Oct. 21, 1931 – April 18, 2013

Joseph Casuccio of Williamsville, a retired Maryvale High School assistant principal, died Thursday in the Beechwood Rehabilitation Center. He was 81.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of West Seneca High School. He went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University at Buffalo.

In 1956, Mr. Casuccio began what turned into a 34-year career with the Maryvale School District, wearing many hats. His versatile career included time as a biology and health teacher, as well as a physical education teacher. He also coached several sports and was a recreation director and eventually assistant high school principal for about 15 years, before his retirement in 1990.

Early in his career, Mr. Casuccio had brief stints coaching freshman and junior varsity football, basketball and baseball. He briefly served as the girl’s softball coach, while being active in the Varsity Club.

It was in gymnastics that he made his greatest contributions. He introduced the sport at Maryvale and then guided the 1966 and 1967 squads to undefeated seasons. The 1966 squad was sectional champion.

Mr. Casuccio coordinated the state gymnastics intersectionals at Buffalo State College in 1967, and was the first gymnastics champion chairman in the Western New York Section VI Athletic Council.

After he was named assistant high school principal, he was instrumental in starting the Erie County Interscholastaic Conference of Assistant Principals organization. He also served on the committee for the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge, the Maryvale Athletic Wall of Fame Committee and the Parent Teacher Organization.

“Everywhere we would go, we would bump into his former students, and they always had something positive to say about him, and that doesn’t always happen with administrators,” said his son, Anthony J. Casuccio.

“He kept in touch with a lot of his former students. He was firm, but fair,” said his wife of 54 years, the former Carol A. Podsiadlo.

Mr. Casuccio was an avid golfer, and enjoyed fishing, hunting and dancing. He and his wife belonged to the Amherst Dance Club for 10 years.

He remained active in retirement, volunteering at the Amherst Senior Center, where he headed the woodcarving club.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Lisa Groeger.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Monday at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 150 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.