Charlie Casper was a gentle soul. A good friend and a tireless leader. I had the pleasure of working alongside of Charlie Casper for more years than any other Fireman—Twenty-three years. The fun we had during those years was very memorable. Hilarious and competitive episodes on the “Wallyball” court were the stuff of legend. When someone made an uncoordinated, clumsy hit on the ball, guys would go into the corner of the court, turn their back and shrug their shoulders repeatedly, as if they were laughing at the blunder. So many of the laughs were with Charlie. One time, our PC, Ray Vasquez, made cream puffs. One puff had been stuffed with mayonnaise instead of filling. Ray made that particular puff extra-large. The whole episode was done to set a trap for Pete Ross (God rest his soul). We all knew about the ruse and waited, giggling, for the trap to be set off. Pete would normally take the biggest one, of ANYTHING. Before Pete came into the kitchen, Charlie came in, saw the cream puffs, and said smiling, “Cream puffs! I like cream puffs!” He proceeded to reach down and snag the big one. We were all in near hysterics as we watched the expression on his face as he bit into the mayo-filled pastry. He looked shocked, but being the professional he was, he gathered himself, and, so he wouldn’t hurt Ray’s feelings, calmly walked outside and spit out the puff. Of course, we all laughed for a long time.
Rest in Peace, Charlie………Kip Downen
I remember as a young captain working around Charlie Casper over the years was always a learning experiences not because he necessarily intended to teach something, but instead he would share his experiences that related to the situation or the environment. I always felt more knowledgeable after the conversation. He was wise, calm and kind, and a very strong example of the importance for a fire officer to have experience.
John F. Potter
Early one morning we were moved into a fire in 73s. Ready for battle, we were in T/Os, with tools, waiting for an assignment. None came, so first the tools got put down, the coats came off next. We started to lean on the apparatus; then we all just got back on the rigs, sat down, and waited. Well, pretty soon Chief Bamattre shows up on scene. He walked up to T28, saw me and asked if Charlie was working. I said, “He sure is. He’s right next to you, Chief.” Bamattre looks up to the captain’s seat, and there was Charlie…fast asleep!! Ya shoulda seen his face when he realized Chief Bill was waking him up! Classic.
I worked with Charlie at 27s great guy easy going very soft spoken a pleasure to work with R.I.P. Charlie.
I am not a firefighter. I was on the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council when Captain Casper was at FS 28. Captain Casper was a great community member. He brought 28s to our meetings, and always participated. We live in a high fire risk neighborhood, and he helped advise the community. He helped us with snakes and flooding issues too. When Charlie retired after 50 years at LAFD, we coordinated a huge community event at FS 28. Our congressman’s office was able to procure the flag that flew over the US Capitol on September 11, 2006, the five-year anniversary of 9/11. We presented Captain Casper and his wife, that flag along with a letter from President Bush.
He was respected and will be missed.
I worked with Charlie Casper at 73s. Absolutely the nicest man I ever met. He did so many nice things for people and is a true brother in the Lord. I watched him one day with a firefighter having some trouble pull out a wad of one-hundred-dollar bills. A wad! he offered whatever the firefighter needed. I asked Charlie later wasn’t that a lot of money to carry around? He said, “I suppose so, but I always keep it on me to help someone.
RIP Sir—Dale Bayless
Charlie was the Station Commander at FS 73 during the time I was assigned to Batt.17-B. He loved his crew and was very protective of them. He gave 50 years of his life to the LAFD and was on pension for only 14 years…I don’t think he’d have it any other way. Charlie was a Man of God who knew where he was going to spend eternity when he was finally called home. My condolences to Mila, his children and grandchildren. Rest in peace my friend.
Charlie Caspar’s morning line ups were epic. He is the only officer that I ever worked for where the crew had to often ask for an intermission depending of course on how much coffee we drank before line up. After intermission was over Charlie would pick up right where he had left off. Charlie loved the L.A.F.D. as evidenced by his 50 years of service. He was a great family man, a kind man, and most importantly a man of great faith. My condolences to Charlie’s family. Thanks for the memories Cap. Rest in peace.
Charlie worked with my dad (Lionel) in the early 1960’s, and I had the pleasure of working with him in the early 80’s. Many people mistook his calm demeanor and gentle mannerisms for shortcomings. They were not. He was one of the nicest and most knowledgeable gentlemen I have been blessed to have known… even if he DID “take longer than average” to make his point, or tell his story. I realize the clock eventually winds down for every one of us, but hearing that your time ran out, saddens me (and many others I am sure).. Rest in peace Charlie…. you are missed.
I loved playing Wally Ball at FS 73 and working SOD there. I always looked forward to seeing and working around him and his crew. He was one of those guys with faith that all things would work out. Laughing with all the wonderful memories and remembering Wally Ball.
I worked with Captain Casper at 73’s during the mid-1990’s. He was on the other shift with a cast of fun characters. As many have said, he had a “heart of gold.” He was a man of faith that would do anything for you. He knew so much about LAFD history, and yes, he shared it often. He was a truly a conversationalist to put it mildly. Although his line-ups were often beyond thorough, he was always able to keep the crew smiling. Charley was a dedicated officer that always tried hard to do his best for his crews. You can’t help but smile when you hear his name. It was a pleasure to know him. Rest in Peace Cap.
Charlie came to FS 96 many times to work SOD or a trade day. If you never sat through one of Charlie’s lineups…you really missed out. It was a “ten pieces of toast” affair. Many station toasters were worn out during his shifts in Chatsworth. But, that didn’t matter…because everybody loved Charlie. He simply was one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. Young guys who did not know Charlie…would always try to help complete his sentences for him. Let’s just say he was as cool as a cucumber….and in no hurry. Charlie was a christian brother, and a man of great faith. It was my pleasure to share time with him.
Photos by David Blaire