Barbara Ann Felts Cassell, born March 14, 1937, in Jonesboro, Tenn. to James Hugh Felts and Anna Conover Probasco Felts, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012. She was the oldest of four children. Barbara was married to William Richard (Dick) Cassell of Austinville. They established their home in Independence in 1963.
In her youth, Barbara was an active member of Green County 4-H club and achieved many awards on the state level. She won awards showing Guernsey dairy cows and competing in home economics including baking, canning and sewing. Barbara continued in home economics at the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation at UT, she took a job in Tazewell with the Virginia Extension Service in Home Economics. She met and married her soul mate Dick Cassell. They were blessed with children, William Brown, II, Melisa Ann and James Hugh Cassell. Barbara was an active member in the Independence community. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, the Methodist Women’s Group and the local Daughters of the American Revolution, New River Pioneer Chapter. She was active in the district and state levels of the Daughters of the American Revolution, where she served as State Chairman of Credentials 21 years and served as State Conference Chairman 14 years.
Barbara will be remembered for starting a preschool through the First United Methodist Church.
It began 41 Years ago with one day a week for preschoolers as an introduction into socializing children for school. One day a week turned into three days a week. As the preschool program continued to grow, the community need for a daycare for working parents became a greater vision for its supporters. Through the First United Methodist Church, this vision became a reality for the community 34 years ago.
It is now known as the Grayson Children’s Center, located on Main Street, Independence.
Barbara is survived by her children, William Brown Cassell II and his wife, Noelle Glazier Cassell, Crockett; Melisa Ann Cassell-DiGiacomo, of Galax; Dr. James Hugh Cassell and his wife, Michelle Morris Cassell, also of Galax. She has eight grandchildren, Scott Cassell and his wife, Miriam and new great grandchild Ellery Claire; Evan Cassell, Hannah, Hailey, Holly and Hayden Cassell, Julianna and Dominic DiGiacomo. She is also survived by brothers and sisters-in-law, Jim and Marilyn Felts, of Lenoir City, Tenn, Steve and Sue Felts of Greeneville, Tenn. and her sister and brother-in-law, Katherine and Jerry Dowling of Woodlands, Texas. She will be remembered by several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, Dec. 30, at Galax Presbyterian Church at 1 p.m. with funeral service to follow at 2 p.m., with Dr. Thomas Whartenby officiating.
Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery in Wytheville, VA
In lieu of flowers, memorials may go to The Grayson Children’s Center, 143 W. Main Street, Independence, VA. 24348, or a charity of choice.
Arrangements by Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home, Independence. 276-773-2521, P.O. Box 306, Independence, VA 24348