Caesar Joseph Acerra, 92, of Memphis passed away Friday, December 3, 2010. Born in Memphis to Italian immigrants, Giuseppe Luigi Acerra of Naples and Celestine Solari Acerra of Genoa, Caesar was a proud first-generation American, the youngest of one brother and two sisters. He established his strong work ethic early in childhood while running a downtown paper route, which later fueled his enthusiasm for Memphis history and development. As he grew, so did his fascination and aptitude for mechanics, which led him to become a successful engineer and inventor. Caesar dedicated his talents to Right Way Products and then to National Guard Products, where he was a tool and die engineer and plant supervisor for more than 40 years. While building his career, Caesar met and married the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and the love of his life, Sadie Lee Thurman, in 1938. Over the next 69 years together, the couple's marital bliss never wavered, setting a loving example that many people wish to attain. Although he recently retired and lost Sadie shortly thereafter, his zeal and energy for life persisted and he stayed very active until his last moments.
Caesar was a loving and devoted husband, proud father, loyal employee, ingenious engineer, master craftsman, and cancer survivor. As an inspiration and a role model to everyone he met, it was not uncommon to hear most people say that "Caesar is the best guy I know" or that "he's like a father to me." Because of his level of uncompromising and genuine character, he was a remarkable and highly respected man and a pillar to his family and friends. Caesar has left an unforgettable mark on the world and on the lives of everyone he knew, especially those of his family who will miss him most of all. He leaves behind 3 children: Les Acerra, Loy Crane, and Steve Acerra (wife Sheila); 8 grandchildren: Kelli Bonifer (husband Duane), Leslie Throneberry (husband Greg), Michele Webster (husband John), Nikki Acerra, Amy Acerra, Carey Acerra (husband TJ Horne), Anna Acerra (husband Logan Hanna), and Wesley Acerra; and 5 great grandchildren: Zack Miller, Dominic Webster, CJ Bonifer, Sidney Webster, and Gary Parker Bonifer.
With this obituary, the family wishes not to document his death, but to celebrate his wonderful and accomplished life. If you knew Caesar and he touched your life, as he did for so many, the family would be honored if you attended the funeral services, which will be held at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens on Poplar Avenue on Monday, December 6, at 10:00 a.m. The family will receive friends on Sunday, December 5 from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. also at the funeral home. You may leave condolences for the family at www.memphisfuneralhome.net.