Judy Rae Cassani
January 3, 1941 - January 9, 2023
January 21, 2023 | 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M.
- Yurs Funeral Home Geneva
- January 21, 2023 | 12:00 P.M.
- Yurs Funeral Home Geneva
Judy Rae Cassani, 82, passed away in her sleep on January 9, 2023 in Geneva, IL.
Judy was born on January 3, 1941 to Ned and Colleen Jividen in Rantoul, IL. When she was in high school the family moved to Galena, IL. Her ‘favorite’ sister, Peggy Marie Jividen, also grew up in Galena and now lives in Port Charlotte, Florida. Judy graduated from Galena High School and then attended Illinois State University to study education and become a teacher. While teaching she attended Northern Illinois University where she earned her master’s degree in education.
Judy taught at Huntley Middle School, and then later at Rosette Middle School, in DeKalb, IL. It was at Huntley where Judy met the love of her life, the late John Cassani, when as teachers they were assigned to the same lunch duty. They were married on May 2, 1964. They had two children, Christine Rae and Cathleen Marie who grew up hearing that their mom was everyone’s favorite teacher.
Christine married Drew McFadden in 1992 and had two children, Madeline Marie McFadden (Hanna Habenschuss) and Maxwell John McFadden. Cathy married Todd Adams in 2002 and had three children, Jacey Inga Adams, Camryn Christine Adams, and Skylar Shayne Adams.
Judy and her husband John retired in their mid-50’s and were able to enjoy their life in DeKalb and spend their winters in Punta Gorda, Florida. In 1999, John suffered a heart attack and stroke, and after a long hospitalization and successful rehabilitation, they decided to build a house and move to Galena. The entire family spent so many weekends and holidays at the Galena house, creating wonderful childhood memories for the grandchildren.
In 2014 they moved to Geneva, IL to be closer to Christine’s family in Batavia and Cathy’s family in Elmhurst. In 2016 they moved to Greenfield’s Retirement Community to ensure adequate care for John, who passed away in 2017. In 2019 Judy was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, and she remained at Greenfield’s surrounded by her family and friends.
Judy loved to laugh, sing, decorate, teach, play bridge, and read. She loved plants, hummingbirds, beaches, gardening, and flowers. She and John shared a deep friendship and partnership and were married for 53 years. Her favorite childhood memories revolved around spending time with her grandparents on their farm in Sullivan, IL. She loved being with her sister, Peg, because they were best friends and made each other laugh. Throughout her life she was close and connected to her daughters Christine and Cathy, and in the last couple of years they enjoyed weekly dates where they talked over long lunches or went to mid-day movies. Judy loved vacationing and having slumber parties with her grandchildren, especially because they bought donuts in the morning and then spent hours in a bookstore. She deeply appreciated time with her friends who picked her up for lunches and trips to DeKalb and cared for her like she was family.
Judy was a dedicated teacher, daughter, partner, caregiver, mother, sister, and friend who made learning enjoyable and life meaningful. She radiated kindness and led by example, and her beautiful life lives on in her family who loved her dearly.
A celebration of life will be held at Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva on Saturday, January 21st , 2023 from 10:00 am – noon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to The Kishwaukee Education Consortium Phoenix Academy, an alternative education program that serves at-risk youth. Any money donated will go directly to both student and teacher immediate needs. Donations in Judy’s name can be sent via check to the KEC Phoenix Academy at PO BOX 263, MALTA, IL 60150, or can be made via Venmo to KEC Malta at @KEC-Outreach.