Obituary Listings

John "Jack" Harrison Cassel

January 3, 1929 April 17, 2019
John "Jack" Harrison Cassel
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Obituary for John "Jack" Harrison Cassel

John (Jack) Harrison Cassel, Jr., 90 years old, who resided in Nicholasville, Kentucky, passed away on Tuesday April 17th 2019 and was reunited with his parents and thirteen siblings. He was receiving care at UK Medical Center’s Hospice Facility when he succumbed to complications due to a stroke in February.

He was born January 3rd 1929 in Derry Township, Dauphin County, near Hershey Pennsylvania to Mabel Irene Cassel (farmwife and midwife) and John Harrison Cassel, Sr. (farmer and carpenter). He was the eleventh of thirteen children and began his education in the local one room Gingrich Schoolhouse in East Hanover Township. Growing up a Pennsylvania farm boy life was mostly chores, hunting, trapping and having fun (including skunking the schoolhouse!). He was the first in his family to graduate High School. He completed the Vocational Course in Machine Shop Practice in May 1946 at Hershey High School. He also played varsity Football and worked part time at munitions plants for War production.

With his parents’ hesitant permission, he enlisted in the US Army in September 1946. He completed training at Fort Polk Louisiana, got baptized and began trusting Jesus (he has a contract to prove it!) before he shipped out as a “Truck Driver, Light 345” to Trieste Italy with the 88th Infantry Division from December 1946 to November 1947. This being the first United Nations conflict, their mission was to patrol along the “Italian-Austrian-Yugoslav” border (referred to as the “Morgan-Line”), and be present in case Yugoslavia tried to take the area by force, as they were threatening to do. He was awarded the following medals: European Theater of Operations; WWII Victory; Occupation Mediterranean Theater of Operations; and Good Conduct (we always wondered about that one!). He was discharged from the army in March 1948 from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg North Carolina. He later served in the Naval Reserve and twice turned down a full time military career as an officer and pilot for his mother and our Mom (his wife).

He continued his education through the GI Bill and graduated from the Academy of Aeronautics in New York City February 1951, and began working at Martin Aircraft Company in Baltimore, Maryland, assisting in the design of the bicycle type landing gear later used in Boeing’s B-47 and B-52 bombers.

He believed that Dorothy Lewis was God’s answer to his mother’s prayers on his behalf. He met her on a dare on July 1951 at a dance on a “moonlight-cruise” ship on the Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore Maryland.

They got engaged and were married in March 1952. “It turned out to be the best move I ever made in my entire life; not only was she beautiful on the outside, she was beautiful on the inside also. She became my ‘good right arm’, and I don’t know what I’d do without her. It’s a very good feeling to grow ‘old’ with someone you love. I don’t let a day go by without thanking HIM for bringing her and I together.”

December 1951 he quit Martin Aircraft Company in Baltimore and started a new job back home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at Thompson Products, where he worked on the J79 Jet Engine. Their first son Steven was born in December 1952; later daughter Sonya was born in April 1955 both in Hershey PA. He and his father built the first family house near Shellsville. They moved to Bluff City Tennessee in April of 1958 beginning work for Raytheon on Sparrow III air to air guided missiles for the military. Son John III was added to the family in March 1959 and Steven and Sonya started Elementary School. Dorothy also worked at the Raytheon plant and that is how Jack learned to change a dirty diaper from then four year old Sonya!

In June 1964 they moved to Nicholasville Kentucky when he first took a job with Wabco and later IBM’s new typewriter plant in Lexington. They built their second house in 1965 and have resided there since. In the mid to late 1960s he also worked part time for Bohmer Flying Service at Blue Grass Field and also soloed in a Cessna 150 (he still wanted to fly!) He was a Manufacturing Tooling Engineer for 24 years until he retired in 1990.

He was heavily involved with the Boy Scouts of America for seventeen years. He first was an Assistant Boy Scout Master in Tennessee and subsequently helped with Troop 97 at Faith Lutheran Church in Lexington until 1970. He then became Scoutmaster of Troop 347 in Nicholasville until 1975, taking over from the County Sheriff who used the program/troop to try to help boys in trouble. He was able to help a number of these boys turn their lives around and brightened the childhood of many more with scouting activities.

He enjoyed making things in his shop for his wife Dottie as well as the kids, the grandkids, the great-grandkids, even for the Church, and occasionally for friends. He made everything from numerous pieces of furniture still in daily use, to school projects, to home designed shop tools to make someone’s idea possible. He built the large alter cross hanging in Faith Lutheran Church and other church furnishings there, and once made a project for Bill Clinton’s campaign (even though he voted for the other guy!). His hobby was “… a labor of love.”

They put their children through their education and helped them start families of their own. His proudest moments were marrying Dottie and all the good times with: their three children Steven R. (Lorita J.) Cassel, Sr, Sonya April (Danny) Davis, John H. (Suzanne) Cassel III; four grandchildren April (Bobby)Ritchey, Danelle (Ryan) Owens, Steven R. (Krissy) Cassel II and Joanna Cassel; and six great-grandchildren (so far) Jacob, Landon and Beau Ritchey, Lincoln and Hollyn Cassel, and Luke Owens; extended family and friends.




Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until time of service on Monday at the funeral home. Funeral service will be held 3:00 PM, Monday at Betts & West Funeral Home, 404 North Main Street, Nicholasville Kentucky 40356. Burial will be in Bluegrass Memorial Gardens. Bearers will be Steven R. Cassel, II, Ryan Owens, Bobby Ritchey, John Cassel III, Jacob Ritchey and Landon Ritchey. Online guestbook at www.BettsandWestfuneralhome.com


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Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

22

Apr

1:00 PM 4/22/2019 1:00:00 PM - 3:00 PM 4/22/2019 3:00:00 PM
Betts & West Funeral Home

404 North Main Street
Nicholasville, KY 40356

Betts & West Funeral Home
404 North Main Street Nicholasville 40356 KY
United States

funeral

Monday

22

Apr

3:00 PM 4/22/2019 3:00:00 PM
Betts & West Funeral Home

404 North Main Street
Nicholasville, KY 40356

Betts & West Funeral Home
404 North Main Street Nicholasville 40356 KY
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Bluegrass Memorial Gardens Final Resting Place

Harrodsburg Road
Nicholasville, KY 40356

Harrodsburg Road Nicholasville 40356 KY
United States
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