Casey Kasem's Kids Pay Tribute to the Late Radio Star: 'He Taught Us to Be Selfless, Humble'
Kasey Casem's three children have opened up about their late father in a new interview. Speaking to PEOPLE, Kerri, Mike and Julie Kasem remember the legendary radio host's legacy and share their memories of the former host of "American Top 40" who passed away on Sunday, June 15.
"As much as he influenced and touched so many millions around the world, his influence at home was immeasurable," Kerri tells the magazine. "He taught us to be selfless, humble and passionate about doing the right thing no matter how difficult or long the road may be. I am who I am because of my dad."
"My dad always said that helping others is the most rewarding thing you can do in life," Kerri adds of her late father's lesson in her life. "I created the Kasem Cares Foundation to help enact legislation that would give visitation rights to adult children with an ailing parent."
Mike additionally says that people were touched by his father's genuine feelings in everything he did. "The reason our dad was able to touch so many hearts around the world on Sunday mornings [with American Top 40] was because every word he spoke was 100 percent genuine. I realized that when I saw him cry while reading a long-distance dedication," he shares.
The radio star's daughter Julie, meanwhile, remembers that her father always stressed the importance of education. "My dad always said, 'No matter what you do, strive to be the best. If you are going to be a chimney sweep, be the best damn chimney sweep in the world,' " she explains.
Casey, who voiced Shaggy on "Scooby Doo", passed away at a hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington at the age of 82. He previously suffered from Lewy Body Disease, which is a form of dementia. According to TMZ, Casey's body has been released to his wife Jean for the funeral.
Ryan Seacrest released a statement after learning of Casey's passing. "It's a sad day for the broadcasting community and for radio listeners around the world. When I was a kid, I would listen to Casey Kasem's AT40 show every weekend, and dream about someday becoming a radio DJ. So when decades later I took over his AT40 countdown show, it was a surreal moment," the statement read.
"Casey had a distinctive friendly on-air voice, and he was just as affable and nice if you had the privilege to be in his company," it continued. "He'll be greatly missed."
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