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Farewell Kevin Casey RIP

22 March, 2024

On the 16th February, the community of Mackay farewelled one of the pillars of their community.  Kevin Casey held many roles: husband, father, parishioner, deputy Mayor, member and sometimes President of many church, civic and sporting bodies.  The list seems endless.  As one friend put it: he loved to served. May he enter fully into the love of the God whom he served so well in his family and community.

Words of Remembrance from his Funeral Mass

KEVIN JOHN CASEY was born on 10th July 1953 to parents John Vincent (Vince) and Valma Mary Casey.  He was the eldest of 6 and he grew up at 25 Evans Street, South Mackay.  He attended St Marys Catholic Primary school, and he continued his education to grade 12 at Christian Brothers College. Kev was a member of South Mackay YCW as soon as he left school and soon became president. He married Tricia Cahill, who was in YCW West Mackay, on 2nd October 1977.

Kev’s involvement in everything community continued to grow.  He played hockey for Magpies and was an avid member.   During his reign as President of The Life Savers Club, he was instrumental in the rebuild of the “old “Life Savers building at Mulherin Park.   At the same time, he became President of Mackay Hockey Club and together with Greg Clutton, was the driving force in Mackay’s first artificial turf.  He remained President for 12 years.

Tricia and Kevin had two children.  Nathan and Alicia.  Kevin was very involved with St Mary’s, OLMC and St Patrick’s P&F Boards as well as fundraising events for these schools.  He was on the Finance committee for St Mary’s as well as spinning the ham wheel at St Marys annual fair right up to his passing – over 40 years.

His work life saw him work at Chandlers as workshop foreman for nearly 20 years, then Kevin and Tricia ran Casey’s electronics for 16 years until 2004 when Kevin was as successfully appointed a Councillor for Mackay Regional Council.  His main portfolio was roads and drains and he was affectionately known by the family as “The Minister for potholes and drains”.  He was Mackay’s Deputy Mayor for 4 years during this time.   All of you know that he worked tirelessly in this job and was always available to all his constituents.  During his time on Council, he was on many committees, both locally and Queensland based.  After he retired, he remained on the Road Action group and became a board member of Stella Maris and was able to spend more time with the Catholic Mens Club.

Kev joined Mackay West Rotary Club in 2002 and was an active member until the present.  He held many positions including President and has been a board member many times.  He was currently cooking BBQs for Rotary even through his ill health right up until the end of last year.  He just loved to serve.

Kevin was awarded three life Memberships.  Namely Mackay Hockey Association, Mackay Surf Lifesaving Club, and the Australian Labour Party.  He was also awarded Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Medal for his extensive community service over many years.

Kevin’s health declined and by 2017, he required a kidney transplant.  His surgery was on July 20th 2017 at the PA hospital in Brisbane.  Tricia proudly donated one of her kidneys and gave him the gift of life.  However, the family were told that there was a high risk of skin cancer complications due to the anti-rejection medications.

For a couple of years, his kidney went well, but sadly, the skin cancers which were solely due to the large amount of anti-rejection drugs he had to take, started to multiply.  Kev had to visit the PA more and more for many specialists’ appointments and excisions.  He endured many surgeries to keep the cancer at bay.

But this never stopped him continuing to engage in his love of community service for everyone.

Sadly, he passed away in ICU on 11th Feb with his beloved family around him.

From Wes Rose current principal of the school Kevin had attended as a child.

Remembering Kevin Casey: A Pillar of St Mary’s and the Mackay Community

It was with heavy hearts that last week, we farewelled one of our own, Kevin Casey, a cherished member of the St Mary’s family and a beacon in the wider Mackay community.  Kev leaves behind a legacy of service, dedication and unwavering commitment to the betterment of those around him.

A past student of St Mary’s, Kevin’s roots ran deep within our school and parish. Throughout his life, he remained a steadfast supporter, actively participating in numerous aspects of school and parish life. From his role as a parent and P&F President, to his membership on the Parish finance council, Kevin’s contributions were invaluable in shaping the vibrant community we cherish today.

He was a mainstay of our annual St Mary’s Christmas Fair, where he famously spun the ham wheel for more than forty years.  Graeme Connors immortalised the Casey’s involvement with the ham wheel in his song, ‘St Mary’s Fair’.

Alongside his beloved wife Tricia, herself a former music teacher at our school, Kev’s impact extended far beyond our school gates. His footprint in the wider Mackay community was profound, marked by three terms as a Mackay Regional Councillor and a stint as Deputy Mayor. His dedication to community service was further exemplified by his life memberships in the Mackay Surf Lifesaving Club and Mackay Hockey Association, as well as his role as President of the Mackay West Rotary Club.

The news of Kevin’s passing reverberates deeply throughout our community, and the large number of people who attended his funeral last week was testament to his far-reaching involvement in Mackay.  His absence will be keenly felt, and his memory will forever remain etched in the hearts of those fortunate enough to have known him. On behalf of St Mary’s School, we extend our sincerest condolences to his beloved wife Tricia and their children, Alicia and Nathan.

As we mourn the loss of Kevin Casey, let us also celebrate his remarkable life, characterized by his love of God and family, selflessness, integrity and an unwavering commitment to service. May his spirit continue to inspire us all to uphold the values he held dear, and may his legacy serve as a guiding light for generations to come.

May Kevin Rest in Peace.

From Graham Featherstone of the Mackay Mens’ Dinner Group

Kevin Casey was a member of the Mackay Catholic Men’s Dinner Club for about 30 years. It was a very sad day when we learned of his passing on the 11th of February.

Rarely did Kevin miss a dinner, he was involved in many other areas including Rotary and Councillor for 12 years and at times acting Mayor. During his time of ill health, he would still endeavour to be at our dinner. He was so dedicated; only days before he passed away, he texted an apology saying he was in hospital and couldn’t be there.

At our last dinner, our guest speaker Laurence Bonaventura mentioned that when he became a regional councillor, Kevin had been a councillor for many years and even though they were politically on opposite sides, Kevin was a mentor to him and helped him settle in and gave him good advice when required.

We will miss his participation at the dinners, his comments, his jovial attitude, and his wisdom. For a time he was the Chairman/President. He never shied away from thanking a speaker or giving sound advice. Kevin Casey was a cornerstone of our group and will be sadly missed.

Rest in Peace Kevin