In Memoriam: Ann W. Cassar

We are saddened to report the passing of Updike Society member Ann W. Cassar, who died on May 20, 2019 at the age of 86. Over the years Ann has helped numerous Updike scholars with their research, and society members will miss her bright intellect and warm personality. Although the memorial service has already been held, those who fondly remember Ann can still offer condolences on the Paganof Funeral Home website. As the obituary below reminds, Ann wasn’t just a society member; she was a classmate of Updike’s who shared the lofty distinction of being co-valedictorian in the Shillington High School Class of 1950 . . . with John Updike.

“Ann W. Cassar, 86, of Concord Township, PA passed away on May 20, 2019 at Riddle Hospital. Born in Shillington, PA to Luther and Martha Weik, she lived in Wilmington, DE briefly before moving to Concord Township where she resided over 50 years. Ann graduated from Shillington High School as co-valedictorian with author, John Updike, in 1950. She attended Albright College, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Chemistry in 1954. Upon graduation she worked at the technical library indexing lab reports at Atlas Powder Co. (now Astra-Zeneca). She left Atlas to raise her family, returning to work as a freelance indexer until 2017 for major publishers in the US and India.

“Ann had a passion and talent for music, playing cello in the Delaware County Symphony, several string quartets and many community productions. She was instrumental in the production of an annual Messiah sing-along at the Brandywine Baptist Church which she attended most of her life. Interest in her family’s genealogy led her to become an active participant in the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Cassar who died in 2018, a son, David Cassar, and her sister Jean Hertzog. She is survived by two sons, Thomas Cassar (Jill Sanders) and James Cassar (Tianjia Wang) as well as three grandchildren, Rachel, Grace and Chelsea Cassar. A visitation will be held on June 9, 2019, Sunday, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at the Pagano Funeral Home, 3711 Foulk Rd. Garnet Valley, PA followed by a Memorial Service at 1:00 p.m. Online condolences may be made by visiting”

We will miss Ann, and we offer our deepest condolences to her family.

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