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Ann L. Casarsa, 90, active in family business, Ladies of Charity

Sept. 7, 1928 – March 16, 2019

Ann L. Casarsa, of Snyder, active in her family's business and the Ladies of Charity at the local and national levels for many years, died Saturday in Sisters Hospital. She was 90.

Born in Buffalo, the former Ann Gianadda was the youngest of five children of Italian immigrants. A 1946 graduate of Kensington High School, she was an honor student and senior girls’ marshal. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from D’Youville College in 1950 and worked for three years as a laboratory technician for the State Department of Health, testing milk.

She went on to serve as treasurer for more than 40 years for the family business, C.S. Behler Inc., a construction materials sales company in Lancaster.

Becoming active in the Ladies of Charity of the Diocese of Buffalo in 1976, she was president and treasurer, vice president of programs and treasurer of its Lots of Clothes Thrift Store. She also traveled extensively during her four years as recording secretary for the national organization, Ladies of Charity USA.

A longtime parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in the Town of Tonawanda, she was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society and active in many committees.

She also was a member of Kappa Gamma Pi, a national honor society, and the Canisius College Associates Program. She was a founding member of her neighborhood book discussion group.

A singer and keyboard player, she studied voice at the Community Music School of Buffalo and Daemen College. She studied piano with her sister, Olga Rathke, a noted concert pianist and teacher, and at D’Youville College.

She was a substitute organist for several Catholic churches and sang with the Buffalo Schola Cantorum for several years. She also directed musical productions at D’Youville College.

Survivors include her husband of 66 years, Rudolph “Rudy”; a daughter, Catherine Cala; three sons, Thomas, Gary and Jeffrey; and 12 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 22, in Blessed Sacrament Church, 263 Claremont Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

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