Jean “Jai” Casaldi

On April 18, 2024, the physical world lost Jean Marie Casaldi, known by her loved ones and friends as “Jai” short for Jaianniah.

Jean Marie Casaldi was born in Oak Park, IL as Jean Marie Johnsen to Donna Marie (Hartely) Johnsen of Illinois and the late Richard G Johnsen. She spent the first five years of life living in Chicago then moved with her family to Crystal Lake, Illinois. She graduated with high honors from Crystal Lake Community High School. Jai distinguished herself in school as a writer and musician, she could spell any word and tell you, its origin. As a musician she played the viola in orchestra, she sang high soprano in chorus. In her senior year she was president of her high school orchestra. She earned an associate degree from McHenry County College; she also went to Grand Canyon University for her Divinity degree. She was a Friend of Bill W. for over 40 years.

She started taking art classes in college, where she became a superb artist. She learned to play classical piano very well, she could play finger style guitar. She learned French in school; she loved deep conversations from anything science to the nature of existence itself. She was a poet and writer. She was a frequent contributor and founding member of “”. Her “I saw the mind of God” and her “Heart of God” posts were among her best contributions. She was very good with crafts as well; she made a Dream Catcher by hand, and it looked more authentic than most you could buy. She made a few high-quality dotalism pictures from holes she punched out of old magazines. To top all of this she was very humble, most would never know what she achieved.

Jai was an amazing example of overcoming. She suffered from chronic pain, which kept her mostly bed bound for decades. Those that love her held her together with a constant outpouring of unconditional love for her. A never-ending love that lasts through everything no matter what, which she and Wade felt for each other, even through the upsets and disagreements, would always end in “You know I am upset but never think I could stop loving you”. Their love overcame it all even through the most difficult storms. It always goes back to those peaceful calm shores of love.

Jai will be deeply missed by her husband of 8 years, Wade E. Casaldi; daughters, Kimberly Mathieu and husband Joshua, Idaho; Katharine Johnson, and husband Ray, Texas; Megan Stejskal and husband Seth, MA; son, John Gage and wife Jill, IL; grandchildren, Lily, Rose, Violet and Asriel; sisters, Bonnie Leeroe and husband Joe; Laura Markison and husband Tim; and Carolyn St. Angel. She also leaves behind her mother-in-law, Sharon Casaldi; brothers-in-law, Jim Casaldi; David Casaldi and wife Beth; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by her father-in-law, Armondo “Ace” Casaldi.

At the request of the family there will be no public services. Heller Funeral Home, LLC, Nescopeck is assisting her family. Online messages of comfort may be sent to