Derek Caskey, a 2015 graduate of Marengo High School, died Tuesday at UW Health University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin after battle with cancer.
Caskey, 20, played football at Marengo and Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he would have been a sophomore this year. His disease, squamous cell carcinoma, an aggressive cancer that started in his mouth, became prevalent in the spring and made it impossible for him to return to classes in the fall.
Caskey was an offensive lineman with the Dutch, an NCAA Division III team. He had several hours of surgery last summer during which medical personnel had to remove his tongue, which was filled with the cancer.
Parents Patrick and Rae Caskey remained strong and positive while their son was home trying to recover through the late summer and fall. Recent examinations had shown the cancer had spread to other parts of his body and was not treatable.
Patrick Caskey said there will be a celebration of his son’s life at Marengo High School on Sunday, Jan. 29. Caskey said the time for the event will be announced soon.