Obituary of James Casola
James "Jim" Casola, a longtime Madison resident, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. He was 66.
Jim was born in the Bronx, NY on May 3, 1952 to the late James and Gilda Casola. He was raised in Paramus and was a graduate of Paramus High School. Madison has been Jim’s home since he and his best friend and husband, Christopher Alberth, settled here in 1994.
Jim was a free-spirited person with a heart of gold. He lived his life on his own terms and found beauty in all things, especially in music, art, and nature. Jim was an artist and had an eye for design. He was a natural at architectural and landscape design. Jim created beautiful interiors as well as gardens and outdoor landscapes.
Jim’s pride was his home garden, which was meticulous, lush and verdant. He grew fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants naturally. Jim was one of the first participants in the Early Street Community Garden in Morristown and was also an active member of the Madison Community Garden.
Jim was an accomplished operatic singer. He sang in concerts, choirs and operas from a young age. Jim was a member of the Coro Lirico Operatic Group of Chatham and the Summit Chorale. He was a gourmet cook and loved to cook for family and friends. He most recently began mastering vegan cuisine with an Italian influence. He was a gracious host and friends and family always found a warm welcome in his home.
Jim cared for animals so much that he made sure squirrels and birds had food during the bitter cold weather. His good nature and big heart will always be remembered by those that knew and loved him.
Jim is survived by his beloved husband and partner of 25 years, Chris Alberth of Madison; one brother, Paul Casola of Bonita Springs, FL (Cynthia); two sisters, Angela Casola of Mount Laurel and Francine McElgunn of Cherry Hill (Tim); his cousin, Linda Martellacci (Gene) and many other cousins, too numerous to list; three nephews, Louis DePalma, James DePalma (Kristen) and Thomas DePalma; five nieces, Cole Naldzin (Justin), Erin Ingersoll (Justin), Allison Adler (Lawrence), Alex Swanson (Jon), and Jillian McElgunn; six grand-nieces and two grand-nephews; and many dear friends.
Relatives and friends are warmly invited to gather for a visitation to celebrate Jim’s life on Friday, February 8, 2019 from 4:00PM to 8:00PM at the Madison Memorial Home, 159 Main Street, Madison, with a Celebration of Life service beginning at 7:00PM at the funeral home during the visiting hours. Cremation will be held privately at the family’s request.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be made in Jim’s memory to Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue, 50 Compton Road, Wantage, NJ 07461 https://skylandssanctuary.org/
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