ, Nick was one of his strongest supporters. They loved to play golf together. Jim usually beat him to the green, but Nick always beat him to the hole. Our hearts are so sad to know he has left this earth, but we know he has a mansion in heaven. God bless you all with beautiful memories in the days and years ahead! Love from Jim and Schelli Martin.
June 6, 2019
I came to know Nick Cesarini when I hired into Dow Chemical back in 1993. Nick was over the PRG group (Personnel Resource Group). He was a big part of the beginning of my career at Dow. He was a good man and I always looked forward to talking with him. He will be missed. God speed and blessings to his family. One of his favorite sayings in our group meetings was to "Always Earn Your Wings". Well I'm sure Nick has certainly earned his......
June 6, 2019
My sincere condolences to the family. I first met Nick when I moved here in the mid 60's. I enjoyed talking to him. He was always smiling and friendly. RIP my friend