May Kassem
1947 - 2020
{ "" }
Share May's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
May Kassem
Cherished wife & mother, amazing hostess, proud grandmother
May Kassem, of Roseland, NJ, died peacefully on Friday, October 16, 2020, just before noon.
May was born in Beirut, Lebanon on July 30, 1947, and she moved with her family to the United States when she was one year old. She grew up in Danbury, CT where she developed a love of horseback riding in her teen years. She married Dr. Nadim Kassem and moved to NJ where they raised four children and where she lived until her death.
May was an amazing hostess who set an outstanding table. She adored her grandchildren and encouraged all those she loved to hold hands throughout life. She died at the age of 73 after battling cancer for nearly four years. She left this world too soon, robbing us of her infectious smile, warm heart, kindness, grace and generosity. She was active until the last week of her life, entertaining just days before her death.
May is survived by her children, Juhayna (husband Ashley), Nabil, Raniya (husband Charles), and Jawad; grandchildren, Laith, Kais and Leila; sister Samia (husband Moe with their children and grandchildren); brother Sammy; sister-in-law Ann (husband Bill with their children and grandchildren). She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and brother, Ghassan.
Visitation will be Sunday from 9:30am - 11am at Shook-Farmer Funeral Home, Roseland, NJ, A private burial to follow that will be broadcast via Zoom. Please contact the family for details.
In lieu of flowers, donation links can be found at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Star-Ledger on Oct. 17, 2020.
09:30 - 11:00 AM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Family
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
October 22, 2020
You know someone is very special when, after only a few short visits, she is so fondly remembered and appreciated. That is May Kassem to me. I am one of the 7 daughters of Barbara and Salim Israwi who well remembers the lights that both May and her husband (and children) were whenever they entered a room. We only saw you all at summer conventions, but we cherished those opportunities. May had a smile that beamed a thousand lights. She was such a beautiful woman with a radiance that conveyed such warmth, love, and joy. Juhayna, Nabil, Raniya, and Jawad, I pray the Lord bless and supernaturally comfort your hearts like only He can. That seed of love has been carefully planted and watered in each of you and it will never be uprooted. I thank God for the gift May was and her legacy in each of you.

Love and blessings,

Denise and Luc Teurlings

Denise Teurlings
October 21, 2020
We are certain that when we say, "Meeting May was a blessing" others would be in full agreement. What a lady! I often reflect on the few, but rewarding times that we spent some time together in reunions and retreats. She had a magnetic personality that everyone was drawn by. The warmth of her smile, hearty laughter, compassion, love, respect, and joy for life was always demonstrated in her actions and words. She was one of a kind. May our memories of beautiful May continue to bring us gratitude for crossing paths with such a wonderful woman.

We send our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to her children and their families. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
May God bless and comfort you in this most sorrowful time.
In Love and Sympathy,
Barbara and Salim Israwi
Barbara & Salim Israwi
October 19, 2020
I have heard so many wonderful things about May Kassem that I feel that I knew her. Unfortunately, I had only met her but never really had the privilege of knowing her. Cancer is a horrible disease and my heart aches for Nabil and his sisters and brother and family for their loss, and for Mrs. Kassem for the pain she endured. I hope the memories of her love, compassion, and strength will carry you all through these times of grief. Remember her for whom she was and please do not let her cancer define your memories. My condolences to the worldwide family of Mrs. Kassem. May she Rest in Peace.
Michael Karlis
October 18, 2020
There are so many wonderful things to say about beautiful May Kassem. This world would be a better place if there were more people like her. The love she had and expressed for her four children was never ending. The smile on her face when she spoke of her family and grandchildren could light up a room. May was giving, kind, loving and just a genuine nice, thoughtful person.
I am so sorry you had to endure what you did the past four years. You will be truly missed, always loved. I am sure your legacy and our beloved Dr. Kassem's legacy will live on through your four amazing children and grandchildren. Love you my friend, give Dr. Kassem a big hug for me ...Rest in Peace and Love.

Linda DeRogatis
October 17, 2020
Mrs. Kassem was a wonderful lady. I met het her at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 1991 when her son and I were both battling cancer. Mrs. Kassem and my mother fought for their sons in a way that still has a lasting effect on me. They were warriors for their sons, when their sons couldn’t be warriors for themselves. Mrs. Kassem raised a family that anyone would be proud of. My condolences to her family, and Jawad. I know the warm memories of her will carry you though this trying time.
Joe Duffy
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences