Frank Joseph Casa, a builder, architect, restaurant owner, and lifelong athlete, died at home on Hand Lane in Amagansett on Friday of complications from gallbladder cancer. Mr. Casa, who was 69, was active in community affairs as a member of the Lions Club of East Hampton, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the South Fork Country Club, and the Child Development Center of the Hamptons.
Born in New York City on Nov. 21, 1942, he was the eldest of four children of Corinne McClung Casa and Joseph Casa. He spent his childhood and teenage years in Floral Park and Garden City, and attended the University of Pennsylvania on an R.O.T.C. scholarship, where he majored in English, played on the football team, belonged to the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and served with the Naval Reserve after graduation.
Mr. Casa returned to New York in the 1960s, where he studied painting at the National Design Academy, and later, architecture at City College. In 1967 he opened a restaurant, Botany Bay, with a partner, Jim Duke. They later opened an English-style pub which they named Drake’s Drum, and managed it together, at two different locations on the Upper East Side, for nearly three decades.
Mr. Casa started visiting the South Fork with his parents and siblings at the age of 3, and had fond memories of being by the water here. He began designing and building houses locally in the 1970s, and moved to Amagansett permanently in the early 1990s. He continued to build in Amagansett, East Hampton, and Westhampton, working alongside friends and relatives on construction projects.
In addition to his immersion in art, architecture, literature, and history, he played with the New York Rugby Club as a young man and ran the New York City Marathon three times. After moving here he played baseball for several local teams, including one sponsored by Montauk’s Shagwong restaurant, and in his 50s played for the East Hampton Old Stars. In his 60s he took up tennis and golf, and continued throughout his life to make ski trips to Europe and across America.
One of Mr. Casa’s greatest pleasures was his family, who said he was a devoted father to six children from three marriages, and that he maintained close relationships with his two sisters. The family said he was “a friend to many; he will be remembered for his kindness, creativity, sense of humor, strength, warmth, and good looks.”
Mr. Casa’s children are Christina Casa Usiak of Brooklyn, Delia Casa of Brooklyn, Olivia Casa of Brooklyn, Corey Casa of Amagansett, Elizabeth Casa of New York, and William Casa of New York. His sisters are Margaret Casa and JoAnn Wildermuth, both of whom live in Amagansett. He also leaves a niece and a nephew, David and Tracy Wildermuth.
Mr. Casa was cremated. A memorial service took place at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton on Tuesday.