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A Tribute to My Amazing Father-in-Law

Greg and his dad on our wedding day May 28, 1994. He officiated our ceremony and wrote our vows.

Last Saturday was like any other Saturday for our family. I went to work in the pharmacy for a few hours. Greg, our 11 year old daughter, and Dad Cassidy went to the two flea markets in town. They do that every Saturday, no matter what the weather.

They picked up lunch at KFC and ate at home with Greg’s mom. Everything was totally normal. He seemed happy as ever. He has had some health issues in recent years, but had them under perfect control. He had not been sick or complaining of any problems.

Forty minutes or so after Greg got home, his mom called and said, “Dad’s sick. Y’all need to come.” I got in my van right away and drove to their house, which is just around the block from us. Greg followed me a minute later.

Dad Cassidy had told her he felt nauseous. She had asked about calling 911, but he thought he would be okay, that it was just indigestion.

When I got there, he wasn’t breathing. I couldn’t find a pulse. I got a neighbor and he and Greg got his dad to the floor so I could start CPR until the paramedics arrived. Seven first responders worked feverishly on him for over 45 minutes but – he was gone. Just like that – in the blink of an eye – he “stepped out into eternity.” (He often used that phrase in his gospel presentations as he encouraged people to be prepared because we never know what moment may be our last.)

It was his appointed time for him to go home to see his beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, face-to-face on August 4, 2018 around 1:45pm.

His funeral is Tuesday, August 7, at 3:00pm.

Granddaddy Cassidy holding our son in 2002.

It’s been quite a shock to all of us that he is gone so suddenly. We are sad. We miss him already so much! But how we rejoice because we know where he is – singing and praising the Lord in heaven with so many other believers in Christ who have gone on before that he loved. We can’t possibly be sad for him. But whew! This part is hard.

We are confident that the Lord will sustain us and we will also seek to help each other through this time of grief. Things are going to be very different for all of us who are left behind. Especially for Greg’s mom, but also for Greg, and for our children.

Greg was extremely close to his dad and so were our kids. Greg’s parents have always watched our children when I work in the pharmacy one day per week. And most Friday nights, they like to sleep over at their Cassidy grandparents’ house.

Dad Cassidy has been a pastor for over 54 years and he and Mom Cassidy would have had their 55th wedding anniversary later this month. They had such a strong relationship. How thankful we all are for them both!

We were not prepared for him to leave us that day. But he got to spend his last day doing things he loved with people he loved. He didn’t miss one Sunday in the pulpit and was active up until his very last moments. That is definitely the way he would have wanted things. We are so thankful he didn’t suffer very long.

Granddaddy Cassidy baptized both of our children.

Dad Cassidy bought a used Bible for $1 a few hours before he passed and told Greg about his plan for his sermon the next day. He highlighted Daniel 12:2-3 as his text:

Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

He also happened to buy 6 boxes of Kleenex. They were a great deal. Three for $1. His family will be putting these tissues to use in the coming weeks as we grieve, as we reminisce, and as we celebrate the life of this man we all loved so dearly. And we will also meditate on the passage that he planned to use in his lesson the next day that he never got to teach. What a fitting passage.

Dr. Pete Cassidy touched thousands and thousands of lives with the gospel and the love of Jesus. He spent countless hours visiting anyone who was sick in his church, helping to take care of maintenance issues at church and at the homes of widows. He was extremely generous toward everyone. He was faithful to the Word of God. He was faithful to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was faithful to his wife and family. And he was a faithful shepherd of every church he pastored.

He always made sure to speak to everyone in the room and had an uncanny ability to remember people’s names and all kinds of information about them – and retain that information for years. He seemed rather baffled that none of us could do quite as well with that. He had a photographic memory and could read a whole book in a few hours and remember everything. Dad Cassidy was active in our neighborhood association and in many city committees. He simply loved the Lord, loved his family, loved his church, and loved his community. Loving people by humbly serving them was his favorite thing to do.

One of the things we all will remember most is his joy. Dad Cassidy was a man who smiled a lot. He loved to tell jokes and stories. He had the most beautiful whistle and was often whistling or singing gospel songs and hymns as he walked or as he worked on projects around the house or at church. He enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. His was truly a life well-lived.

Please pray for our family and for his current church family as they grieve, as well, and as they search for a new pastor. Pray most of all that the Lord will be greatly glorified in Dad Cassidy’s death and in our family as we seek to shine for Jesus in this time of trial. We long to see many come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord even through Dad Cassidy’s death. There is nothing he would like better than that!

 

Greg and Dad Cassidy spent hundreds and hundreds of hours working on renovating our house. They loved to work on projects together – whether it was at our house, one of his rental properties, or his church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

38 thoughts to “A Tribute to My Amazing Father-in-Law”

  1. Am praying for you all at this time. What a wonderful testimony his life is and all the wonderful things He has done that is know passed onto grandchildren that can share with there grandchildren one day in the future . I pray God gives you all peace and love that will surround you all for weeks and the months to come as you grieve this wonderful Man of God.
    One day you all will meet again and you will be able to see his smile and hear that whistling again. God bless you all

  2. April, my sincere condolences to you, Greg, Greg’s mom and your entire family. May God fill your hearts with peace while you deal with the sorrow. May the wonderful memories and certainly that he is in a better place, keep you going. It is clear you were all blessed to have Dad Cassis in your lives.

  3. What a legacy and loving Father and grandfather. All the good memories are within you and him and he took them with him. He is still the same person as will you and your family be when you go home. I cannot think of a better peace than knowing where someone goes when they die. To know Jesus as savior, well if you are absent from your body…. you are eternally present with him. God will bring peace to your heart even though you miss him and grieve. It is normal because this was never God’s plan but eternity is your next step too so I rejoice in who God blessed you with in your family. May it make us all the more ready to serve, to write that last sermon, tell that neighbor or friend of Jesus… the times are getting shorter.

    Prayers and love in Jesus to you all. His peace you know and He will carry you all. Don’t be surprised at the ways God can move supernaturally in your life after a loved one goes home. Document and journal what God shows you. He is so close and He comforts us with His great love. Love Terri

  4. I was touched by your beautiful memorial tribute to your Father-in-law. His life and his preaching of God’s Word and living it touched so many. His legacy will continue in your life and others he has influenced so deeply. May God comfort you in your loss and your memories bring joy to your heavy hearts.

  5. Beautiful tribute. My condolences April. You are one strong woman to be able to write this. Very touching. Prayers for you and your family.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I pray that you and Greg will experience the peace that surpasses understanding as you mourn his passing. Losing a loved one stinks but the Lord will sustain you.

  7. Bringing me to tears in a beautiful way..thank you for honoring this man of God .His legacy is one of love for his family and for God..what a blessing.

  8. I was touched by your father in laws testimony and his heart for the Lord. It is encouraging to see such a faithful man of God and how he used his time wisely to serve God and others. I will be praying for you and your family today and in the days ahead as you grieve his loss. Much love to you all!!

  9. Sincere condolences to you and your family. What a beautiful testimony of life! Thank you for sharing.
    I pray that the Lord will guard your hearts in peace

  10. Thank you for sharing so much about Greg’s dear father and the wonderful man he was! I don’t even know him and yet the tears are just coming down on behalf of all of you and the profound loss you are suffering at this time. What a testimony he had and what an impact on the lives of all those he has touched. May the Lord be with all of you and sustain you at this time. And may the spiritual impact of Greg’s Dad continue to be felt for years to come through those whose lives he has touched.

  11. Praying for you and your family, April. The text that he chose for “tomorrow” was just beautiful. And he was able to teach it to me and others through you. How comforting. Sending a hug ( )

  12. April and family, I’m so sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. I can tell he was an amazing man. It’s so comforting to know he is rejoicing and praising the Lord right now. I will be praying for you all.

  13. May God give you the peace that surpasses all understanding as you grieve the loss of this man who knows and loves God and Jesus and is now receiving his reward to be with them forever. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

  14. I am so very sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful pastor and man. He will be missed dearly. Praying for this family and his Church families to give them peace and everything else they need during this time in their lives. God Bless You All

  15. Oh, April! Your loving tribute had me in tears. Like many others here please allow me to express my sympathy and condolences to your entire family.
    While we can try to be happy for your wonderful father in law and the joy he knows now, for those of you left behind it it a rough time indeed.
    Prayers for your comfort and divine guidance through this dark time.

  16. So sorry for your loss, but I’m thrilled for your father in law. Face to face with Jesus….there are no words for that…

  17. April, that was a beautiful tribute you wrote about your father in law. I am deeply sorry for your family’s loss. It is never easy losing someone, even harder when it is unexpected. You and your sweet family will be in my prayers for awhile. The good Lord will be giving you signs that your father in law is safely at Home with Him.

  18. My deepest condolences on your sad loss,and may ””””’father,son and Holy spirit sustain all your family at this sad time,God Bless,”
    Alaine Crowwder
    sydney
    Australia

  19. April
    I feel like I met your wonderful Father in law through your beautiful story. I bet he is smiling from heaven. We find comfort knowing our loved ones are in a better place even though we miss them being here with us.
    Continuing to pray for your family
    Much love,
    Tina

  20. I remember Elmore (Pete) from Hartsville High School. I graduated in 1961 & he in 1962. There were several of us, including another classmate, Marion Watkins, who absolutely loved Southern Gospel Music. Many Sunday afternoons, we could be found in one of the churches in town where a “singing convention” was being held. It didn’t matter what denomination was hosting the event. It really didn’t matter that most of the musicians/singers were not “that good.” What mattered was that even as teenagers, we were always asked to sing – and we did!

    He was a tall, “skinny” guy with a huge laugh and so talented! One year, Elmore, another classmate & I entered the HHS annual Talent Contest. I even remember the song we sung (which none of you will probably remember) – “CROSS OVER THE BRIDGE,” accompanied on the piano by Marlene Collins Dalrymple. Elmore wore black pants & tie, white shirt & red blazer. Doris & I wore black skirts, white blouses & red “neckerchiefs.” We came in second, won $50 and divided it among the four of us. (The girl who won was an accomplished baton twirler.)

    I was singing in a Southern Gospel Trio, The Accents, when Elmore invited us to give a concert at the church he was currently pastoring, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, right outside of Dillon, SC. Over the years, we lost contact. Every so often, I’d run into his brother, Ray, here in town & he would update me on where Elmore was pastoring. I wish I could have heard him preach. I’ve read all the comments about what a terrific pastor he was and I believe every one of them.

    My husband, church family & I will continue to pray for his family and church family.

  21. I grew up in Latta and remember Ann well. I have heard Pastor Pete preach and sing in the past. What a wonderful family you are a part of. So sad for this unexpected loss. Praise God for his strong faithfulness to our Lord and Savior. Please share my love with Ann.Love in Christ, Cathy Morrison Gregory, class of ’64 at LHS.

    1. Cathy Morrison Gregory,

      How wonderful to get to hear from you! I will have to let Ann know that you shared with me. She will be happy. Yes, I am so thankful to be part of the Cassidy family and to be Dr. Pete’s daughter-in-law. It has been an honor. God is truly carrying us all and pouring out His love and peace on us. We have been overwhelmed with the kindness, love, prayers, encouragement, and support from so many friends in the church and communities where the Cassidys have lived.

      Much love to you!

  22. So sorry for your loss, April. How old was your Father-in-Law? It’s great that He’s with the Lord, but very sad when loved ones leave, especially so suddenly.

    1. Anna,

      Thank you so much. <3

      He was 74. We are very happy for him. He is having a ball! But, it is sad for us who are here. There is quite a hole left in our family, his church, and our community. He was extremely active and touched so many lives.

      Much love!

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