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Joseph Casalino Jr. (Joe), aged 81, passed away of pneumonia and complications of a broken arm on March 8, 2023 at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT. Born December 13, 1941 to Joseph Casalino Sr. and Angela Barone Casalino in Brooklyn, NY, he grew up in Forest Hills Gardens, Queens, NY and Asharoken Beach, Long Island, NY.
Joe was an avid artist, engineer, teacher, and welder. He was also well-known for his skills and passion for home improvement. He always had a project of some sort going on.
Joe’s passion for welded steel began in 1963 while he was a graduate assistant in the sculpture department at Hofstra University. In 1964, Joe earned his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from Hofstra, followed in 1975 by a Master's Degree in Humanities. Between 1967 and 1969, his sculptures were featured in multiple seasonal window displays at Bloomingdale's, and in one man shows at both Avanti Gallery and Firehouse Gallery. His piece 'Aicram' is on permanent collection at Fordham University.
He met his wife, Miki, in 1973 and they married in 1974. They moved to Salt Lake City in 1974, where Joe accepted his first tool and diemaker job. Miki started her ballet school, Casalino School of Creative Arts in 1975, for which he always built the annual recital sets. Joe accepted a plastic injection moldmaking position at Sorenson Research in 1978, where he continued through multiple acquisitions by Abbott Labs, Hospira, and ICU Medical, for 30 years. He retired in 2008 and returned full-time to his welded steel sculptures, which can be found at the Phillips Gallery, the Salt Lake Jewish Community Center, the Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills, NY and most recently donated to the Utah Arts Festival. His website https://theforgeslc.com has more examples of his work.
Joe is survived by his wife, Mikal (Miki) Casalino of Salt Lake City, UT, his sister Marie Casalino of NYC, NY, son Joseph (J.) Casalino III (Kate) of NYC, NY, his daughter and business partner Alesandra (Lexi) Casalino of NYC, NY, and his two husky dogs Maiya and Ragnar. He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph (Joe) Casalino Sr. and Angela Barone Casalino, along with many beloved fur babies.
A memorial mass will be held at 11:00am on Friday, March 17th at St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 2315 Redondo Ave, SLC, UT, 84108, followed by a reception at 12:30pm at the City Creek Marriott (Parking will be validated). For those unable to attend in person, the service will be streamed. Please click on the "Watch Services" link above to view.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to donate in his memory to either the mikeroweWORKS Foundation – promoting skilled trades education and resources, or Ballet West – providing beauty and artistry to Salt Lake City. Both represent causes deeply ingrained in his heart.
Thoughts are with Miki and family. I never met you both in cuddling but we met several times on chat on video.. I saw the love you had for one another. I send you my condolences my friend and much love sent from your friend in Scotland xx
Your Papa Joe was always so kind when he came to the art gallery. I loved seeing his beautiful pieces. He encouraged me with my art too. His laugh brought joy. May his memory be for a blessing. All of our love to your family.
Miki, I was so saddened to hear of Joe's passing. I had planned on attending his funeral but missed it because I thought is was on Saturday. I got up Saturday morning and got ready when my husband asked me where I was going. I told him that I was going to Joe's funeral and he told me it had been on Friday. I so wanted to see you and wrap my arms around you. Please accept my condolences and my deepest sympathy. May your memories of Joe bring you comfort and peace. I am praying for you and your family. Love!!!!