Donald Cassin of Bristol died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on November 15, 2012. Born in Chelsea, MA on Oct. 12, 1930, he was the son of the late Pearl Ridings and the late Walter Cassin. He was the beloved husband of Rosemarie (Cuscito) Cassin for 58 years. Don graduated from Bristol High School then attended Mitchell College and the University of Connecticut before enlisting in the United States Navy and served during the Korean War. After serving his country, Don's work experience began in a family business. He eventually opened his own business in Bristol better known as Don Cassin Shoe Tree located at the former Bristol Centre Mall. Don also had a long distinguished political career. He served three terms on the Bristol City Council, was a member of the Bristol Development Authority, served as the Chairman for the Democratic Town Committee, and was a member of the local Draft Board, to name a few. At the state level, Don served as an assistant clerk in the state legislature, followed by his appointment as Clerk of the Senate and finally in 1982 was appointed an Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of Administrative Services. Later that year, Don was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Works under the Department of Administrative Services. On July 1, 1987 the Bureau of Public Works was made into the Department of Public Works where Don was named its first Commissioner by Governor William O'Neill. During his four-year tenure as Commissioner, the department was hailed as a progressive public sector construction company and recognized with awards and honors from both private and public sector industry leaders. Among some of his accomplishments were the design and construction of the Gampel Pavilion at the University of Connecticut as well as other countless projects for educational facilities, prison expansion, judicial buildings, Department of Developmental Services group homes and Department of Motor Vehicles offices. In 1991 Don left state government, returned to Bristol and served as the assistant director of Public Works and then a consultant in the private sector. His commitment to the community dates back over forty years. He sponsored the Bristol Cassin's Baseball Team in the Hartford Twilight League, the Mets of the Edgewood Little League and The Cassin's Semi Pro Basketball Team of the New England Basketball Association. He served as a director on the boards of the American School for the Deaf, State Board of Mental Health, Wheeler Clinic, New England Carousel Museum, Tunxis Community College, Lincoln College formerly known as Briarwood College where he earned an Honorary Doctorate Degree. He was a corporator of Bristol Hospital, a committee member of the Nutmeg Games and member of the Bristol Tramps, BPOE, UNICO, and active in the Bristol Civic Theater. Don is survived by his daughter Barbara Cassin and close family friend Mary Sue Owens of Colchester, his son Thomas Cassin and his wife Patricia and his son Christopher Cassin and his wife Catherine as well as his five beloved grandchildren, David, Elizabeth, Michael, William and Ryan; two brothers, Roger Cassin of Brookline, MA and Jeffery Cassin of Estero, FL, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The family wants to extend their sincere gratitude to Bristol Hospice and Synergy Health Care for their dedicated and compassionate caregivers.
Funeral services will be held at Funk Funeral Home at 35 Bellevue Avenue, Bristol, Monday afternoon, Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. with internment to follow at Peacedale Cemetery on James P. Casey Road in Bristol. Following the internment all family and friends are invited to the Cassin residence in Bristol. Shiva will be observed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 6 at the Cassin residence. In lieu of flowers, contributions should be made to American School for the Deaf, 139 North Main Street, West Hartford CT 06107, Bristol Adult Resource Center, P.O Box 726, Bristol, CT 06011-0726, or the Main Street Community Foundation, 200 Main Street, Bristol, CT 06010.