Dr. Jack Cassidy, 80

March 12, 1941 - May 22, 2021

Dr. Jack Cassidy passed away after a 13 year battle with cancer. He was born in Philadelphia on March 12, 1941. He was the son of the late Helen Powelson Cassidy and William J. Cassidy. After graduating from Abington High School and Gettysburg College, he completed his masters and Ph.D. at Temple University. First serving as a teacher, reading specialist, and reading supervisor in PA, HI, and DE, he began teaching at Millersville University. After 20 years there he retired and began teaching at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi where he eventually became Associate Dean retiring in 2011. He was granted Emeritus status at both institutions.

Jack was elected President of many professional associations in literacy, the most prominent being the International Reading Association (IRA). In that role, he got to travel and present in many countries and states. He was also elected president of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (ALER) and he received many awards from that organization. Often traveling with his wife Drew, he went to all 50 states and 50 countries in his role as president of the two organizations. He was also a founding father of two state IRA associations- the Texas Association for Literacy Education (TALE) and. DSRA (the Diamond State Reading Association in DE), and he served as president of both those organizations. Several awards are named in his honor. In 2010, he was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame considered the highest honor for those in his field. He also received many other awards including the PA Teacher Educator of the Year and the IRA Special Service Award. For over 20 years, he was listed in Who’s Who in America.

Having met as teachers in Hawaii, Jack was married to the love of his life Drewcilla Brown for 53 years. For many years, they had a vacation condo on the island of Kauai where they met, and they would return there as often as possible. Jack has two wonderful sons, Jeff, married to Kari Santino of Lancaster, and Kyle, married to Amanda Marshall, also of Lancaster. For the last year of his life, he lived with Kyle and his family. He also has three awesome grandchildren (Ellamay, Jack and Graceyn.) Every 5 years, the whole family returned to Hawaii where it all began many years before. Another significant person in Jack’s life was his younger sister Gail Tallant although he often claimed that she was his older sister. He said how lucky he was to have had her in his life. With her husband Josh Tallant, Jack and Drew took many enjoyable cruises to various parts of the world.

After he retired for the second time, he began playing duplicate bridge. His partners and opponents in both San Antonio, TX and Lancaster, PA became wonderful friends.

Jack was the author of many textbooks and professional articles. For over 20, years, he conducted an often cited yearly study, “What’s Hot in Literacy.” He would present his findings yearly and would conclude his professional presentations on the topic saying, “On my tombstone will be written – he was hot, now he’s not.”
The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Jack Cassidy Memorial Scholarship Fund to be administered by the Texas Association for Literacy Education.!form/JackCassidy

Dr. Cassidy’s family will receive friends from 2:00 to 3:30 PM on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at the Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory, 441 North George Street, Millersville, PA 17551. Services and interment will be private.

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Condolences to the Family

June 01, 2021

My condolences to you all.
B.J. Humphreys

May 30, 2021

Jack was our (Mary and Tony Applegate) Big Brother at Temple who became not only our mentor but dear friend! We always looked forward to getting together at conferences; we fondly remember our get together in Lancaster! We grieve with hope!

May 29, 2021

I am so sadden for your loss, Drew. Sending you loving thoughts and prayers. I know Jack is resting in Peace and lovingly holding you in his heavenly arms.
💕Marilyn Mackinnon

May 28, 2021

Jack was an amazing person with an amazing wife and incredible family. He had a wonderful impact on the world and so many people  that were lucky enough to know him. He will be missed dearly but his memory lives in all of us ❤️ All my love to his beautiful family 
Jennifer Ackerman

May 28, 2021

Dr. Cassidy was foundational to my development as an educator and I would not be who I am today without his influence. My condolences to his family and friends.
Sarah Dutton

May 27, 2021

Sorry to hear of Jack’s passing .
Lee A Holloway

May 27, 2021

My condolences to the family of Dr. Cassidy.  He was a wonderful teacher and reading advocate.  I learned so much from him during our TSRA/IRA time.
Norma De La Rosa

May 27, 2021

Knowing Jack meant knowing his contagious smile and overflowing energy.  It was an honor to be a colleague of his at MU.My love and sympathy go to Drew and Jack’s family.
Dennis Denenberg

May 27, 2021

Great legacy and great family.
Reno Domenico

May 26, 2021

Drew and Family…
My thoughts are with you at this difficult moment in your Family’s Life !
Nancy Camp

Sunday, June 06, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
441 North George Street
Millersville, PA 17551
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