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Decorated vet was devout in faith, loyal fan

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By Kate Wilcox
Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

John B. “Jack” Cassidy was a hero to his country and his family.

Mr. Cassidy, 88, of Irwin died on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg.

He was drafted into the Army during World War II and served in the 69th Infantry Division and was transferred to the 35th Division.

Mr. Cassidy was involved in the Normandy Invasion, as well as campaigns in Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes and central Europe. He was wounded during the war, and his sacrifice earned him a Purple Heart.

“It wasn't anything he would regularly talk about,” said his son Keith Cassidy of Pittsburgh.

“Part of life was your duty to America. He did a lot of things he didn't want” to boast about.

His daughter, Linda Gramlich, said her favorite thing about her father was his sense of humor.

Mr. Cassidy was born Aug. 26, 1924, in East Pittsburgh and graduated from East Pittsburgh High School in 1943.

He was a member of Immaculate Conception Church, Irwin, and a former member of St. William Church in East Pittsburgh (Holy Cross).

Keith Cassidy said his father was a devout Catholic.

“I can count on one hand the number of times I missed Mass in childhood,” Cassidy said.

Mr. Cassidy was employed as a punch and die maker by E.L. Wiegand (Emerson Electric) before his retirement.

He was an avid fan of all the Pittsburgh sports teams and enjoyed trips to the ocean.

Mr. Cassidy was preceded in death by his wife, Rose E. Cassidy. He is survived by two sons, John “Keith” Cassidy of Pittsburgh and Glenn Cassidy of Greensburg; a daughter, Linda Gramlich of Irwin; a sister, Sister Laverne Cassidy of Greensburg; three grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Immaculate Conception Church, followed by interment in Irwin Union Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation.

Kate Wilcox is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or

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