Nature 35

Kathleen (Donovan) Cassara

December 1, 1928 ~ June 10, 2020 (age 91)


Kathleen (Mickey) Cassara went to her eternal reward on June 10, 2020.  Born on December 1, 1928 in New York City, she was the daughter of Richard and Kathleen Donovan.

Kathleen loved her family, friends and Catholic faith with every ounce of her being.

She is preceded in death by her husband Howard Steele and husband Sal Cassara, an infant daughter, her daughter Doris A. Steele Barton, her stepdaughter Patty Cassara, and her sister Charlotte Reynolds.

Kathleen is survived by her four grandsons, Ray Newkirk (AnneMarie), Charles Newkirk, Tom Newkirk (Kelly), Dale Steele (Jennifer), one granddaughter, Wendy Steele-Lawrence (Eric), her sister Patty Reynolds (Tom), brother-in-law Frank Reynolds, 12 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, as well as numerous friends.

A pillar of the St. John Neumann Catholic Church community for over 30 years, Kathleen served as sacristan for over 20 of those years before retiring from that volunteer position.  For a number of years, well into her late 60s, daily she walked the 4 miles from her apartment to the church to open the doors for Daily Mass as well as for the Saturday Vigil Mass and Sunday Mass.  After she unlocked the church doors and performed the sacristan duties, she would go to her pew and begin her daily prayers for the next few hours before Mass began, going through all her prayer cards and praying her rosary.  She was noted for the number of rosaries she prayed each day for individuals she knew and those she did not know.  Kathleen had a huge heart, giving the food in her hand to the stranger in need and giving her last dollar to someone. 

Her sparkling eyes and genuine smile always made you feel welcomed not only to church but into her life.  A perfect example of simplicity and humility, Kathleen touched many lives and will be dearly missed.  May her legacy live on in her family, friends and the people of St. John Neumann Catholic Church.

Due to the Covid-19 virus, a private funeral Mass will be held for the family at St. John Neumann Catholic Church and can be live-streamed via the St. John Neumann Facebook or YouTube page.  Interment of her ashes will be at Calvary Cemetery in New York City.  A celebration of Kathleen’s life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 8451 Idlewild Road, Charlotte, NC 28227.

Rest in peace sweet Kathleen.

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