Lee Cassella passed away peacefully at his home in Poway, California, on March 11, 2013. He left his life as he lived his life, with ease and grace, surrounded by his loved ones.
Born Liberato Cassella on June 29, 1924, in Hamden, CT, to Michael and Angela Maria (Sagnella) Cassella, Lee graduated from both Dixwell Grammar School ('38) and Hamden High School ('42) with honors. A WWII
veteran, Lee served in the Army
Air Corps in India and was honorably discharged with awards in 1946. A Connecticut Scholar, Lee was an honors graduate, class of 1950, of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He graduated from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Dentistry, the Alpha Omega Scholar for number one standing in the class of 1955. After 13 years of general practice in Hamden, CT, he returned to Penn Dental Medicine, receiving a postgraduate specialty in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He practiced oral surgery in Hamden, CT, until his retirement in 1987. During his distinguished career, Lee served as an attending Oral Surgeon at Yale-New Haven and St. Raphael's Hospitals, Assistant Clinical Professor of Oral Surgery at Yale School of Medicine, Vice President of the New England Dental Society, Treasurer and Secretary of the New Haven Dental Association, a Member of the Connecticut State and American Dental Associations, the American Dental Society of Anesthesia, the International Association for Maxillofacial Surgery, and New England Regional Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He was a Fellow of the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Royal Society of Health and a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.
Lee married Rita Rose Ives in West Haven, CT, in 1949. They were happily married for 44 years. Upon Rita's passing, he married Joan Jansen in 1998, who he loved and cherished up to the time of his passing.
Lee is preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Angela (Mary) Cassella and his first wife, Rita Rose Cassella. He is survived by his wife, Joan of Poway, CA; four children, Carol Cassella, Dona Cassella Michael (Angela) Cassella and Lynne (Michael) Cassella-Blackburn; five stepchildren, Edward (Josalani) Jansen, James (Judy) Jansen, Lorrie Louman, Bill (Becky) Jansen and Steve (Joanne) Jansen; sisters, Anne (Jack) Riccio and Evelyn (Peter) Schulam; grandchildren, Luci Lee Cassella, Soren Cassella-Blackburn, Renee Racine, Robert Racine and Misha Cassella-Blackburn; and step-grandchildren, Tammy Louman, Christina Louman, Lauren Jansen, Paula Hartley, Thomas Jansen, Jeremy Louman, Alex Jansen, Jessica Jansen, Christian Jansen, Keanna Jansen, Kevin Jansen, Stefany Jansen and Karenna Jansen.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at 10:30am at Saint Gabriel's Catholic Church in Poway, CA, with a reception to follow. Lee will be interred at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, CA, in a private family service.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested a donation in Lee's name to Saint Gabriel's Catholic Church in Poway, CA. Condolences may be left and guestbook signed at www.powaybernardomortuary.net