October 24, 1928 - August 1, 2020
Anita (Nana) Casale, 91, passed away in the Canmore Hospital, after a relentless battle with cancer. Given her diagnosis at the end of Sept. 2019, the doctors took a chance and gave her the option of chemo since she was in such great health at the age of 90. She fought it aggressively extending her odds for almost a year after her diagnosis. She wasn’t going without a fight. Nita was cared for by her family, never alone, right until the end.
Nita was born in Canmore to parents Emelio and Millie Casale. She grew up in prospect and eventually moving to hospital hill to raise her family along with Willie Allon. They had 3 children, Cootchie, Billie and Tina. Nita was known for many things. She sang with friends like Ron Marra, Lionel Marra and other musicians at local house parties and small events. She also performed with her dad, Emelio in the “Louis Trono Trio” in Banff at the Cascade Dance Hall, The Timberline Hotel, Tita’s Restaurant, and many other places. Nita also sang with “The Eldorados” with Leo Klotz (former Mayor of Canmore) and Harold Naffin from Banff. The Eldorados were the first live entertainment at the Canmore Hotel. Nita worked at Tomboy and Safeway in Banff for many years. Finally, she worked at Bow Valley Provincial Park until she retired, making friends and fans all along the way.
Nita was best known for her gift to make people laugh and was the best story teller. She also loved to perform on stage and off. One of her favourite things to do was spending time with her friend, Betty Hass, at Spray Lakes fishing and camping... trust me, those two caught a lot of fish. The Canmore Miners Reunion was a great time for her to reconnect with old friends and she enjoyed it immensely. Nita loved and lived life to the fullest. Although was met with tragedy throughout her life, especially the devastating loss of her grandson Danny LeBlanc, in 1990. Somehow she always kept a positive outlook.
Her later years were spent visiting her friends in the Seniors Lodge regularly, watching her kids and grandkids grow up. Sharing her life stories would keep a room laughing until everyone was brought to tears. Nita was predeceased by her husbands Willie Allon (2003), Mike Kiriachuck (1981) and her partner and best friend Al Vogel till 2008. Nita in her cheeky way would always say “she made angels out of all of ‘em!”
Nita is survived and will be greatly missed by her 3 children, Cootchie LeBlanc (Tim), Billie Allon (Maggie), Tina Thompson (Stewart). Loved dearly by her grandchildren, Brandy (Jason), Charlie (Lana), Cindy (Keith), Billie Jr (Heather), Chrissy (Donna), Tyla (Travis), Nikki (Tanner), 14 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Dr. Ezifi at the Foothill Hospital, Dr Hinds, Nita’s long time doctor and friend, Fiona and the girls at the Canmore Cancer Clinic, Dr. Hawkins and all the nurses and staff at the Canmore Hospital, Lorraine Piche and the girls from Home Care, Valla from Medic Comforts, friends and neighbours, Regan, Kim, Deana, Ann and Joe, Rumbha, Diggy, Phil, John and her furry friend Nakoda. We thank you for your help, care, food, prayers, kindness and love you’ve given all of us and Nana in her final days.
Friends wishing to remember Anita are encouraged to make a donation, in her memory to the Palliative care program at the Canmore Hospital, 1100 Hospital Place, Canmore T1W 1N2
A memorial Celebration of Nina’s life will be held at a later date, as a result of the Covid19 restrictions.