OBITUARY

Roland Joseph LaCasse

June 8, 1922December 25, 2020

Roland J. LaCasse, 98, of Crescent Beach, Niantic, passed away on Dec. 25, 2020.

He was born in Voluntown CT., June 8, 1922, the son of Jeffield LaCasse and Delia (LaChapelle) LaCasse. the youngest of three children.

After graduating from Plainfield High School in 1940, Roland was employed by Electric Boat (Victory Yard) in Groton until called to serve with the US Army, Amphibious Engineers from 1942-1946. He was in action in the European Theatre with the 1st Engineer Special Brigade. This Brigade was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for its D Day landing in Normandy on Utah Beach on June 6, 1944. The 1st Engineer Special Brigade was among the first units to be deployed to the Asia/Pacific Theatre in February 1945 as Germany was nearing total defeat. It participated in the invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. Following the Japanese surrender the Brigade was assigned to Korea to participate in Japan’s surrender of Korea and subsequent US occupation of Korea until discharged in early 1946. Roland’s intense involvement in WWII undoubtedly brought him his lifelong interest in Modern World History.

Subsequent to his service, Roland attended Bryant College on the GI Bill and graduated in 1948. He graduated in 1965 from the Dale Carnegie Course. He was employed by Household International (Thermos Division) in Norwich CT. for twenty-eight years with early retirement in 1983. Roland was deeply involved in the Roman Catholic Church all of his life. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Deacon for the Norwich Diocese by Bishop Daniel P. Reilly in 1986 and assigned to St. Agnes Parish in Niantic where he served well into his nineties. He was certified a Hospital Chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in 1990 and served as volunteer Chaplain at L&M Hospital for many years.

He was awarded the Norwich Diocese highest honor, the Patricia-Anne Award by Bishop Daniel A. Hart on June 8, 2002. He was a 4th Degree Honorary Life Member of the Knights of Columbus, Assembly 110, New London CT. and a life member of the VFW, Post 5849, East Lyme, CT.

Roland leaves a niece, Janice Blonder and her husband “nephew Ed” of Salem. He was predeceased by his nephew Louis C. Beaudreau, his grand-nephew Daryl Blonder, and his sisters Aurise Beaudreau and Rita Arnold.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 8th at 11am in St. Agnes Church, 22 Haigh Ave., Niantic. Burial will be private. Donations may be made in his memory to St. Agnes Church Niantic where he leaves many devoted parishioners and friends.

Services

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Friday, January 8, 2021

Memories

Roland Joseph LaCasse

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Monsignor James P Carini

January 8, 2021

My sincere condolences to the LaCasse family on the recent death of Deacon Roland. What a wonderful man he was. I always enjoyed being with him and so admired him and inspired by his dedication to service in the Church as an ordained Deacon. He will be kept in Sunday Mass this weekend and my prayers will be with all of you in his family and especially the parish family of St Agnes as you mourn his loss. May he Rest In Peace!

Thomas Kornacki

January 8, 2021

On Behalf of the Kornacki Family we wish to send our condolences to all family and friends of Roland. Roland was a special person to our family and shared many of our greatest family memories from Christmas, Florida , Beach pond and countless number of events. His great devotion to the Catholic Church and care for people was to be admired. Best Wishes to All!

Tom & Sue Kornacki

Deacon Ronald Freedmsn

January 5, 2021

I knew Roland from the early days of the Deaconate program in the Norwich Diocese and would see him and talk with him at many of our deacon gatherings over years. Though often quiet, he was a man with a gentle spirit who loved God’s people and was a faithful servant to them. May our loving God welcome him home and give him rest from his labors.

Jim Williamson

January 3, 2021

I knew Roland many years ago when he was part of the Diaconate training program in the Diocese of Norwich. He was a wonderful man and was loved and respected by so many. May he rest in peace.

Jim Williamson

Ken Kelly

January 3, 2021

Roland was my next door neighbor for several years in Cresent beach. He was a quiet man who always said hello and smiled, he was always on the go in his trusty Volkswagen and had a busy life with the church & VFW. He never talked of his war service until he got sick a couple years ago. I went to visit him at the nursing home and brought him some pastries, which he greatly appreciated. As we were talking I mentioned I was a veteran when he informed me he was at D-Day in Normandy. I was in awe and we spoke for awhile about the Valor of all those brave men that fateful day. Roland then mentioned he also fought at the battle of Okinawa. I was amazed, this unassuming man who never said anything was a War Hero. I am saddened by his loss, but he lived a great life and fought to the end. Farewell neighbor🇺🇸

maxine Matta

January 3, 2021

Dear Jan and Ed: So sorry for your loss. I know you were very close to your Uncle Roland and cared for him so well. What an amazing life he led. May he now rest in peace.
sincerely,
Maxine L. Matta

Sandra Calabro

January 3, 2021

Sorry to hear of Roland's passing. He was a kind hearted soul who radiated Christ's love and peace. He always had time to listen and was a friend to all. He was a welcome site in the halls of L&M.

Esther Williams

December 31, 2020

A wonderful gentleman and a life well lived. Sincere condolences Jan and Ed on his passing💔💔