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Obituary of Roberta Casko
Roberta Brickley Casko, 77, beloved wife of John for 54 years, passed away peacefully in the loving arms of her family on July 16, 2017. Bobbie was a nurse, writer, counselor, model, feminist, home-maker extraordinaire, environmentalist, competitive athlete, seamstress, world traveler, plumber, carpenter and general jack of any trade.
In addition to her husband, Bobbie is survived by her four children, Ginny Ayers (Mike) of Scituate, MA, John Jr. (Kim) of Iowa City, IA, Julie Zielinski (Len) of North Liberty, IA, David (Merrie-Anne) of Iowa City, IA, and her eight grandchildren, Jack (Tricia), Meg and Luke Ayers, Conor and Harry Zielinski, Loie, Gavin and Dale Casko. She is also survived by sisters Mary Kay Hickey, Nancy Toal and Virginia Brickley, as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her parents Marie (Fischer) and J. Harry Brickley and brother James.
Bobbie was born in Detroit, MI in 1939, the youngest of five children. She graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Detroit and earned a BSN from Georgetown University School of Nursing in 1961. She was co-founder and Captain of the University's first women's field hockey team.
According to Bobbie, the best day of her life occurred when she met John, a Georgetown dental student, at the Peacock Lounge in Washington, D.C. She married “her Cary Grant” on July 6, 1963, as she recently said, because he made her laugh. Bobbie supported her young family in their early years as a head operating room nurse and labor and delivery nurse at Georgetown Hospital and by moonlighting as a model.
After stints in Sandwich, MA and Pittsburgh, PA, the Caskos moved in 1970 to Chapel Hill, NC where Bobbie focused on raising her children, doing so with equal amounts of love and freedom. She taught them how to work productively and efficiently, write well and always treat everyone with respect. She also taught them that paper and plastic in any form should have at least nine lives. As she did everywhere she went, Bobbie forged lifelong friends; there was plenty of laughter, multi-family beach weeks and “Liberated Lovlies” performances at neighborhood parties.
When the family moved to Iowa City in 1976, Bobbie and John found their perfect home and welcoming community. She loved Iowa City's amazing cultural and educational opportunities, exposing her children to all of them. Building on her love of the written language, Bobbie graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1981. Along the way, she became a crossword aficionado and undisputed Scrabble King, her kids crowning her “The Grammar Freak.” She formalized her true calling when she received a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2002, at the age of 62, and worked as a Counselor at University Counseling Center until her retirement. Somewhere in there she found time to travel often, hone an enviable golf game and host memorable dinner parties, but her ultimate pleasure was spending time with her kids and grandkids. She is dearly missed the many she touched along the way.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2017, at the Newman Center at 104 E. Jefferson Street in Iowa City. Visitation will be from 4 to 7pm Friday, July 28th. at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service at 2720 Muscatine Avenue in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of Bobbie Casko to the Free Medical Clinic, 2440 Towncrest Drive, Iowa City, IA (freemedicalclinic.org) or the Eastern Iowa Council of Girls on the Run, P.O. Box 3222, Iowa City, IA 52244 (girlsontheruniowa.org). Online condolences may be shared with her family through the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com.