Richard Orland Caselli, D.D.S.
Richard Orland Caselli, holder of court, chief storyteller, amateur chef, avid hunter, animal lover, and never afraid to share a politically incorrect opinion, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 26, 2021, at his home in Sonoma, after a brief, valiantly fought battle with melanoma. Richard was born to Louis and Loretta Caselli on August 17, 1937, in San Francisco, California. He spent his childhood there, often describing it as an idyllic time. The years he spent growing up with his close friends, whom he remained in touch with to the end, were often the subject of the adventurous yarns he spun. Most of his stories could be repeated by many because they were often repeated by him.
Richard attended St. Cecilia’s Grammar School and Archbishop Riordan High School, Class of 1955, where he never let anyone forget that he was instrumental in the baseball team’s championship win! He then attended San Francisco State and UC Berkeley for his undergraduate degree before attending University of the Pacific, College of Physicians and Surgeons for dental school. He opened his first dental practice in Sonoma in 1963. Ever the tinkerer of tiny things, he mastered the art and science of dentistry in Sonoma until his retirement in 1998, when he started Doc Roc’s Tick Tock Shop, taking up clock repair as a hobby.
Rich was also passionate about cooking. In his free time, he could often be found creating special recipes for his award-winning chili, biscotti, spaghetti sauce, and countless other concoctions which he loved to make with his grandchildren while he watched over them to be sure they were doing it right. Many of them have cherished copies of his recipes with several pages of detailed instructions.
The Russian River was Rich’s second home since his youth. In his early teens, one of his first jobs was cleaning up after the horses while working the stables in Guernewood Park. He was sure to remind his children of this if they ever complained about hard work. He enjoyed his retirement puttering around the Northwood Golf Course, volunteering as an iron-fisted marshal. He and his wife, Teena, were very involved in the Northwood community and made many close friends there.
An avid hunter, Rich found joy in the early morning hours, alone in a duck blind with his loyal dog by his side. A perfect day would have been limiting out and returning home to enjoy an ice-cold Manhattan and a cheap cigar with his buddies.
Rich served in a number of professional, political, civic, and charitable organizations, but most importantly as a longtime member of the Board of Directors at Hanna Boys’ Center. He was the founding board member and President of the Rose Marie Piper Foundation, member of Valley of the Moon Fire Protection District (Board of Directors), Redwood Empire Dental Association, and Native Sons of the Golden West.
Rich loved his five imperfect children, but not more than his ten perfect grandchildren. He is survived by his son Michael Caselli and his wife Sheila, Teresa Caselli, Tisha Chinn and her husband Byron, Molly Caselli, and Dean Phillips; adoring grandfather of Craig and Cyle Caselli, Kendall Slade, Evan and Emma Chinn, Jacob and Richie Cross, Shelby, Kelsey, and Jamie Phillips and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Rich was preceded in death by his wife, Shelby Jean “Teena” Caselli and by his sister, Barbara Shaules.
A celebration of Rich’s life will be postponed until a later date. In lieu of flowers the family would be honored by a donation to Pets’ Lifeline, P.O. Box 341, Sonoma, CA 95476, or Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran Street, Petaluma, CA 94952.
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P.O. Box 341, Sonoma CA 95476
Hospice of Petaluma
416 Payran Street, Petaluma CA 94954