Framingham Online News

Bruins Honor Oldest Fan at St. Patricks Manor

Filed under: Around Town by Randy Harris at 10:42 pm on September 13, 2011
Bruce and Desire "Dave" Caissie with Stanley Cup at St. Partick's Manor (September 2, 2011)

Bruce Caissie and his grandfather, Desire "Dave" Caissie (age 104) with The Stanley Cup at St. Partick's Manor (September 2, 2011)

FRAMINGHAM, MA - True Boston Bruins fans and trivia nuts might know the name Charlie Jacobs, but chances are many fans don't.

Charlie is a total sports guy -- a Board Member of the New England Sports Network, (NESN), and a Board Member and Past President & CEO of Total Media Group, but Charlie's favorite job is being the Founder and Chairman of the Boston Bruins Foundation, the charitable community involvement arm of his family's business -- you see, Charlie's dad is Jeremy Jacobs, Chairman & CEO of Delaware North Corporation and owner of the Boston Bruins.

When Charlie heard about Desire "Dave" Caissie, a 104 year old resident at St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham, he snuck in a little side-trip to St. Pat's on Friday, September 2, 2011... and brought the Stanley Cup with him!

(PHOTO) Charlie Jacobs hands the Stanley Cup to Bruce Caissie, Framingham, MA (September 2, 2011)

Charlie Jacobs hands the Stanley Cup to Bruce Caissie to carry in to his 104-year old grandfather Desire ''Dave'' Caissie at St. Patrick's Manor, Framingham, MA, (September 2, 2011)

It seems Desire "Dave" Caissie is a bit more of a Bruin's fan than most.

In 1923 Desire Caissie left Canada and came to the United States to take a labor job. The next year, Charles Stanley Adams invested $15,000 for the license to enter the first American hockey team into the National Hockey League -- that NHL team, founded on November 1, 1924 was the Bruins.

Although the team is known as the "Boston Bruins", it's actually the home team of the entire New England 6-state region -- Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Dave Caissie, already a hockey fan, was there, listening to radio announcers and reading newspaper accounts of the Bruins' first games. In the 1930's Caissie went in the restaurant business, and his love of the Bruins continued. In the 1940's Caissie took a job at Raytheon assembling military equipment the company produced throughout WWII -- Dave stayed at Raytheon until retiring in 1969.

(PHOTO) Desire ''Dave'' Cassie, age 104, Oldest and Longest Continuous Boston Bruins Fan with Stanley Cup in 2011

At 104 years old, Desire ''Dave'' Caissie is likely the Oldest Living, Longest Continuous Boston Bruins Fan!

Dave's love of the Bruins continues to this day -- which very likely earns him the title of  "Oldest Living, Longest Continuous Bruins Fan" -- and perhaps the Most Devoted Bruins Fan the team ever had.

When the Bruins signed Bobby Orr in 1966, maybe it was the fact that both Caissie and Orr were from Canada, and now both part of the Bruins -- or maybe Dave saw there was something special about Orr -- but from then on, Caissie began keeping box scores of every Bruins game -- his own personal record of the stats for every game's goals, penalties, wins and losses -- a personal hobby he kept up for nearly 40 years.

(PHOTO) Desire ''Dave'' Cassie, age 104, with his brother Max. Max is just a kid at only 92 years old!

Desire ''Dave'' Caissie, age 104, (right) shares his moment with the Stanley Cup at St. Patrick's Manor with his brother Max, (at left). Max is just a kid at only 92 years old!

While hockey has been an important part of Desire "Dave" Caissie's life -- family is even more important.  He's the father of 5, grandfather of 18 "kids" and the great-grandfather of 24!

Bruce Caissie, one of Desire's grandsons is also a bit of a hockey nut -- but maybe because it's in his blood -- he's got Desire on one side of his gene pool, and former Bruins Capt. Ray Bourque a "4th cousin once removed" on the other side of his branch of the family tree.

Bruce grew up listening to Pépère, (an affectionate nickname some French-Canadian's call their grandfathers -- Mémère for grandmother), and his stories of the Bruins.

Like most New England boys, Bruce grew up playing pond hockey -- cheering for the Bruins on t.v., and getting to every game he could at The Garden.

When it looked like the Bruins were headed for the playoffs this year, Bruce said to one of the Nuns at St. Patrick's that if the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, he was going to get the team to bring it to his grandfather. Bruce even started a Facebook group called “Bring the Stanley Cup to Desire “Dave” Caissie”, in hopes that social media would get his grandfather enough attention that the Bruins would have to come.

Bruce's dream for doing something for his grandfather paid off, but this has been a bittersweet year for Dave, Bruce -- and the entire Caissie family. On August 2nd, 2011 at 2:20pm, Bruce lost his sister Paula to Leukemia. The date and time are significant.

A month "to the minute" later, on September 2nd, 2011 at 2:20pm, he was handed the Stanley Cup by Charlie Jacobs so he could carry it in to Desire "Dave" -- his (and Paula's) grandfather.

As his way of including Paula in the special day, Bruce placed one of Paula's Memory Bracelets  in the Stanley Cup's bowl during the visit, (the bracelet is similar to the "Live Strong" bracelets made popular by Lance Armstrong's battle with cancer).

Desire "Dave" Caissie is originally from Waltham, MA, but has been living in Framingham at St. Patricks for the past 6 years. He moved in to be with his wife who was already residing there -- but after having only two more month together, in January of 2006 she passed away -- just two days shy of her 100th birthday.

Charlie Jacobs takes time for photo with Bruce Caissie's boss, Bruce, and Uncle Max.

(L-R), Charlie Jacobs along with Jay Laramie, Bruce's boss from Waters Manufacturing, Bruce and great-uncle Max.

The Caissie's have other ties to Framingham. Bruce tells me he had relatives who lived in town who worked at Dennison Manufacturing for many years.  Bruce himself works for Waters Manufacturing, and started with the company when they were located on Framingham's Newberry Street, (opposite BJ's Warehouse). The company has long since outgrown that facility and are now located in Milford, MA.

When I spoke with Bruce Caissie, aside from going on about how thrilled his grandfather was to actually get to touch the Stanley Cup, Bruce could not stop complimenting how gracious the Bruins organization, Wendy Watkins from the Delaware North Corporation, and Charlie Jacobs were.

Jacobs only gets to take the cup out into the community for limited amounts of time, and when he first wanted to come out to Framingham earlier in the week, Caissie had to tell him he didn't think it would fit in with his or the staff at St. Patrick's schedule -- so Charlie rearranged his schedule on Friday to make the trip at a time that was convenient for Bruce, Dave and other members of their family.

Bruce also mentioned that Charlie had told him "no media" -- he didn't want any fanfare -- he just wanted to come out and make an old-timer happy.

Aside from the actual Stanley Cup, Jacobs also presented Desire "Dave" with a smaller version of the cup -- one of the exact same ones each player gets as their own personal trophy, along with official NHL Championship hats, jerseys and other memorabilia. After visiting with the Caissie's, Jacobs spent a bit more time at St. Patrick's handing out memorabilia and talking with other residents before he left.

(Thanks to Ann & Trevor Hunt for the tip-off about this story and the photos they sent. And thanks to Bruce Caissie for getting the Stanley Cup to Framingham - and a special thanks to Charlie Jacobs for all of his charitable and community outreach work).

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  1. Way to go, Bruce! A wonderful family man and a pleasure to be around you! You did a wonderful thing for your grandpere!

    Comment by Vickie — September 14, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  2. Again and again I say Bruce you are special. Your family and I mean Jeannine my cousin on my mother’s side and Paul my cousin on my father’s side and Dave and Jimmy went through a lot of anguish and feelings of loss with the passing of Paula, your sister. Please accept all the special messages from friends and family. We love you all! Hermance, you cousin, once removed. A hug to all of you. X0X0X

    Comment by Hermance LeBlanc — September 14, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  3. Hi Jeannine,
    What a great story. I have met Paul’s dad at St. Patrick’s. He is a wonderful man. Your family is so blessed. All of you are so loving and caring of one another.
    I’m sure the residents, nuns and staff of St. Pat’s also appreciated seeing and touching the Stanley Cup. They are are such a warm and caring community. They all shared Desire’s pride and joy that day.
    Please keep me informed on Desire’s health.
    We will meet soon.
    Love, Noreen
    Hats off to you, Bruce.

    Comment by Noreen Begin — September 20, 2011 @ 8:04 am

  4. Desire Caissie is my Uncle and Godfather. It is so nice to see how this whole story unfolded and brought some joy into his life. Thumbs up to Bruce for not giving up and pushing forward with this and everything in his life. Love to all of you 🙂

    Comment by Karen(LeBlanc)Jacobs — September 21, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  5. Of course this made me cry but what a tribute to a beautiful Family Man.,a Father.,Grandfather……..A great tribute also to Paula Girl who again would have been overjoyed with the remembrance……The light will continue to shine in this way in keeping that spirit alive! Happy “Almost”b-day to Desire Caissie and God Bless you all the rest of the days of your life………………….Thank you Bruce for being such an awesome brother and an”over-the top”grandson!!!!!!!!!
    Kate Naze-Fort myers Fl.September 21,2011

    Comment by Kate Naze — September 21, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  6. Bruce you are amazing
    Love Mrs. V

    Comment by flo villeneuve — September 21, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  7. Bruce I just read all the comments about your Grand-Father and all the work you put into getting Uncle Dave to touch the Stanley Cup, that must’ve thrilled him very much, as it would any Bruins fan, I’ve been a Bruins fan for 36yrs, that’s the time I lived in the U.S. and drove to Boston at the Garden to watch them play their games, and I was a fan before that when I was a kid here in Canada, and I did’nt give up on them and was so glad when they won it again last year, I’m still watching them on T.V. here in Canada, I enjoy it very much when they play, I don’t miss any one of their games either. Please tell your Father (my cousin Paul) that I say hello to him and hope he’s all right healthwise. And tell your Grand-Father, Uncle Dave I’m very proud of him and tell him I said Hello to him from Canada, and keep cheering the best team in the NHL the Boston Bruins With all my love (his nephew from Canada,Rudy LeBlanc) xox

    Comment by Rudy LeBlanc — October 3, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  8. Sorry to say Desire Dave Caissie Passed away on June 6, 2013, This event is so much more Enjoyable to recall these days… Thank you for taking the time
    to write this story about a real hero.

    Comment by Bruce Caissie — June 25, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

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