Douglas Edward Cassatt, 63, died peacefully at home in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, following a three-year battle with esophageal cancer. He was a warrior. His unwavering optimism, fortitude and courageous approach to life were a humbling lesson to us all.
Doug was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, at St. Joseph's Hospital on Dec. 28, 1953. He attended Ottumwa High School and voluntarily signed up with the Navy in its delayed entry program. He started military service upon graduation in 1972.
The United States Navy became his career, and he retired in 1992. Doug proudly served and traveled the world as a photographer's mate 1st Class. Iceland, Japan, the USS Blue Ridge, USS Holland, Blue Angels and more left him feeling appreciative of what he had experienced in life. Through the Naval lens, he captured triumphs and tragedies in the U.S. and abroad. Doug's portfolio is impressive, and his legacy will honor the United States always, as did his heart.
Doug had found peace with his premature finale. Though his life was too short, he had amassed an amazing collection of experiences within those years. To any of his Navy buddies who might someday see this, Hooyah!
Left to honor his memory are siblings, Nancy (Roy) Roberts, Cindy Keyes, Scott (Jaime Cantu) Cassatt, Tony (Carla) Johnson and Valerie (Travis Pike) Anderson. A loving family of nieces, nephews, greats and great-greats always will treasure memories of Uncle Doug. Special mention to Doug's lifelong friend, Tom Yochum; friends, Tanya Blum and Juli Schlotter; and stepmother, Viola Cassatt.
Cherished forever in his heart are daughter, Nicole (Micah) Bruner, along with his beautiful granddaughters, Piama Olivia and Tiana Selena. "To love everyone unconditionally does not mean to give everyone your unconditional time. Sometimes, to love completely, we must never see someone again. This, too, is love. This is giving someone the freedom to exist and be happy, even if it must be without you."
Heavenly family welcomed Doug to eternal life, mom and dad (Phyllis & Art Johnson), father (Gerald Cassatt), siblings (Terry Sr. & Kerry Lynne Cassatt) and nephew (Troy Wardlow).
Hospice of Mercy supported the family in the care of Doug during the last days. Our family was blessed with your commitment to patient comfort. Debbie's care to the family went above and beyond. Thank you. We also extend our heartfelt respect and appreciation to the VA Medical Center in Iowa City. The oncology department, his chemo nurses (and Tim), Karen, Tami, the DAV drivers, and the list continues. Your care for our brother was superior, and we hope you feel the pride of a job well done!
Per Doug's wishes, there will be no funeral. There will be a Celebration of Life ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at Shrine of Memories, Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Ottumwa. Please join the family in honoring Doug. Either that or go fishing Doug would understand if you chose fishing. Just toss in a line for him, too!