Elmer Cassadore III entered into rest on January 29, 2019 in Mesa, AZ. He was born on January 3, 1974 in San Carlos, AZ, the son of Mr. & Mrs. Davis & Susie Dustin with siblings Johnny Cassadore, Danford Wilson, Mavis Dustin, Danya Dustin & Miranda Stewart.
Elmer was raised in Bylas in the Black Point area. He developed the nicknames of “Chocolate” & “AL” while growing up and he was known to the family and friends by those nicknames. He grew up with his cousins and relatives with whom he developed a strong close relationship. Chocolate enjoyed fishing, hunting & camping. I remember many hunting seasons that all of us (Davis, Johnny, Moe, Howard, Jason, Jaw., Virgil Sr., Puddy Kat, Sai, Bear, myself and a few others) went hunting for deer and elk in rain, snow or shine. It did not matter whether we kill or not. It was the fun of being outdoors and enjoying ourselves in Malay Gap, Willow Mountain, and other areas in the higher elevation. I vividly remember one elk season we hunted on Freeze Out mountain. We walked to our destination early while it was still dark. We lost Chocolate in the darkness. He was so slow and had fell behind. At the last fork we went left, and Chocolate went right, he stopped at the saddle opening which also overlooked the canyon. We were already at our destination point and sat glassing across the canyon as daylight appeared. We saw three bull elk slowly grazing up across the opposite ridge. We started shooting and we killed the three bulls (Byron, Jimmy & I). Way later after we packed out the bulls, I asked Chocolate – what happened? I didn’t hear you shoot. Didn’t you see the bulls they were right across the canyon clearing? Chocolate says, “I heard the shots and I tried looking but I didn’t see anything”, then he says “I didn’t know which way you guys were shooting”. I guess he was looking in the opposite direction (wrong way). Apparently, Chocolate had lost his prescription glasses, and he couldn’t see! He had gotten lost in the dark and he could not see the bull elk or the direction we were shooting. The boys teased him about it and he just got mad at us. Another time, Chocolate and my son, Byron, got into it over a killed bull elk in Horseshoe. They boys walked down Horseshoe Canyon. They spotted a bull elk bedded down. But before they could sneak up on it, the bull got up and started to walk off. It was still within shooting distance. I really don’t know what happened, but the story goes like this – Byron took the first shot and says he shot the bull in the vital area (kill zone) cuz he saw the bull jerk, but the bull kept walking/running so Chocolate took aim and shot. Chocolate says he hit the bull and the bull fell. When they reached the bull elk, the elk had been shot twice, one in the vital area and the other one on the hind quarter. The argument was – Byron says he shot it in the kill zone and the bull would have eventually died from the shot, and he should tag it; Chocolate says he shot the bull elk and it fell and died, he should tag it. Byron says he shot it in the kill zone and Chocolate shot the bull in the hind quarter and with that hit the bull would have eventually ran off and gotten away. Chocolate’s shot was not in a kill zone. When they came back to camp late that evening in someone’s ride, they brought back a big 6x6 bull elk rack and it had Byron’s tag on it, so I guess he won the argument. Boy, Chocolate was mad for a while at camp and kept arguing about it but eventually he got over it. The next day we packed the bull elk out of the canyon and up a steep mountain slope most of the day. It was a laborious and tiresome day for all of us. Chocolate was the type of person that everyone teased and pulled jokes on – he would laugh, tease back, went along with the jokes and teasing but sometimes he would be in a bad mood and just get mad but not for long. He was a great guy! Always helpful with chores during hunting and setting up camps.
Elmer attended Ft. Thomas High School and graduated in May 1992. He went on to ITT training in Phoenix to become a Diesel Mechanic. He successfully completed the training and graduated as a Certified Diesel Mechanic. Chocolate was also employed as a “Rod Buster” with Jacobs Construction Company in Morenci, AZ. Chocolate also worked 16 years as a logger in the Point of Pines area with his buddy, Chesley Wilson III. I’m sure the 3rd had quite a story to tell about their “logger days”. I know Chocolate was skillful in working with chainsaws. I guess it comes with being a “logger” and having the experience. I know he used to brag about his logger days. One time, during our elk hunt Chocolate overdid it in bragging about his logger days with a person named “Walter Sprengeler” aka: Dodie. Walter is the son of the late Orville Sprengeler known to many of us as “Pushy”. The two kept arguing and boasting about logging, Chocolate bragged about his knowledge of working with chainsaws. I guess Walter got fed up with Chocolate’s bragging and told Chocolate, so you think you know it all about chainsaws, huh? Just wait, I’ll show you something and Walter walked to his truck. Walter opened his toolbox and pulled out a huge commercial chainsaw. He came back to the campfire with the chainsaw and stood the chainsaw upright next to Chocolate. The chainsaw was taller than Chocolate by a good ten inches! Chocolate was speechless and didn’t know what to say! We all burst out laughing! Walter told Chocolate, “this is what you call a loggers chainsaw! Not those puny little chainsaws people have!” Walter was a logger in the Heber area and had also worked in the Northwest area (State of Washington). Chocolate lost the bragging rights and that was the end of the logger discussion for the evening!
Elmer was a loving son, Uncle, brother and a friend. We all love him and enjoyed his presence. We will truly and greatly miss him. Chocolate was known to his nieces and nephews as “Uncle Bunny”. He used to babysit them while their parents worked.
“Chocolate, Al or Uncle Bunny” – We will never forget you! You will be in our hearts forever!
Until we meet again Chocolate! May you journey in peace and God be with you!
A Wake will be held Saturday February 2nd, 2019 at the Dustin residence. Funeral services will be Saturday February 3rd, 2019 at 1:00 PM at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Bylas, AZ followed by interment at the Black Point Cemetery.