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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Jane Fenner Cassidy, 90, former district administrator of the Guardian ad Litem Program for Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties

Jane Fenner Cassidy
Jane Fenner Cassidy

Jane Fenner Cassidy died at her home Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at the age of 90. She was born Nov. 3, 1927, in Oradell, New Jersey.

She was a graduate of Dwight Morrow High School and Vermont Junior College, NYU and Columbia University.

On Sept. 6, 1942, Jane was married to Edwin Joseph Cassidy. They had two children, Laura Vinci-Padlock and James Mathew Cassidy. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Deen Vinci, Sara Vinci, Ian Vinci, Ryan Cassidy and Kyle Cassidy; seven great-grandchildren, Elliott, Beni, Aiya, Gabriel, Layla, Ryu and Mayara; and daughter-in-law, Anastasia Cassidy-Knight.

At Jane’s request, there will be no funeral. Instead, her remains will be taken to Kennebunkport Maine, where her ashes will be joined with those loved ones who preceded her. These loved ones include, her husband, Ed; sister, Ginny; son, Jim, and Jim’s beloved dog. Her daughter Laura was buried by Sufi tradition in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Jane devoted her life and career to helping people. In her younger days, she worked in various medical and psychiatric hospitals in Connecticut, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. After her husband’s death in 1982, she moved to Wilmington, a place where she would love to call home for the remainder of her life.

It was in Wilmington where Jane began her final position as the district administrator of the Guardian ad Litem Program within the 13th Judicial District for Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties. This program provides trained volunteers to represent children who had been removed from their homes because of abuse and/or neglect and placed in foster care. The Guardians are the voice of the children as they move through the court system. Jane was passionate about her work with the Guardians, and shared her passion with an extraordinary group of volunteers. She retired from her work in 2014 and tributes much of her and the program’s success to three outstanding people: 1. Michelle Graham, who juggled the job, school and family without complaint. Michelle was upfront, hardworking and able to give advice, even if it was telling Jane that it was time for her to go take a break and have a cigarette. 2. Cheryl Frances, whose wisdom, kindness and honesty kept her boss in line on several occasions. 3. Jackie Williams, whose quick wit and passion for her job made it possible for her to do an outstanding job while having fun with it at the same time. Jane also recognized that she would not have made life’s journey as easily if it were not for the support of Nancy Seitz, a nurse and former volunteer of the program. Nancy became a member of Jane’s family when she stepped in on numerous occasions to help Jane through many difficult medical and personal struggles. Jane also fondly remembers Carol Nye and Patti Downer, both were volunteers with the Guardian ad Litem Program, and became dear friends.

After retirement, Jane lived in Wilmington with her granddaughter, Sara Vinci, and her husband, Brian Wasnock, and Jane’s two great-granddaughters, Elliott and Beni — in a home filled with love.

(The above was written by Jane Cassidy in June 2018.)

Jane Cassidy was a remarkably unique and strong woman, who positively impacted the lives of all who knew her. In Jane’s 90 years, she experienced all of life’s joys and sorrows. She found happiness in the everyday pleasures of life and in her numerous friendships. Jane did not believe in complaining or feeling sorry for oneself. She was a firm believer that despite the difficulties that come your way, nothing should prevent you from finding the joy in each day.

Jane was an avid reader, coffee drinking and cigarette smoker. She loved art and had accumulated quite a collection of local Wilmington Art in her home. Jane was a modern and progressive individual, who believed in the civil liberties of all humankind. She was incredibly thoughtful and generous; she often thought of the needs of others above her own. She was known for her habit of sending the perfect newspaper clipping to her friends and family. She was always the most impeccably dressed and always looked her best. Jane reveled in her independence, and drove up until a month before her death. She had a sharp mind and an amazing memory up until the day she died.

She will be dearly missed by her numerous family and friends.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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