Tuesday's meeting of the Steubenville Kiwanis Club had a somber tone to it as several of the members in attendance took time to honor the memory of their club colleague Casimir "Cas" Adulewicz, who died suddenly on Jan. 10.
A moment of silence led by club President George Pugh was followed by impromptu commentary that began with Duke Rakich sharing memories about Adulewicz, the club's immediate past president.
"I guess I probably knew Cas longer than anyone in this room," began Rakich, who recalled how he brought Sam Kerr into the club, and Kerr in turn, brought in Adulewicz.
2013 file photo of Casimir ‘Cas’ Adulewicz with Maj. Earline May, formerly of the Salvation Army of Jefferson County
-- Janice Kiaski
"Cas and I didn't always agree on everything. We certainly agreed on Ohio State. He was a firm believer in everything Ohio State did and was so proud of once being a member of that football team, and he never failed to tell everybody about that and the coaches and Woody (Hayes) and the rest of them," Rakich said of the longtime Steubenville attorney who was a member of the 1957 Ohio State University National Championship football team.
Rakich said he had many fond memories of Cas. "I can tell each and every one of you this is absolutely a fact - in the last few years of Cas' life, being a Kiwanis member and president was the happiest times he's had. I promise you that. I'd see it in his face. Cas was very proud to be a member of our organization and a president, so bless you, Cas," Rakich said.
A tearful Phyllis Riccadonna said she started working for the Sterns in 1966 at the same time as her more serious sister, Barbara, started working for Adulewicz.
"Barbara and I would laugh all the time because Cas was so funny and the Sterns were so stern," she said to a room responding with laughter. Riccadonna said her sister always advocated that they should switch places to match personalities.
"Through the years, the one thing about Cas is no matter whatever happened to me, Cas was one of the very few people who was never embarrassed to say hi to me, to put his arm around me and make sure they knew he was my friend," Riccadonna said.
"He was one of a kind, and we're all going to miss him, and I'm really sad," she said.
Gary Wickham said he was with his son, Adam, in a grocery store around Christmas when they bumped into Adulewicz, who was wearing his Ohio State jacket. Wickham said he wanted to introduce his son and told him he'd played for Ohio State and Woody Hayes, which impressed his son and led him to say, "I've heard about that guy. He must really be old (meaning Cas)."
Paul Brandt agreed with Rakich's comments about Adulewicz being proud to be in Kiwanis. "He really enjoyed that position and running the meetings, and of course he called on me a lot of times to say the blessing, and he started out calling me lieutenant and that came from my Navy career - I came out as a lieutenant - and then after a while I became lieutenant commander, but in recent years, I've been a commander, so I'm assuming I'm back to being a lieutenant," he said, ending with, "Thanks, Cas."
"Cas was a very faithful Kiwanian," Tom Timmons agreed. "You never knew what he was going to say, and that was Cas, and we'll miss him," he said.
Judy Manfred said she was looking forward to sitting at Adulewicz' table now that his duties as president had ended and he would no longer have to sit at the head table.
"He never made me feel like I wasn't wanted or not welcomed, but it's a selfish thought because I would have loved to have known him more," Manfred said.
"What I liked about Cas was that he liked his neighborhood," said Laura Meeks. "I always like people who like where they're from. He was loyal to his roots."
Meeks joked that she wasn't sure if Adulewicz liked her. "I remember him saying, 'Sit down, Laura,' or 'Shut up, Laura,' but I do know he liked the college (Eastern Gateway), and he gave credit where credit was due, and he wasn't afraid to call it out, and I really respected him."
Judge Dave Henderson said Adulewicz "had a great knowledge of the law and how things worked." He said sometimes, however, that Adulewicz would file some cases that really didn't appear to be based on the law. When Henderson would mention that, "he would say, 'Well, it's the right thing to do."
The Rev. Calvin McLoyd, pastor of Second Baptist Church, cited what he said was a fond memory of Adulewicz always mispronouncing his name when he was called on to say the invocation. "I could hear Tom (Timmons) in the background say, 'McLoyd, Cas' - he would call on 'Rev. McCloud,' that's the TV character," McLoyd said.
Dave Skiviat said everyone knew Adulewicz was a big Ohio State fan.
"But he was also a great Penguins fan, and I have only been to one Penguins game in my entire life, and Cas took me," Skiviat said.
Mike Emmerling said he knew Adulewicz from the Polish Athletic Club and that he had encouraged him to join Kiwanis.
"If not for Cas, I probably wouldn't be here," Emmerling said. "He said, 'I'll sponsor you, I'll sponsor you,'" he recalled.
"He is the reason I'm in Kiwanis," Emmerling said.