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Casey Nivelle Work

Casey Nivelle Work passed from this world November 24, 2021, at 12:35 a.m.  He was born the youngest son of Orval Ellsworth Work and Neva Jane Welton Work, August 18, 1932, in Fresno, California.


Casey came from a long line of California pioneers, ranchers, and farmers, and whose stories and adventures can be found in the Tulare County history books.  One of Casey’s jobs growing up was helping his Aunt Angie, the Dunlap County postmaster, have a cat round-up.  At age twelve or so, his weekly job was to hike up the mountain about five miles and clean out the two springs to water the cattle.  He took along a .22 rifle, in case the old bear came ‘round he’d fill his belly full of lead.  He helped his Uncle Claud tear down a house in the valley and re-build it up on the mountain.  It was built with square nails.  The family grazed their cattle in the National Forest, and controlled burns were the boys’ jobs as well, something that should remain in practice today instead of uncontrolled fires.  Casey didn’t own a pair of shoes until he started high school.  After high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served on the USS McKean, the “Mighty Mac”, a destroyer, in the Korean War.  Even though he was just a Third Class Seaman, he was the Captain’s go-to for keeping things running.  After service to his country came marriage to Marion Joy Stanley, and two children, Janet Lynn Work Harrison and Kent Casey Work.  Casey was an ace at mechanics and welding, and fabricated a lot of his own equipment.  Casey was masterful at running bulldozers, backhoes, and excavators.  His love of hunting took him to some of his favorite places in the country with some of his favorite pals.  Oh, the stories!  Casey was one tough character.  There was one day, working on the side of a mountain running a backhoe, the backhoe turned over, trapping Casey under it.  He dug himself out, his leg was broken, set his own leg, and drove himself to the hospital.  He did lots of work in the National Park, including running TV station cable up Big Baldy, to engineering and rebuilding the washed out Weston Meadows in the Kings Canyon National Park, restoring it to its natural beauty.  A family of wild geese raised their young under his kitchen window every year.  Some of his dearest friends were the nuns at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Monastery.  The kept him in goat milk soap that they made.  Casey was most famous for “witching wells”.  Cooperate farmers would fly or drive hours to pick him up to “witch” a well, success every time.  Casey stood up for what was right and just and wasn’t afraid to fight to win every time.  When the county wanted to tax the people’s well water, they came upon a big, block wall . . . Casey!!


Casey leaves behind his baby sister, Darlene A. Work Simpson and family, daughter Janet and all her crew, and many friends and family that won’t forget what determination looks like.


No service to be held.