Everett F. "Ev" Cassagneres
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CHESHIRE - Everett "Ev" Cassagneres, 84, passed away Monday, July 2, at his home in Cheshire.

Born to Eugene and Alta (Bryan)Cassagneres on Feb. 7, 1928, in New Haven, Ev grew up in the Westville neighborhood, spending summers at White Silver Sands near Tweed Airport in East Haven.

Ev is survived by his former wife of 39 years, Eline O. Nikkels; their two children, Bryan Ev Cassagneres with his wife, Leslie, of Vancouver, Washington, and Kirsten Salvador with her husband, Neville, of Los Angeles, California. He leaves five beloved grandchildren, Hannah and Bryce Cassagneres, Jonathan, Christopher and Zachary Salvador. Ev is also survived by his eldest daughter, Debbie Cassagneres, of Jeannette, Pa. He will be missed by his dear companion and dancing partner, Virginia "Ginger" Mountjoy, of Avon. After Hillhouse High School, class of 1947, Ev launched a varied and colorful life as a racing cyclist and coach, design draftsman, licensed pilot, aerial photographer, Ryan aircraft and Lindbergh historian, genealogist, dancer in ballroom, Scottish, English country and contra dancing, bodhran player, classical and bluegrass music lover, photographer, model builder, and outdoor adventurer, enjoying hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, sailing, canoeing, swimming and rock climbing. His career as an engineer/senior draftsman began in the aviation industry, moved into research, factory design and production. For many years with Westcott & Mapes Architects and Engineers in New Haven Ev was draftsman and chief corporate pilot. He worked on the first rockets for outer space with Johns-Hopkins University and on the design of the Heavy Ion Accelerator at Yale. He later established Aero-Draft, consulting for Yale in plant engineering, documenting the plumbing and HVAC systems throughout the university and medical campuses. Ev combined his loves of flying and photography to form Bluebird Aerial Photography, using his classic 1953 Cessna 170B, tail-wheel airplane.

Some of Ev's most notable accomplishments are: Seven-time CT state cycling champion; national undefeated 200-mile record holder. Author, researcher, and expert on Charles A. Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis airplane. Ev personally knew Lindbergh and his family. He wrote five books on Ryan airplanes, the last two comprising the complete history of the Spirit of St. Louis from its conception to its place in the Smithsonian. Piloted rare 1936 Ryan ST, the only survivor of five that were built, and became the pre-eminent authority on these classic airplanes. Ev flew more models of Ryan airplanes than any other pilot. As "Solo the Flying Clown" Ev flew in air shows in the northeast. His was the first flying clown comedy act at the world famous Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York. He flew several of Rhinebeck's early aircraft. For one summer, Ev was a wing-walker atop the wing of a 1941 Stearman PT-17 biplane. Served honorably in the U.S. Army's First Cavalry Division, infantry, on the front lines of the Korean conflict, and was awarded two Purple Hearts.

Arrangements- A funeral service for Ev will be held Friday, July 13, at The Alderson Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St., at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in the State Veteran Cemetery, Bow Lane, Middletown. Calling hours will be held Thursday, July 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Donations in his name may be made to New Haven Country Dancers, c/o George Thomson, 168 Ridge Road, North Haven CT 06473. To view these arrangements online, send a condolence or light a memorial candle, please visit


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Published in Plainville Citizen on Jul. 10, 2012.
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19 entries
July 4, 2021
Everett,my memories of you will be cherished forever as a person like you should be cherished for all that you've accomplished and how you've touched us all -a fine gentlemen, and god must surely be holding you in his hands and saying what a great person you are and are missed by all. May you rest in peace,my friend,we all miss you and take comfort in having known such a man like yourself.
stephen p. mulligan
July 3, 2019
Everett, I still think so fondly of you, because you were such a fine gentleman and so facinating to converse with. You were so passionate about your research on Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis. You had such an exceptional and full life-I never met such a wonderful man in my life!. When I read all the things you did, I was so amazed!. I remember the time you stopped over at
my house and my mom asked if you'd like to stay for lunch-you were busy, but I twisted your arm a bit and told you my moms'
cheeseburgers were good!. You relented and stayed for her cheeseburger and ice tea. Your eyes lit up and tucked into it, enjoying every bite. Such a great person.
stephen mulligan
January 7, 2013
Our dearest Ev,
As all of your friends begin a new year 2013, we remember what treasures you gave us all throughout your life. It has been six months since you left my life; I think of you daily as I drive down the street or hear squealing tires around the corner. I miss you dearly and will always cherish your friendship and teachings.
August 27, 2012
Just to let you know, I still think of you often,as you made my life brighter for having you be part of it. Yes, I'm burning this candle for YOU, My dearest friend from days gone by but never to be forgotten.. remember this.. I'll STILL remember YOU, Everett, when I come to be where You and Joe are now... so don't blow out the candle.. ok?? lol..
In remembrance .....
Phyllis Kopylec
July 21, 2012
We met in the 50's and had some great flights in the Ryan. We will miss you old freind.
James young
July 16, 2012
Ev was a wonderful dancer and a great friend to me on the dance floor. He will be missed so much. My condolences to the entire family including Ginger.
Linda Daley
July 15, 2012
Ev was a good friend to me for many years and passed to me many valuble lessons in life. You are in my prayers always. Semper Fidelis old man.
Sean Murphy
July 13, 2012
Ev was my dad's best friend - I grew up hearing incredible stories of their exploits together. It is my pleasure indeed to have known him.
Ethan Eilertsen
July 12, 2012
To Ev's Family;
You all have my deepest heartfelt condolences. Ev & I shared many flying stories together at the airport and his home. He was a remarkable pilot and will be sorely missed by his pilot friends.
Paul Merola
July 12, 2012
My sincere condolences to your family, I met your Dad briefly. What a kind, gentle spirit. I feel truly blessed, I could only imagine the blessings you as his family have had over the years. May your strength in our Lord carry you through this time. Sincerely, Leola LeVack
Leola LeVack
July 11, 2012
Everett, I didn't forget you this past week when you came to my husband's wake, and I will never forget the cherished friendship we had back before "life", for us, was our marriages and families. Altho we lost contact, we didn't lose those precious young years. Our Lord was gracious to give us these last moments to relive this time from our past. Rest now.. You have had a Full Life with your friends and family...You've earned it. Always, Phyllis
Phyllis Kopylec
July 11, 2012
What a special man - we will miss you Ev. You seemed to enjoy everything life has to offer right up to the end. You are an inspiration. With all the dancers , callers and musicians on the other side - you can dance forever!!
Fran Hendrickson
July 11, 2012
Everett,my mother and I will miss you very much!.We enjoyed talking to you and your company over the
many years we knew you.You were such a gentleman and humble,considering all your talents and accomplishments listed in the paper.We never met your children/or grandkids,but I bet they're proud of their father and I'll bet you're adored by your grandkids!.You put 110% into your research into Lindbergh,
his life,his plane,Ryan aircraft,your books,and everything else in your life,not to mention your two purple
hearts!.I have never met a person more human than you.The world will seem a lot smaller,now-You will be missed by us and friends,family,kids,grandkids, and by many others.With your love of aviation I picture you flying in heavens' clouds,your hands on the controls,and a smile on your face. Goodbye and
a peaceful flight,Everett.
stephen mulligan
July 11, 2012
There isn't a person who dances in Connecticut, and in many other places, who doesn't know Ev. It was a given. He was ever-welcoming to newcomers into the world of dance, one of Ev's passions. His ever-smiling presence could find him kyacking or dancing the Viennese waltz or camping at NEFFA or being a Scottish dancer or a contradancing or doing research on one of his books...oh my, my, he will be missed. See you on the dance floor my friend.
Sandy Weekes
July 11, 2012
We always enjoyed seeing Ev - he was such a classic. It was always fun joking around with him - what a great sense of humor. He will be sorely missed.
Mance & Lori Grady
July 11, 2012
To my friend and neighbor Ev, your presence will be sorely missed. I will always think of you as I look at the clouds or hear the hum of a Cessna over head. Rest in peace with much affection.
July 10, 2012
Cousin Ev will always be remembered as an inspiration to all, with his zest for life and undying spirit of adventure.
Love from Cousin Barbara and Bill and family.
July 10, 2012
Ev gave my Dad a flight in his plane for his 87th birthday. I will always be grateful for that day. Ev was a client of mine for many years and also became a friend. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. I will miss his wave as he passed my house on his way home.
Leila Graber
July 10, 2012
I am very sad to hear of Ev's passing.
We will all miss Ev's energy, warmth, and good spirits.
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