Kathleen (Kathy) Ann Cassella passed away peacefully Sunday, March 26, 2023 at home surrounded by her loving family. She had to leave the arms of her adoring husband, but can now wrap her arms around her son Lawrence once more.
Kathleen was born and raised in Herkimer, NY. She was the eldest child of Lawrence and Margaret Ciano. As a young girl she enjoyed riding bikes with her friends, and listening to the music of Roy Orbison. She was a high school cheerleader and a dedicated and responsible student. Following high school, Kathleen attended the University of Albany, and the Utica School of Commerce. She went on to spend over 30 years working for the Herkimer County Clerk’s office as a senior clerk. She was committed and loyal to every role she took on. But her favorite role was yet to come, that of wife and mother.
Kathy met Richard (Dick) Cassella one sunny summer day, and he was instantly lovestruck―but Kathy took a little convincing. She would later tell her children that she only gave him a chance because she liked the smell of his cologne. A lucky thing for him, this sealed his fate. He and Kathy were wed in the summer of 1966 at the Mohawk Valley Country Club. This was no small affair either, since, according to Kathy, her future mother-in-law kept inviting more and more people. There were three hundred and fifty people in a place that could only hold two hundred. Everyone wanted to be part of the love story of Dick and Kathy. This incredible tale endured for 56 years; in spite of life’s many ups and downs, and because of an everlasting ability to love unconditionally. Their bond would serve as a model for so many people that knew and loved them both.
Kathleen loved to take country drives with her husband Dick. On a hot summer day you may have seen them chasing windmills on the outskirts of town, or cruising along the West Canada with the windows down. Soon enough, Kathy took on the role she was born to play; that of a faithful and adoring mother. She would go on to bear six dynamic and spirited children. They were truly Kathy’s pride and joy. She loved her children fiercely, and dedicated her life to raising them. She was a compassionate and patient mother. She taught her children what it meant to be confident, hardworking, and most of all, kind. She taught them how to work hard for what they wanted out of life, and how to forgive themselves for mistakes along the way. She led by example. No obstacle was ever too big to be overcome with Kathy’s strong will and determination. She was a force of nature, a true matriarch.
Knowing Kathy as a mother was a beautiful thing; but getting to know her as a grandmother was truly a blessing. She was graced with eleven beautiful grandchildren that continue to carry on her legacy of love. Jared, Adam, Julia, Ally, Justin, Polina, Anthony, Louie, Joey, Anya, and Pasqualina have been the light of her life. From the minute the very first was born, she embraced the role of Nani. To her grandchildren she was Nani; a word that would become synonymous with love. All eleven agree that her cooking was unrivaled; her cookies and hugs could cure any sadness. It was the time Kathy spent with her husband, children, and grandchildren that mattered most to her. She loved the ocean. Some of her fondest memories were of days spent in Surfside Beach, South Carolina, with her toes in the surf, and her precious family all around her.
Kathy’s spirit will forever live on. Not only through her immediate and immense family, but through each and every life that she touched in her seventy-six years on this earth. A spirit like hers is not one that will fade into the background. It will continue to be a beacon of light for all who knew and loved her.
Kathy leaves behind her loving husband of 56 years, Dick Cassella, her children; Rick (Donna) Cassella, Gina (David) Kirkpatrick, Mike (Katya) Cassella, Katie (Tony) Caldaroni, Maggie Cassella (Eric Rusilas) and son-in-law Billy Clark. She also leaves her siblings Larry and Dianne Ciano, Ann Lee and Steve Ponte, Margaret and Dave Cabral and the countless friends that Kathy considered family. They take comfort in knowing that she is reunited once again with her son Larry.
Family and friends may pay their respects at the Vincent A. Enea Funeral Service, (next to Hannaford Markets), 527 E. Albany Street, Herkimer 315-866-1500 on Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 5-7pm. Funeral service will be held on Friday, March 31, 2023, at 10am at St. Francis de Sales in Herkimer where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Thomas Babiuch, officiating and assisted by Deacon Ron Ste Marie. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Herkimer.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.