When a parent dies, you lose your past. When a child dies, you lose your future…….
Jacob James Casey was born in El Paso, Texas on January 13, 1989 when his dad, Brian Casey, was stationed at Fort Bliss. When Brian finished his tour of duty, they moved back to Florida and settled in Avon Park, where he and his wife Pam were raised. Jacob spent some of his younger years in Avon Park, very involved in local sports, and he continued that pattern of playing sports throughout his life. He was a born athlete with a natural ability to play football and baseball. When Jacob moved to Ocala, Fl, he played football in the MCYFL, baseball at Scott Carrigan field and, for a short time, he played soccer. He went to high school at Trinity Catholic where he again played football and baseball. He said his favorite memory was being a part of the Trinity Catholic Celtics football team and winning the state championship in 2005. The excitement of that night will live on in the memories of so many Ocala residents. When Jacob graduated from TC, he went on to Jacksonville University, along with several of his teammates, to play football for "their" coach, Kerwin Bell. Unfortunately, he sustained a neck injury from an equestrian accident and decided to come home to Ocala and attend Central Florida Community College. His dad was in the process of building him a home in Ocala when the Tragedy at Greystone took Jacob's life on January 26, 2008 at 19 yrs of age.
From the time Jacob was a very little boy, he had an infectious smile that lit up his entire face. That smile stayed with him throughout his life and represented the joy that he brought to all that know him. He was respectful and well-liked by people of all ages. He had a unique ability to make everyone believe they were his “best” friend, a master of building great relationships. He touched the lives of thousands of people, proving that it’s not the length of your life but the depth of your life that matters most. He had a great sense of humor and loved to play practical jokes on people. His laugh will stay etched in our minds forever.
Jacob loved time spent with his family and his home was open to all his friends. He was the light of his Dad's life. He was a certified scuba diver and loved diving for lobsters in the Keys and scalloping in Steinhatchee. He also loved skiing in New England, horseback riding, hunting for deer, dove and turkey, waterskiing, wakeboarding, boating, fishing, family cruises, dinner parties and barbecues. He was only 19 when he died, but he lived a full life and the memories he has given us all are endless. He was a reflection of his dad….neither of them have ever met a stranger. They jump into life and never touch bottom. Jacob’s presence on earth was a gift from God to his family and friends and he left this world knowing he was loved.
Quotes from his coaches:
(Former QB for the University of Fl., Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, et.al.)
“At barely 5’8 and 150 pounds, Jacob was a giant on the field. He is the symbol of Trinity Catholic football. He was humble, he carried an air of quiet confidence. Jacob was cool”, he said.
(Former Wide Receiver for the University of Fl and Denver Broncos.)
“Jacob was one of his favorite players. He was not the biggest guy, but he gives you all he's got, all his heart. He makes going to practice fun," Nattiel said. "He always had a smile...that is what I will miss the most, his smile."
Quotes from his Pastor
Jacob’s biggest problem in life, said Rev. Patrick Sheedy, was trying to juggle all his friends. “He was very in touch with people… God wants us to be in touch with people… Anytime you're in touch with people, you're imitating God,” he said. “He treasured the garden God placed him in. His life was not wasted.”
Fr Pat consoled Blessed Trinity parishioners by saying.. “a just man shall be at rest.” He thanked God for Jacob and prayed that he “crown him with eternal life.”
THE ONLY THING WE CARRY INTO THE NEXT LIFE IS THE INFLUENCE WE HAD ON OTHER PEOPLE WHILE WE WERE HERE ON EARTH. THE WAY JACOB LIVED HIS LIFE SYMBOLIZES THE ESSENCE OF OUR HUMAN EXISTENCE.
Tribute by Trinity Catholic High School
Jacob's Favorite High School Memory