NEWBURYPORT - Cassandra Eve Perry Linehan, 63, passed away on March 11 with loved ones at her side. She is survived by her loving husband of 21 years, Robert Linehan, stepson Collin Linehan and his wife Ellie of Annapolis, MD and their three children, Aiden, Foster and Elizabeth, and stepson Ryan Linehan and his wife Stacy of Westport Island, ME and their two children Sawyer and Kestrel. She also leaves her siblings Kinson Perry and his wife Debra of Colchester, CT, Alexandra McNitt and her wife Christine Holbrook of West Brookfield, MA, and Matthew McNitt of Royal Oak, MI. She is predeceased by her sister, Rebecca McNitt Webber. She was born on March 22, 1956 in Southbridge, MA to Phyllis (Lemmelin) Perry and Jack Perry. She also had many nieces, nephews and cousins, all of whom she adored.
After her birth, Cass resided in Sturbridge, Ludlow, and then Southbridge, MA. Her parents divorced when she was 2 and many early memories were shaped by her life then with her mother and brother, Kinson. Another big influence in her early life was her maternal grandmother or Memere, Lillian Laraviere Lemmelin. Cass would end up playing a big role in her Memere’s waning years providing comfort and assistance dealing with the social service healthcare labyrinth. Early in her life she showed a penchant for detail and the patience necessary to practice it. This kind of focus would prove to be a hallmark characteristic of her life.
When her mother remarried her immediate family grew with three more siblings. At an early age she took on the role of babysitter while her mother worked. Always a good and popular student, Cass taught herself to use a sewing machine making her own yellow and green mini dress, complete with lime green go-go boots. From then on, she was never out of fashion though settling on more conservative black and white combinations.
Her proudest physical accomplishment was the summer she went to Iowa and rode in RAGBRAI, the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world. The ride went from the Missouri River on the west border of Iowa, across the state to the Mississippi in the east. Cass’ eyes would twinkle when she told about dipping her tires in the mighty Mississippi River. She often went out to spend time in Iowa with her father’s family. A couple of early summers saw large blocks of time spent staying with “Gram”. Welcoming her there were her Grandmother Fern, Uncle Bob and Aunt Ada, and cousins Kent, Connie and Barbara. She enjoyed her time there immensely. Of particular fondness were the 4th of July celebrations.
After high school at Woodstock Academy (Class of 1974), Cass did her undergraduate studies at Marquette University, and took Master’s degrees from both Northeastern University (Speech Pathology) and Boston University (Public Health). She was a lifelong speech and language pathologist with a specialty in swallowing disorders.
Cass was fixed up on a blind date with Bob by her hairdresser. They hit it off immediately, sharing a love for sailing, music, dancing and each other. They lived a few years in San Francisco taking many trips exploring the California landscape. Eventually they returned to the east coast to be closer to family, friends and their love of sailing.
In Newburyport, Cass loved singing in the Newburyport Choral Society, and gathering with the Beach Club on Wednesday nights. Cass adored travel, art, museums, and Siamese cats.
More than anything, Cass loved being with family and friends, and especially being grandma to Aiden, Foster, Elizabeth, Sawyer and Kestrel. Holidays will never be the same without her infamous cheeseball.
A gathering of friends and family will be held in the future at the convenience of the family. The Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950 is assisting Mrs. Linehan’s family with her arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in her memory to the Newburyport Choral Society, P.O. Box 92, Newburyport, MA 01950.
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