John R. Cassidy, of Hull, died on Dec. 1 after a long period of declining health, with his wife of 34 years, Dottie (Nyen), by his side. He was 70.
John was the second of five children born to Frank and Collette (Kane) Cassidy, entering the world on Sept. 21, 1950, in Boston.
John loved and was beloved by his brothers and sisters: Joe Cassidy and his wife, Lucy; Marion Meradji and her husband, Ahmad; Patrick Cassidy and his wife, Karen; and Kathleen Mulcahy. He was glad to be the cool uncle to Chris Mulcahy and Steven and Kevin Cassidy. But he especially loved being Daii to his niece Angela DeCaires and his nephew Omid Meradji (and to Angela’s children, Navid and Mia Luna). He was dearly loved by many lifelong friends as well as those who he considered his chosen family.
John grew up in Boston’s West Roxbury neighborhood, eventually traveling all around the United States, having adventures and misadventures, before becoming an HVAC technician at Beth Israel Hospital and Marriott Copley Place when it opened. John then held management positions at Marriott Copley Place and Marriott Long Wharf, ending up as chief engineer at the Holiday Inn at Government Center.
In 1996, he left the hospitality industry and opened an Army/Navy store, Cassidy Cutlery and Military Surplus, teaching and sharing with others his passion for history, edged weapons, and military collectibles and becoming known locally as “the knife guy.”
After closing his store in 2002 due to illness and surviving a kidney and liver transplant in 2004, John continued buying and selling on auction sites and at flea markets until his last illness in 2019. But his favorite was Hull’s “Stem to Stern,” and he eagerly awaited the announced dates each year.
He loved and cared for a long succession of rescued feline companions over the years, the latest being Carmella (aka Baby). His gardens each year were legendary, providing fresh tomatoes and other goodies to friends and acquaintances alike, and he enjoyed a friendly garden competition with his friend Carlos for many years. A highlight of his life was being well enough to ride his motorcycle to attend Bike Week in Laconia in 2008.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visiting hours on Friday, Dec. 4, from 6-8 p.m. in the Pyne Keohane Funeral Home, 21 Emerald St. (off Central Street), Hingham. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. at the funeral home followed by burial at Mount Benedict Cemetery in West Roxbury. The service will be live-streamed and can be viewed on John’s obituary at www.Keohane.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s memory to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at bidmc.org/give or to Hull Seaside Animal Rescue at hsar.org/donate.