Caesar Joseph Acerra

May 6, 1918December 3, 2010

Caesar Joseph Acerra, 92, of Memphis passed away Friday, December 3, 2010. Born in Memphis to Italian immigrants, Giuseppe Luigi Acerra of Naples and Celestine Solari Acerra of Genoa, Caesar was a proud first-generation American, the youngest of one brother and two sisters. He established his strong work ethic early in childhood while running a downtown paper route, which later fueled his enthusiasm for Memphis history and development. As he grew, so did his fascination and aptitude for mechanics, which led him to become a successful engineer and inventor. Caesar dedicated his talents to Right Way Products and then to National Guard Products, where he was a tool and die engineer and plant supervisor for more than 40 years. While building his career, Caesar met and married the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and the love of his life, Sadie Lee Thurman, in 1938. Over the next 69 years together, the couple's marital bliss never wavered, setting a loving example that many people wish to attain. Although he recently retired and lost Sadie shortly thereafter, his zeal and energy for life persisted and he stayed very active until his last moments. Caesar was a loving and devoted husband, proud father, loyal employee, ingenious engineer, master craftsman, and cancer survivor. As an inspiration and a role model to everyone he met, it was not uncommon to hear most people say that "Caesar is the best guy I know" or that "he's like a father to me." Because of his level of uncompromising and genuine character, he was a remarkable and highly respected man and a pillar to his family and friends. Caesar has left an unforgettable mark on the world and on the lives of everyone he knew, especially those of his family who will miss him most of all. He leaves behind 3 children: Les Acerra, Loy Crane, and Steve Acerra (wife Sheila); 8 grandchildren: Kelli Bonifer (husband Duane), Leslie Throneberry (husband Greg), Michele Webster (husband John), Nikki Acerra, Amy Acerra, Carey Acerra (husband TJ Horne), Anna Acerra (husband Logan Hanna), and Wesley Acerra; and 5 great grandchildren: Zack Miller, Dominic Webster, CJ Bonifer, Sidney Webster, and Gary Parker Bonifer. With this obituary, the family wishes not to document his death, but to celebrate his wonderful and accomplished life. If you knew Caesar and he touched your life, as he did for so many, the family would be honored if you attended the funeral services, which will be held at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens on Poplar Avenue on Monday, December 6, at 10:00 a.m. The family will receive friends on Sunday, December 5 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. also at the funeral home. You may leave condolences for the family at


  • Visitation Sunday, December 5, 2010
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 6, 2010

Caesar Joseph Acerra

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December 12, 2010


December 6, 2010

Dear Loy, Melissa Free informed us of your father's death and Barent and I want to tell you how deeply sorrry we are and wish we could be with you at this time. He must have been a wonderful man and a good father - and he had 92 years of a life surrounded by family and how fortunate you were to have had him so long. Please accept our deepest sympathy for you and your family. God bless you all.

Norma and Barent

Paulette Welch

December 6, 2010

I'm so sorry Les and family for your loss.

Lisa Piefer

December 6, 2010

To the Acerra family, Leslie & Nikki - I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Jodi Garrison Williams

December 6, 2010

To the entire Acerra family.......My late sister and I were in the Acerra home on Browning Avenue several times a week; Mr. & Mrs. Acerra were so kind to us; taught us many lessons in life that we carried into our adulthood but above all, we sensed the presence of Love in that home and the Love of God in their daily activities;We have fond memories of the Acerra family; Mrs. Acerra was one of my mentors in life, teaching me through her actions how to have a happy home and her husband was a male role model to us; I spoke to Mr. Acerra at the time of Mrs. Acerra's death; I have visited Mrs. Acerra's gravesite many times. They were precious people in my life and will always remember them; may the Presence of our Lord and Saviour surround this family with His Love, His comfort and His Love.

-Jodi Garrison Williams
-Nancy Garrison Richardson (1950-2006)
-Linda Garrison Fleming

Ernest Goad

December 6, 2010

Hello, my name is Ernie Goad. Caesar was a customer of mine, during his last few years of service at National Guard Products. I sincerely admired Caesar for many reasons. He was one of the most intelligent men i have ever met, and I could tell he had many excellent qualities. I told him, many times that he was my hero and i desire to contribute to my company like he did for many years.
Ernest L Goad
IMC Supply.

LaQuita Woods

December 6, 2010

God Bless You And Your Family Nikki

Sharon O'Brien

December 6, 2010

To the Acerra family, You all are in my thoughts and prayers, Caesar was a wonderful person and a big part of many people life's. He has been in my life for 30 years and I have loved having him in my life. He is now in the arms of Sadie. Peace and Love Sharon

Cheryl Babb

December 6, 2010

To the entire Acerra Family:

I am so sorry for your loss. He was one of the greatest men that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! His care and compassion for others went above the normal. Not only did I see the Love and respect that he would receive from those whom were lucky enough to have known him- I saw the Love he gave to his family. He was a WONDERFUL Father in Law for my sister Sheila and the "Grandest" of grandfathers to all of his grandchildren. This will be a huge void in everyones life but the love and memories in your hearts will last a lifetime for all of you.
I am glad that I had the pleasure to have known him for the past 25 years!!!
Much Love To ALL OF YOU ~
Cheryl Babb
(Steves Sister In Law)

December 5, 2010

Loy, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Your father was a wonderful man and friend. I cherish getting to visit with him on my last trip to Memphis. Hugs to you and all your family. Love, Peggy Hammond, Marcy, Todd and Toddy McInnis, Vic and Lindsey Hammond