By Tara Jeffrey
This is the first in a series of tributes to local residents lost to COVID-19 during the current pandemic.
Peter Cassel, 78. Died May 5, 2020
Peter Cassel wasn’t able to see his family the morning he died.
“COVID prevented us from being there to hold his hand,” says daughter Leanne Cassel-Jack. “But the staff at Vision Nursing Home were fabulous. They allowed us to FaceTime him, and we had a chance to say goodbye and see his wonderful smile one last time.”
She describes him as ‘an incredible father.’
“He loved to laugh and have a good time. He made sure we had the best childhood — taking us skiing, whitewater rafting, helping us with homework, boating, and just always being there to support us.”
Peter left behind his beloved wife of 57 years, Beverly, and their three children Lisa (Brent) Alkema, Bradley (Amanda) Cassel and Leanne, along with his sons-in-law, grandkids, and a great-grandson.
A passionate educator and ‘civic booster,’ the longtime Corunna resident devoted his career to education, filling roles as teacher, principal and superintendent before retiring in 1994. He also worked in specialty roles for the Ministry of Education, helped get the ball rolling on the historic Moore Sports Complex, and worked tirelessly for two decades to make the St. Clair River Trail come to fruition.
Peter twice sought the nomination as an Ontario PC party candidate.
“Peter worked tirelessly for his students and community, but above all, he treasured his family,” his obituary reads. “He leaves behind a strong legacy of respect, kindness, integrity and commitment for all who knew him.”
Peter battled Alzheimer’s disease for six years.
“Hopefully, next summer, when it is safe,” Leanne says, “We’ll all get together to celebrate the wonderful man that he was.”
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