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March-April 2012

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In Memoriam: Lino Caserini (1933–2011)

Lino Caserini, mineral dealer from Milan, Italy, very well known to the international mineral community, passed away suddenly on 12 August 2011 while on vacation with his family on the Adriatic coast.

Lino was born in Milan on 23 September 1933. Because the economic conditions of his family were modest, his schooling came to an end fairly soon, and he started working as a helper in a fish store in downtown Milan. Other jobs followed, always in commercial activities, until Lino found a stable position as a sales representative for a company specializing in the production of plates for the appliance and auto industry. Lino kept working part-time for this company even after several years from his formal retirement.

At age twenty, Lino met Paola, an attractive Milanese girl who shared his love for dancing. They married, had two daughters and, in turn, four grandchildren of whom he was very proud.

Lino's interest in minerals started by chance, when he was helping one of his daughters to learn physical geography and bought her some inexpensive specimens from Pio Mariani, a dealer who had a shop a few kilometers north of Milan. From that time on, Lino was hooked: he purchased more specimens and, not surprisingly given his commercial inclination, he started reselling some of them. Thereafter, Lino's path was seemingly preordained—he became one of the major Italian dealers, participating in most shows in Italy, Munich, and elsewhere. He never missed the Tucson yearly event, where he arrived very early to catch potential suppliers before his competitors. After many years, he had established numerous connections that were important for his activity. During his last six years, Lino had hired a helper, Isabella Cantù, a young lady with a natural history degree, who soon became part of the Caserini family, almost a third daughter to Lino and Paola.

At times Lino appeared a bit brusque to people who did not know him well, whereas in reality he had a heart of gold, always ready to help anyone needing assistance. His humane qualities and competence, besides assuring him a faithful customer base, brought him many friends in Italy and abroad.

We like to remember him always in good spirits, ready to share information on minerals and to provide (often in Milanese dialect) his advice on restaurants—in any city or town Lino had an instinct for finding the best eating places and even became friends with some of the chefs.

Dr. Renato Pagano is a lifelong collector of rare species and fine minerals, as well as mineralogical books and instruments.

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