Francoise Casale
Francoise Casale
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Obituary of Francoise Casale


Francoise “Biche” Casale

January 28, 1933 – April 16, 2022


Forever in our hearts.  Francoise (Hertoghe) Casale, 89, of Brookfield, CT., formerly of Manchester, VT and Vero Beach, FL., wife of the late John B. Casale, MD, died peacefully on Saturday, April 16th.  She was born in Antwerp, Belgium on January 28, 1933, daughter of the late Antoine and Germaine (Jonckheere) Hertoghe. 

She was lovingly known by family and friends as “Biche,” or little doe, in french.


Champion golfer many times over in Westchester/Fairfield County, Florida and Vermont. She was a dedicated volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Vero Beach FL and was a Board Member, The Moorings Yacht & Country Club.

A beautiful and natural artist through various mediums… needlepoint was her greatest passion in her later years. From tapestries - intricate patterns for chair coverings, belts, pillows, Christmas stockings, baby gifts – souvenirs we and many cherish for a lifetime. Her artistry stemmed from her love of nature, gardening, travelling and the great outdoors - the colors, the leaves, the birds and visiting bears on her VT house deck. Music inspired her “joie de vivre” all through her life to the very end.  This was her palette.


What brought her the greatest joy were her children.  As one of 14 children growing up in Belgium, she married Eric de Spirlet, in 1954. Together they came over from Belgium to New York to start their new life and family.  They raised their 4 children, Ginette, Marie, Diane and Andre in Bronxville, NY and Stratton VT.  Summers were spent travelling to Belgium visiting both sides of the family. In 1987, she married John Casale and was blessed with 10 step children – going full circle with her original Belgian family of 14 kids.  She loved gathering family and friends together and always cooking up a feast…


Francoise “Biche” is living in the hearts of her four children, Ginette McCloskey (Joseph), Marie Beebe (Bradford), Diane de Spirlet (Barry Cline), and Andre de Spirlet; her grandchildren, Timothy McCloskey, Brian McCloskey (Tony Guerrera), Paul McCloskey (Kara), Jake McCloskey (Amanda Schneider), Alayna Beebe-Richard (Olivier Richard), Alexander Beebe, Chandler de Spirlet (MacKenzie McDaniels), Hansen de Spirlet, Sgt. US Army, and Sage de Spirlet; her two great grandchildren, Charles and Isabella and her 9 step children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Children of John B. Casale:

John Casale III (Nancy)

Charles Casale (Natacha)

Mary Novak (partner Joseph)

Dorothy Casale (partner Daniel)

Donna Durkin (William)

Andrew Casale (Paula)

Anastasia Casale

Catherine Fantini (William)


She is also survived by her siblings:

Guy Hertoghe (Beatrice)

Nicole (Hertoghe) Vercruysse (Albert Vermier)

Paul Hertoghe (Micheline)

Antoine Hertoghe (Marie)

Nanou (Hertoghe) Ansiaux

Catherine (Hertoghe) de Smedt

Ignace Cols (Manon)


She was predeceased by:

Marie Rose (Hertoghe) Groetaers – (Marc)

Andre Hertoghe (Beatrice)

Gabrielle (Hertoghe) van den Berg (Albert)

Yvette (Hertoghe) Goethals (Paul)

Christiane (Hertoghe) Cols

Michel Vercruysse

Maggy (Hertoghe) van de Walle (Guy)

Edith Hertoghe

Philippe Ansiaux

Xavier de Smedt

Wanda Casale


A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, April 22nd at 11:00am at Christ Our Savior Parish, Manchester, VT.  Burial will follow in Dellwood Cemetery.  Reception immediately following at Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, 1005 Hildene Rd., Manchester VT.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her memory may be made to Friends of Hildene Inc., PO Box 377, 1005 Hildene Rd., Manchester VT 05254, and RVNA Health: Attn: Development Office, 27 Governor St., Ridgefield CT 06877.   


A Memorial Tree was planted for Francoise
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cornell Memorial Home
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