NAPLES, Fla. – Dessa T. Cassens was born Aug. 8, 1937, in Dixon, and died Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Naples, Fla.
Her parents were Forrest and Louise Trautwein, and she was the fourth generation to live in the 105 E. Boyd St. house. Dessa attended North Central School in Dixon, Dixon High School, and Indiana University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in medical record librarianship. She practiced her profession at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and then at Mendota State Hospital in Madison, Wis., and consulted locally.
Dessa is survived by her husband, Robert G. Cassens; their two children, Martha Elise and Martin Edward (married to Kristen Luoma); and their only grandchild, Madelyn Beatrice.
Prior to their children being born, Bob graduated from the University of Wisconsin in biochemistry/muscle biology. They lived for a year in Australia on a Fulbright Scholarship, and then traveled the world on their way home, creating a foundation of international, lasting friendships.
Dessa raised the children, loved to entertain friends, started a small antiques business specialized in American pewter, and was active in the Pewter Collectors Club of America, before her disability made travel difficult. Nonetheless, she liked to laugh, and always had that irresistible smile on her face. Dessa made sure the children were well-schooled, attended church, participated in sports, had many good friends, and respected their heritage. Major enjoyment was had by the family as they canoe-camped and skied together.
Dessa loved people and the flag of the USA. She had to have flowers in the house. When we moved to Florida, her favorite flower was the orchid, with the bromeliad second. She was active in the National Ski Patrol, PEO, DAR, GYRO, PIYC, Daughters of Demeter, Girl Scouts, and the Republican Party.
Dessa’s genealogical interest, inherited from her mother, resulted in a book titled “John Hughes and My Other Quaker Ancestors.” At this time, another book, dedicated to Dessa and her mother, is “in press,” and under the title “BREWSTER LETTERS The Joys and Trials of a Pioneering Family from Maine to Illinois 1820 to 1906, and subsequently.” Many trips were made to Wales, Pennsylvania, and Maine to search records, find tombstones, and locate family farms and homes. She believed in God and loved all of her friends. She will rest in peace at Palmyra Cemetery near Dixon, amongst several generations of ancestors.
Visitation will be from noon to 1 p.m. Friday and the funeral at 1 p.m. Friday at Sugar Grove Church in Dixon, with the Rev. Mike Jones, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Dixon, officiating. Burial will be at Palmyra Cemetery. Jones Funeral Home in Dixon is handling arrangements.
Donations may be made to Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church (music program) in Naples, or to The Salvation Army.
Visit www.thejonesfh.com to send condolences.