Remembering Longtime Student Lee Casper
In July, Fleisher lost a good friend and longtime student with the passing of Lee Casper. Lee, a Fleisher student for more than 50 years, most recently studied painting with Giovanni Casadei and explored figure sculpture. He was a close friend of celebrated Fleisher teaching artist Mac Fisher and owned a number of Fisher’s works. To remember his love of Fleisher, his family made a generous gift to name an easel in his honor. Look for it in Fleisher’s painting and drawing studios.
A Philadelphia native, Lee lived a rich life. He served in the Navy aboard a submarine in the South Pacific during World War II and, post-war, was a potato and tomato farmer in Clarksburg, NJ. In 1958, he became an owner and partner in John Lecroy & Son, a spice manufacturing company in Camden. In the mid-1970s he was a builder with Philadelphia’s Howard Builders, where he worked until his retirement in 1993.
Outside of the private realm, Lee was an advocate for affordable housing and volunteered as a project manager for the nonprofit Reinvestment Fund, a loan agency that unites investors, banks, government entities, foundations, and community groups in efforts to transform rundown communities. Working with the city and and Philadelphia Interfaith Action Foundation, the fund oversaw a sweeping effort to build affordable houses in West and North Philadelphia. The project was intended to make home ownership a reality for those earning $18,000 to $32,000. Later, Lee would oversee a similar project in Baltimore. In 2010, he received the Reinvestment Fund’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by then Governor Ed Rendell, for his 20 years of volunteer work.
Until his passing, Lee lived in Gladwyne, where he painted, built boats, and made regular trips to Fleisher. He will be greatly missed by Fleisher’s staff and faculty.
If you are interested in dedicating an easel, please contact Director of Development Melissa Phegley at email@example.com. Pictured above: Lee Casper, center, looks through his collection of Mac Fisher’s work with Fleisher Executive Director Elizabeth Grimaldi, left, and Director of Development Melissa Phegley.