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Philip L. Cassata, December 1, 1937 - March 12, 2020

Philip L. Cassata
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Philip “Phil” Louis Cassata, age 82, passed away Thursday, March 12, 2020 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer surrounded by his loving family supported by the Mayo Clinic Hospice Center. 

Philip was born on December 1, 1937 in Beloit Wisconsin to Louis and Helen (Cox) Cassata. He graduated from Madison East High School, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in education, and the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a masters degree in Guidance and Educational Administration. 

Philip had a love for teaching others and was able to fulfill his passion for 36 years in many different roles as a coach, teacher, and principal in Fall Creek, Deerfield and Abbotsford schools. Additionally, he volunteered his time to further education by serving on boards for the Wisconsin Handicapped Children and the Northcentral Technical College Consortium. 

Philip enjoyed 25 years of retirement where he was able to enjoy lake living in Birchwood and New Lisbon, walks on the beach in Fort Myers, FL and numerous trips to Europe, Hawaii, Alaska with family and lifelong friends. He enjoyed spending time with his seven grandchildren.  He especially loved making root beer floats and popcorn for the kids, taking them to the zoo, and watching a kid’s movie or spoiling them in numerous other ways.

In 1963, Philip married the love of his life, Joan Gunderson, and they enjoyed 56 amazing years of marriage. Together they loved family gatherings, fishing, traveling, boating, square dancing, biking, and walking. 

Philip is survived by his wife Joan of Eau Claire; sons, Anthony (Dean Liazuk) of Eau Claire; Brent (Jennifer) of Findlay, OH; and Kevin (Candi) of Verona; seven grandchildren- Alyssa, Megan, Kaden, Lindsey, Carter, Cate, Kenley; sister Karen Baszynski, brother Steve (Bernadette) and brother-in-law, Marshall Wick (Carol); many nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his mother-in-law (Ottiave), father-in-law (Norman), and sister-in-law (Donna Wick).

A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at Bethesda Lutheran Church 123 W. Hamilton Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701 with Pastor Brian Quade officiating.  Memorial visitation will take place at the church on Tuesday morning from 9 am until the time of service. Private family inurnment will take place in Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire at a later date. Friends and family may offer condolences online at 

Memorials may be made to Bethesda Lutheran Church or to the Mayo Hospice Center.  A special thanks to the Mayo Clinic Hospice Center and Bethesda Lutheran Church for providing support to Philip and his family.   

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements


  1. Matt and Gail Snyder March 16, 2020

    We are very sorry for the loss of your husband and father. You are and will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

    Matt and Gail

  2. Don and Barb Peterson March 15, 2020

    Thinking of the good times in card club. Rest in peace Phil. Our sincere sympathy, Don and Barb.

  3. Lindauer family March 14, 2020

    So sorry to hear of Phil's passing. We pray that you experience God's grace and love from others in your time of need. We will be with you in spirit as you celebrate Phil's life on Tuesday. God bless.

  4. Cheryl Lowrey Kilburg March 14, 2020

    To the Cassata Family, my deepest sympathy in the loss of this great man. He was a wonderful friend and leader in my years at Deerfield High School, Class of 1972. He always made me feel like I was the most important student when I went to him for concern or advice. I will always remember him fondly and with sincere appreciation for the principal he was. Rest in peace Mr. Cassata, job well done my friend!

  5. Jim Allmann March 13, 2020

    Phil, always enjoyed our discussions at the end of a tough day. Thought about you many times throughout the rest of my career in education. Thanks Jim

  6. Christine and Pat O'Leary March 13, 2020

    Pat and I send our condolences to your families during this time of loss. May you all find peace through each other and comfort through God.

  7. Rick Matheson March 13, 2020

    Phil was the line coach for our high school football team, I was a running back and his boys did a heck of a job blocking for me, he was a great man of influence .

  8. Stu Quade March 13, 2020

    I am very saddened to hear of Phil’s passing. I will never forget how he took a chance on me- a young, inexperienced, and raw teacher fresh out of college. He took the time to mentor me, teach me, train me, encourage me and most of all, believe in me. It is because of him that I am a 30 veteran in education. I owe him my career. I love and respect Phil and have held him in high esteem and am forever grateful to have been touched by him in my life. To Joan and the rest of your family, I’m sorry for the loss of your husband, father, grandfather. May the Lord bless you with His peace and comfort in your time of grief. In Christ, Stu Quade

  9. Lori Kieser March 12, 2020

    So very sorry for your loss he was a Great man Gods Blessings to all.

  10. Linda Howard March 12, 2020

    Joan and family. Bill and I send our heartfilled condolences in the loss of Phil. I remember lots of great memories growing up with Uncle Louis and Aunt Helen and all the cousins. I enjoyed connecting with you on FB and seeing all your trips. Thinking of you and sending a big hug. Linda