Obituary of Kevin Cassidy
Kevin Michael Cassidy passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones, on Sunday, September 2nd in Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC.
Kevin was born on January 24th, 1972 to Frank Cassidy and Pauline (Coyle) Cassidy in Consett, Co. Durham, England. Kevin has a surviving older brother, Stephen and older sister, Clare. Stephen now lives in Milwaukee with his wife Judith and children, Sean and Niamh. Clare lives in Cambridge, England with her partner Steve and children Lucy and Olly.
Kevin will always be remembered as a singer/songwriter. From his teenage years, he wrote and performed songs with the Candy Dahlings, Lift and itis. Each band had staunch support in his beloved North East of England and his songs will be played, enjoyed and remembered for many generations to come.
On December 26th, 1990 Kevin met Lynne Allaker at the Hilltop bar in East Stanley, Co. Durham, and a love story beyond words began. They crossed an ocean together in 2004 to start a new adventure in America, but enjoyed so many more adventures in their lifetime together. In their wedding vows to each other they said, ‘I will support you like steel…..unbreakable, immovable’, and they stayed true to this promise. Also, ‘I will remember that we are a work in progress……continuous’, again words that stayed true throughout their lives together.
Their union also marked the start of a new clan – the Allaker-Cassidys! From day one, the two families formed a unique bond. Lynne’s parents, Jackie and Joan, loved Kevin as their son, and are devastated by his loss. Lynne’s sister, Lesley, and brother, Tony and all of Kevin’s nieces and nephews will also keep him in their memories forever.
In January 1998, Kevin and Lynne found out that they were expecting their first child. Kevin decided it was time to start a new career. In true Kevy style, he was one of the first people in the area to have a home computer and ‘surf the web’, which at the time, was just a few pages of text created by brilliant minds throughout the world. He joined those brilliant minds and quickly shifted from musical genius to master geek. On October 1st, 1998 Kevin and Lynne welcomed Kellsie Georgia Allaker-Cassidy to the world. The first baby Kevin had ever held, and he wept as he repeated again and again to Lynne, ‘She’s a girl and she has your red hair, she’s a girl and she has your red hair’. Georgia (her given name) was affectionately named ‘Bodge’ and ‘First Born’ by Kevin.
The day after Georgia was born, Kevin started a new career with IBM. It was the year of Y2K and Kevin travelled the country updating financial systems to ensure Y2K compliance. From this first start with computers, Kevin never looked back. Following IBM, he moved to EDS, which he loved dearly, and only left the company when starting his new life in America.
In 2001, Kevin and Lynne welcomed their second, incredible child, Indy into the world. Their family, at that time, was complete. A beautiful daughter and now a handsome son. Indy was affectionately named ‘Slice’ by Kevin and he couldn’t have been more proud of this funny, strong, independent, caring young man.
Life was good. Wonderful family, amazing friends and incredible careers, but then the American opportunity came knocking. Lynne was offered a 3-year placement with United Water in New Jersey. Kevin and Lynne travelled together to check it out and stayed their first night in Times Square, NYC. At that moment a new love affair took seed – Kevin Cassidy and NYC.
Kevin, Lynne, Georgia and Indy arrived in America in February 2004 and 3 years turned into forever. Their love of the North East of England never waned but they had a lot of capacity for love, and North East New Jersey became their new home.
On arriving in America, Kevin refocused on his music career and taking care of Georgia and Indy. He bought a studio and wrote many incredible songs during their first year. One of his proudest moments, was performing his original work, as a solo artist – ‘The Stolious Agenda’ - at the Bitter End in NYC on January 6th, 2008. The performance was live-streamed, and many of his former fans enjoyed the performance back in England.
Although one of Kevin’s most creative periods, eventually he craved the collaboration and camaraderie of working, and managed to secure a position with United Water’s IT department. He quickly became a loved and valued member of the team, and started to focus on audio visual work. After a couple of years, a new opportunity presented itself – Tiffany and Co. – of the renowned Breakfast at Tiffany’s. NYC beckoned and he followed the call. Starting his career at the Help Center he was then selected to lead the company’s efforts in audio visual work on 5th Avenue in NYC. At his time of passing, he was a Senior Engineer and worked on global audio visual projects. Kevin Cassidy was always a necessity at the Tiffany Board meetings to ensure smooth operations. Not too shabby for the lad from East Stanley!
In 2016, Lynne started working at StreetEasy in NYC. Also located on 5th Avenue, the couple from the North East of England found themselves train-buddies, commuting to work and literally working a few blocks away from each other in the Big Apple. Quite incredible!
During these years, Georgia and Indy attended the Mahwah Public School System. Georgia’s passion, like her father, became music and performing arts. With a voice to soothe angels, Georgia made her father so proud. He was always the parent cheering and clapping loudest at every performance with tears rolling down his face. Indy’s passions lay more with sports. Football (soccer) and basketball games were attended for years, and during this time, Kevin became ‘Coach Kevin’. Coaching both sports and loving being involved and getting to know all of the wonderful kids that played on Indy’s teams. Could it be more perfect for a man with an endless need for music in his life and a life-long love of just about every sport ever created? No. The love for and pride he had in his children really was unparalleled.
On December 13th, 2017, Kevin and Lynne were blessed with their first grandchild. Rose Joan Cassidy-Davis came into the world. Words cannot describe how much joy Rose brought to Kevin’s life over the 8 months before he passed. Although heart-breaking, Georgia will find so much comfort in the fact that he had that time with Rose and will never forget the love between them.
In March 2014, remembering their wedding vows, and that they were a work in progress, Kevin and Lynne decided that their love was best served living apart. Kevin found a new home in Allendale, NJ, just a few miles from Lynne and the kids. Over the few years he lived there, Kevin made new friends who loved and supported him until his passing.
In the summer of 2017, Kevin started speaking to an old friend from his youth online. Wendy Costin became his last love and was there to care for him and support him in his final months, weeks and days. Another English Rose, Wendy became part of the Allaker-Cassidy family and is much-loved by his children and is now a beloved friend of Lynne. The night before he died, Kevin slept peacefully with Wendy sitting at one side of the bed holding his hand, and Lynne at the other. His first and last love. Infinite.
Throughout his life, Kevin enjoyed times in many pubs. These establishments mark periods of his life that shouldn’t be forgotten. Many reading this will have memories that will be cherished. To name but a few: The Angel and Rosetree pubs in Durham; The Hilltop in East Stanley; The Beamish Mary Inn, in No Place; The Ship Inn near Spennymoor; Kinchley’s Tavern in Ramsey; Roxanne’s in Mahwah; Mahwah Bar and Grill; Allendale Bar and Grill; The Storehouse, NYC; Rudy’s Bar and Grill, NYC; Legends, NYC, and too many to mention in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Finally, there is one love affair that lasted his entire life, which cannot go unmentioned. Newcastle United Football Club – Toon Army. We suspect that Kevin’s blood ran through his veins in three colors – Tiffany blue and, without doubt, black and white.
Kevin was a trailblazer from day one. He mastered whatever he turned his hand to and had an insatiable curiosity and thirst for learning. Lynne’s best friend, Allison, once wrote advice to Kevin, ‘Keep the eternal enthusiasm, it’s infectious and good for those around you’. So true.
He lived his life without apology, but also with warmth and generosity that touched so many. One of his many lyrics from the song ‘Little Red’ – ‘And we’ll build an empire where every small letter, deserves a big picture’. That’s what Kevin Cassidy did. He created the big picture.
From Lynne, and for the last time, ‘Adorations my passionate pal’……………..
CELEBRATING KEVIN’S LIFE
Two events have been planned to bring Kevin’s family and friends together. Please wear black and white J
When: Sunday, September 16th 11 AM to 12 PM
Where: Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Goodwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481
What: Family and close friends will share their stories of Kevin. Kevin will be with us in a closed coffin so all can pay their respects and say a final farewell to this cherished man. In place of flowers, we are asking that all donations be directed to St. Jude's via the link below.
When: Sunday, September 16th 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Where: The Defiant Brewery, 6 Dexter Plaza, Pearl River, NY 10965 (for those coming from NYC, the train station is opposite the Brewery)
What: A celebration of Kevin and a few of his passions – family, friends, music, words, and of course………..good beer and food!
All are welcome to attend both, or either event. For those only attending the celebration at the Defiant Brewery, you might get there first! We will be travelling directly from the Funeral Home and might get a little delayed. Don’t worry – there will be plenty to keep you occupied until we arrive!