Toni Tatala Casciato, 66, of Brevard, passed away on Sunday, May 17, 2020. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, she was the daughter of the late Milan and Lillian Verchak Tatala. In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her brother, Stevan “Buzz” Tatala.
Toni was born into a basketball family in Pittsburgh, PA. She always shared that Stowe High and Sto-Rox High basketball players had a special place in her heart, and her many trips to Geneva College and W&J to watch her brothers, Skip and Buzz, play ball were some of her fondest childhood memories. Naturally, Toni grew to love and participate in many sports throughout her lifetime and was cheerleader captain at Sto-Rox High.
Toni attended Slippery Rock University in PA (the alma mater of her dad, Milan, her aunt, Verona, and her niece, Kelly). She earned a bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education (PE), and Recreation. At “the Rock,” where she excelled in academics, was the head choreographer of Orchesis, was active and an officer in Delta Zeta sorority, worked in the training room and library, and was quite active in Developmental PE, teaching students with disabilities to improve and thrive. In the summers during college, she played an integral part in the success of Kingley House in East Liberty, PA serving as a program coordinator and water safety instructor. She earned her master’s degree from Penn State University in Health Education.
Toni was a beloved, unique, and wonderful teacher for 40 years, both in McKees Rocks, PA (Sto-Rox), and in West Palm Beach, FL (Liberty Park Elementary). She received numerous awards and accolades for her teaching and loved to create dances and put on shows with her dear colleagues, Nina DiCenzo, Judy Cristodoulides, and Jovanna Magersuppe. She had many dear friends in the Baywinds community in Florida and loved playing tennis with them—especially doubles with Emmett—and she always loved spending time friends and family. Despite living in FL for so many years, Toni remained a loyal Pittsburgh fan and belonged to many clubs that cheered on the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates.
Toni embraced retirement. In her Brevard, NC community, Connestee Falls, she was coordinator of her breakfast club, choreographer and co-coordinator of the Connestee dance group, volunteered at the library, played in a bocce league, enjoyed singing in the Connestee Chorale, and was active in water aerobics. In downtown Brevard, Toni was recognized for her place on the Board of Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, she was active in the Ladies Guild at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, volunteered at the Brevard Music Center, and she taught children’s military history classes, while volunteering at The Veteran’s History Museum of the Carolinas, founded by Emmett. Of all the places in downtown Brevard, her favorite spot was the Transylvania County Library—she loved reading and she wrote many poems throughout her life. The many friends she made in Connestee, Brevard, Hendersonville, and Asheville were extremely important to her.
By far Toni’s greatest joy was twofold: her daughter, Abby, who was a stellar student-athlete at West Point, and is now a wonderful wife, mom, and friend to many. And, her grandchildren, Gabriel Milan Moore and Alexandra Marie Moore, and granddogs, Charlie and Cooper. She especially took great pleasure in playing creative games with them, writing poetry about and for them, reading with them and visiting fun places with the whole family.
Toni lived life on earth to the fullest. She’d want you to remember her beautiful smile in life, the many good times shared, and the happiness she was fortunate to experience throughout her 66 years.
Toni’s loving survivors include her husband, Emmett Casciato; their daughter Abby Elyse Moore and her husband Oliver; grandchildren Gabriel and Alexandra Moore; her brother Milan “Skip” Tatala and his wife Kathy; her sister-in-law Mary Lee Tatala and nephew, Deron Tatala and his wife Mary Lynn.
There will be a celebration of life at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, please make any desired memorial contributions in Toni’s name to either: the Veteran’s History Museum of the Carolinas, or the Transylvania County Library.
To leave a condolence for the family of Toni Casciato, please visit “obituaries” at www.moore-fh.com.
Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is caring for the family.
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