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As long as I am alive my Uncle Bob will be alive in my heart with all the others that I cherish who have passed from this matrix of life to become closer to that which created it.
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Robert Gene Cassell, 93, of West Lafayette, passed away on December 29, 2023, at St. Francis Hospital in Lafayette, IN. He was born on July 17, 1930, in Flora, IN, to Wiley and Eva Cassell, and graduated from Delphi High School in 1949. In 1956 he married Joan Ellen Jones, also from Delphi. They immediately ventured to Lafayette to enable Bob to pursue a home building business and remained in the greater Lafayette area the rest of their lives.
Bob, as he liked to be called, or Wally by some of his earlier friends, was a classic man of self-reliance who tried his hand at many things in life with rugged determination. As a young man, Bob was taught the trade of carpentry and homebuilding by his father, and he spent his entire life building and renovating homes and as a roof and chimney man. You can find several of his classic Indiana mid- century modern homes scattered around Lafayette and West Lafayette.
Over the years he engaged in a number of entrepreneurial endeavors including selling insurance in the 1960’s and founding and running a series of successful girls and boys high school “All-Star” camps including Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Softball and Tennis in the four-state area including Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio from 1973 until the late 1980’s, at one point having twenty-five camps in one summer session. But Bob continued to pursue construction activities until his mid-80s when health- related issues finally caught up with him.
A love of sports dominated Bob’s entire life, with a particular interest in football, basketball, and boxing. He had season tickets to the Lafayette Jeff and Purdue games for more than 50 years and you would typically find him watching several games or boxing matches on multiple TVs in his living room on any given night. While he was dating Joan, they attended the Indiana High School State Basketball Championship in 1954 which was the basis for the movie Hoosiers.
He is survived by his brother Dana Cassell and his sister Janet Plough, both of Lafayette, five children, Clark of West Lafayette, Cynthia Whatley of Lafayette, Charlene (David) Kurkjian of Atlanta, Scott (Niki) of Denver and Steve (Jennifer) of Bethesda, MD, thirteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Joan in 2021, and his grandson Jacob Cassell, who passed in 2019.
Friends are invited to join the family for a celebration of Bob’s life at Calvary Chapel, 2111 State Street, Lafayette on January 20, 11:00am. The service will be followed by a meal.
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